Emma Longley returns for 2019 season

Emma Longley (11), Appalachian State’s first-team All-Sun Belt selection in 2018, returns for her senior season.

BOONE — Appalachian State volleyball coach Matt Ginipro has announced the schedule for the upcoming 2019 season, which features 10 matches in the Holmes Center and five matches against 2018 NCAA Tournament teams.

“We are excited to get going with the 2019 season and look forward to playing a tough non-conference schedule to get ready for Sun Belt play,” Ginipro said in a statement. “At the end of the 2018 season, our players wanted to keep pushing to get better and wanted our schedule to be challenging.”

App State will be tested right out of the gate when it travels to Arizona to face three teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season in the Cactus Classic. The Mountaineers open the season on Aug. 30 against host Arizona and Samford, before closing out play on Aug. 31 against Loyola Marymount.

The next weekend, the Mountaineers play in the Duke Invitational. On Sept. 6, the Mountaineers battle both UNC Wilmington and Wofford and close out the tournament to play NCAA Tournament qualifier Duke on Sept. 7.

On Sept. 10, App State will hit the road for a non-conference tilt at Clemson, before hosting the Appalachian Invitational from Sept. 12 to Sept. 14.

The Mountaineers host Western Carolina on Sept. 12, defending NIVC champion Iowa State on Sept. 13 and N.C. State on Sept. 14 during their annual tournament.

The Mountaineers close out non-conference play with a trio of matches in South Carolina on Sept. 20 and Sept. 21. On Sept. 20, App State battles Furman and Winthrop, with both contests coming in Rock Hill, S.C. App State will also take on Big Ten foe Maryland in Columbia S.C. on Sept. 21, to close out non-conference play.

Sun Belt play begins on Sept. 27, with the Mountaineers hosting Georgia State, followed by Georgia Southern on Sept. 29.

App State’s first conference weekend will be played in Louisiana, with road matches at Louisiana on Oct. 4 and at Louisiana-Monroe on Oct. 6.

The Mountaineers will be on the road for a second straight weekend on Oct. 11 and Oct. 12, taking on Arkansas State and Little Rock. App State plays its fifth straight Sun Belt road match on Oct. 16 at Coastal Carolina, before hosting the Chanticleers in Boone on Oct. 18.

App State welcomes the Texas schools to the High Country during the final weekend of October. On Oct. 25, the Mountaineers will play host to UT Arlington, followed by a showdown with defending Sun Belt Tournament champion Texas State on Oct. 27.

Appalachian State returns right back to the road for matches at Troy (Nov. 1), South Alabama (Nov. 2), Georgia Southern (Nov. 8) and Georgia State (Nov. 9).

The Mountaineers close out the regular season at home on Nov. 15 against South Alabama and Nov. 17 against Troy on Senior Day.

The Sun Belt Tournament begins on Nov. 21 and runs through Nov. 24, with the winner earning an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.

“We open up at Arizona with three teams who were in the NCAA Tournament last season, so that will test us right away. I’m happy we are able to bring Kara Spicer and Grace Morrison back to their home state since they made the commitment to travel across the country to play for App State,” added Ginipro. “The rest of our non-conference schedule has a great mix of Big 12, ACC and mid-major opponents which will get us ready for the Sun Belt where we, clearly, want to get back to where we were in 2018.”The Mountaineers return 12 players from last season’s squad that posted 22 wins, appeared in the Sun Belt Tournament championship match and qualified for the NIVC.

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