Volleyball announces 2021 spring schedule

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RMU volleyball will be back in action next week. Photo Credit: Colonial Sports Network

By Austin Bechtold, Assistant Sports Editor

After 430 days since losing their last NEC game in program history at home to Central Connecticut State in five sets, the Robert Morris volleyball team will return to the court on Monday, January 25 against Oakland.

The Colonials announced their 2021 spring schedule on Tuesday, detailing the opponents for RMU’s debut season in Horizon League competition.

Head coach Dale Starr, guiding the program for his 11th year, will lead the Colonials against eight of the ten other Horizon League programs, with Green Bay and Milwaukee left off the regular-season schedule.

RMU will host Oakland for two matches on January 25 and 26, with matches on Monday and Tuesday nights the prime focus for action this season. Monday home contests will begin at 6 p.m. while Tuesday contests will begin an hour earlier, starting at 5 p.m.

One exception to this is the Colonials’ last series of the season hosting 2019 Horizon League Tournament champion Northern Kentucky on March 22 for a one-day doubleheader. The first match will start at 3 p.m. while the second will follow at 6 p.m.

RMU’s schedule is balanced with four series at home and four on the road. After facing Oakland, Robert Morris will begin their first road trip of the year at Illinois-Chicago (UIC) on Feb. 1-2 and two weeks later at Purdue-Fort Wayne on Feb. 15-16.

The Colonials will return to the UPMC Events Center to face 2019 regular-season champion Wright State February 22-23 before heading back on the road for a second four-match road test.

The program begins March at Cleveland State on the first and second days of the month, followed by the second Ohio conference opponent in Youngstown State, with games March 8-9.

Robert Morris will conclude the 2021 regular season at home against IUPUI on March 15-16 before taking on NKU the following Monday.

RMU will be most familiar with The Youngstown State Penguins, taking on their closest conference opponent a total of 38 times in school history and once in each of the last nine years. Robert Morris has previously faced all ten teams in the conference in the past 11 years, so RMU will not be entirely in the dark when facing their new conference foes.

The Colonials return a loaded roster from their 2019 NEC regular-season championship team including seniors Maria Alfano, Alyson Londot, Whitney Brown, and Emma Granger, looking for one last successful season together after dominating the NEC in one of the most successful seasons in program history.

RMU also returns juniors Alyssa Hudak and Nikolette Zanolli to the starting lineup as key members of the team for the program’s new era in the Horizon League.

Robert Morris will be looking to start 2021 off strong and make a good first impression in the conference, looking to translate similar success from the NEC to the Horizon League.