July 11, 2006
Moraga, CA - Saint Mary's head volleyball coach Rob Browning, in his second year, has announced the schedule for the 2006 season. Browning will lead his talented Gael squad into a tough 26-game schedule that includes four ranked teams from a year ago and nine NCAA tournament teams.
Saint Mary's will play in four tournaments to open the season. The Gaels begin the season in Alabama at the Troy Tournament. After the Troy Tournament the Gaels travel to Lincoln, Nebraska for the Nebraska Tournament. This tournament will feature one of the early highlights of the Gaels' season when they face Nebraska. The Huskers were ranked second in the nation to end the season and were the runner-up in the 2005 NCAA tournament. The Gaels will also face off against Long Beach State and Middle Tennessee University.
Saint Mary's will then travel to Long Beach, to play in the Long Beach Tournament. Saint Mary's will play familiar foe, Long Beach State, who the Gaels played a week earlier in the Nebraska Tournament. Long Beach State made the 2005 NCAA tournament. The Gaels will also play against Idaho and Tennessee State.
The Gaels then conclude their tournament schedule at the Stanford Tournament where they will face off against the UC Irvine Anteaters and the Stanford Cardinal. Stanford finished last season ranked No. 13 in the nation.
Saint Mary's opens its home schedule against the Sacramento State Hornets on September 23 from McKeon Pavilion. The Hornets were an NCAA tournament team in 2005. The Gaels will then continue their home stretch while opening their West Coast Conference schedule against Santa Clara. Santa Clara finished the season ranked No. 4 in the nation and coming off a season where they made the semifinals of the 2005 NCAA tournament. The Gaels will face the Broncos from McKeon Pavilion on Thursday, September 28. Saint Mary's will then face San Diego, who finished ranked No. 22 on Saturday, September 30. The Gaels conclude their home stretch against San Francisco on Saturday, October 7.
Saint Mary's then travels to Southern California to face Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine. Both schools competed in the last years NCAA tournament and Pepperdine finished the season ranked No. 18. The Gaels return home to face North West foes Portland and Gonzaga on October 19 and 21 from McKeon Pavilion. Saint Mary's then hits the road for three games to begin the second half of the conference schedule. The Gaels will match up with San Diego, Santa Clara and San Francisco. The Gaels then return for their last home stand of the year when they face Pepperdine on Thursday, November 9. The final home game of the season will clash the Gaels against the LMU Lions on Saturday, November 11. The Gaels then head north to finish the regular season against Gonazaga and Portland University.