EUREKA, Ill. – Second-year Eureka College volleyball head coach Becca Idell unveiled the Red Devils' 2017 schedule, Tuesday afternoon. Eureka is slated to play 26 regular-season matches this fall, including 10 contests at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena and the traditional 18-match St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schedule.
EC will open the campaign on its home floor for the first time since 2009 in a Sept. 4 bout with USCAA St. Mary of the Woods (Ind.), the Red Devils' first meeting on record with the Pomeroys. The match is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
Other non-conference matchups at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena include USCAA Robert Morris-Springfield (Oct. 2), NAIA Lincoln Christian (Oct. 12) and Monmouth (Oct. 17).
The Red Devils will take their first road trip of the season the next night (Sept. 5) when EC travels to Galesburg, Ill. for a 7 p.m. start at Knox. The contest with the Prairie Fire is one of four road trips outside of conference play. Eureka will also visit Monmouth (Sept. 12), Lincoln Christian (Sept. 21) and St. Mary of the Woods (Nov. 2).
The first of 18 SLIAC matches is scheduled for Sept. 6 when EC visits defending league champion Greenville at 7 p.m. The match comes as part of a seven-match road trip and includes quad matches in St. Louis on back-to-back Saturdays (Sept. 9, Sept. 16).
Eureka's first league match on its home floor will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 19 against Iowa Wesleyan. The Red Devils will play six of their 10 home matches in a 13-day stretch, including SLIAC contests against Webster (Sept. 26), Principia (Sept. 29), Westminster (Sept. 30) and Greenville (Sept. 30).
Senior Night is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. against Fontbonne at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena.
"We like the schedule we've been able to put together," Idell said. "The goal is to get back to the conference tournament and compete for championships. This schedule puts us in a good position to reach that goal."
Eleven letterwinners and six starters are eligible return for a Eureka team that is aiming to qualify for the SLIAC Tournament for the first time since 2009. The Red Devils went 12-16 last fall, a nine-win increase from 2015 and the program's best record since 2009.
The top four teams in the final regular season SLIAC standings qualify for the league's annual postseason tournament to be hosted at the site of the regular-season champion. The winner of the SLIAC Tournament will represent the league in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.