With the MAC volleyball season upon us this weekend, let's get set for what each team around the league is up to.
The Zips head to Macomb, Illinois for the Hampton Inn Leatherneck Invitational as they take on SIU Edwardsville and Western Illinois on Saturday before taking on host Drake on Saturday. Akron opened its 2014 season with a 2-1 opening weekend before losing that momentum on its way to a 8-23 overall record.
Opening their season at home are the Cardinals, who host Albany and Belmont on Friday and New Mexico on Saturday in the Ball State Active Ankle Challenge. The Cards hope to replicate their 17-win season of 2014 as they took two of three in the Challenge last season.
The Falcons face a big test this weekend in the Blue Raider Bash as they face Indiana and Middle Tennessee State on Friday as well as Notre Dame and Cleveland State on Saturday. Bowling Green went 0-3 on opening weekend a season ago and was unable to dig itself out of that hole on its way to a fifth place finish in the MAC East.
Also having a challenging slate of matches are the Bulls, who travel to the Penn State Classic as they square off against the Nittany Lions on Friday as they take on Villanova and Stony Brook on Saturday. Buffalo went 11-5 in non-conference play in 2014 and 9-3 in those games away from upstate New York.
The Chippewas open their season in the IPFW Invitational as they face the hosting Mastodons on Friday as well as Eastern Illinois and UIC on Saturday. The Chips struggled early on last season as they opened the season on a six-match losing streak.
Participating in the Queen City Classic are the Eagles, who play Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati on Friday before wrapping up against Xavier on Saturday. Eastern Michigan kicked off their 2014 season on a 7-3 roll in non-conference action.
The Flashes open with a B1G test this weekend in the Maryland Invitational as they take on Morgan State and Hofstra on Friday before facing Duquesne and the Terrapins on Saturday. Kent State got off to a hot start last season with an 8-2 record on their way to a third place finish in the East.
A tough test awaits for the 2014 MAC Tournament finalist RedHawks this weekend in the Illini Classic as they face Creighton on Friday prior to taking on Illinois and Louisville on Saturday. The East's second place team from a season ago opened with a 5-2 record, including a 3-1 win over Mississippi State of the SEC.
The regular season MAC West champion Huskies host the NIU Invitational this weekend as they square off against South Dakota State on Friday, Pacific on Saturday, Iowa on Sunday, and Milwaukee on Monday. Northern Illinois struggled in its non-conference slate in 2014 to the tune of a 7-8 record despite posting wins over Tennessee and Louisville.
This weekend also features a challenge for the regular season East champion Bobcats in the Mortar Board Premier as they play Austin Peay on Friday before taking on VCU and Purdue on Saturday. The team went 7-6 in non-conference action last season, although Ohio did down Virginia Tech, Ohio State, and Syracuse.
The Rockets host their Invitational this weekend as they face Bradley and Green Bay on Friday before playing Youngstown State on Saturday. Toledo's only win in 2014 came in five sets against IPFW in non-conference play.
The defending MAC champion Broncos begin their defense in the Pepsi Panther Invitational as they square off against Milwaukee on Friday prior to matches with Missouri State and Furman on Saturday. Western Michigan had success in non-conference play last season by sweeping Notre Dame and taking both Washington State and Purdue to four sets.