Knights News
The Knights are going in search of their first league title in 2013 in head coach Ashlee Pritchard's second season.
The Knights are going in search of their first league title in 2013 in head coach Ashlee Pritchard's second season.
Volleyball - Wed, Aug. 7, 2013
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INDIANAPOLIS - After a 14-14 season in her first year at the helm, Marian University head volleyball coach Ashlee Pritchard will have to face another daunting schedule in her second year in Indianapolis. Coach Pritchard has added several newcomers for the 2013 season and is looking forward to the season with the high level of competition the Knights will face.

MU opens on the road as part of the Taylor/IWU Labor Day Challenge in Upland, Ind., on Friday, Aug. 30 and Saturday, Aug. 31. The Knights will take on Olivet Nazarene University at 5:30 p.m. on Friday before facing Indiana Tech at 8 p.m. ONU is coming off an 11-28 season and a 10-9 year in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference. Indiana Tech finished 2012 with a 25-12 overall mark and a 9-2 record in Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) play. The weekend doesn't get any easier as MU will face Point Park University (Pa.) at 11 a.m. on Saturday before a 1:30 p.m. encounter with Davenport University. PPU finished 30-10 last season, while DU finished 32-7 as part of the WHAC last year.

The Knights open their home season with Crossroads League foe University of Saint Francis (Ind.) on Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. MU is 7-5 in the last 12 contests and is riding a six-match winning streak against USF. The weekend of Sept. 6-7 has MU on the road on Friday and Saturday. The Knights head to Mt. Vernon Nazarene University for a 7 p.m. first serve on Friday before a 1 p.m. first serve on Saturday at perennial power Taylor University. MU is 3-5 against MVNU since 2005 and is winless in the last 11 meetings with the Trojans. TU was the runner-up in the Crossroads League last season.

Pritchard brings the Knights back to Indy on Sept. 11 for a 7 p.m. matchup with Grace College. Grace, MU and MVNU finished tied for fourth in the league last season. MU is 5-7 in its last 12 meetings with the Lancers and went 1-2 last season with the Lancers defeating MU in the league tournament opening round in 2012.

A trip to Goshen College on Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. precedes a visit to Indy from Bethel College on Sept. 14 at 5 p.m. MU is 10-4 against the Maple Leafs, who finished 16-22 last season, in the last 14 meetings. MU is 6-9 against Bethel in the last 15 encounters. BC finished third with a 24-16 overall record and a 12-6 mark in league play last season. The two teams each won a match on the other's floor last season in a season split.

MU takes to the road for the next four matches in a difficult portion of the schedule. The road swing opens at Spring Arbor on Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. with MU holding a 10-4 record in the last 14 meetings. SAU finished 2-31 last season and will be looking to get into contention in 2013. MU follows that with a trip to defending league champion Indiana Wesleyan on Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. IWU finished 2012 with a 36-4 overall record and a 17-1 mark in league play. The Wildcats went 1-2 in NAIA championship pool play last season.

The next trip comes the next day when the Knights head to Huntington on Sept. 21 for a 1 p.m. first serve. HU finished 4-23 last season and MU is 12-2 in the last 14 meetings between the two programs. MU's last defeat to the Foresters came on Oct. 3, 2007 in a three-set affair. The road swing closes with a trip to non-league foe Hanover College on Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. MU is 4-3 in the last seven meetings with the Panthers.

A visit to the Physical Education Center by DePauw University comes on Sept. 26 when the Tigers come for a 7 p.m. first serve. DePauw went 21-12 last season with an 11-5 mark in NCAA Division III's NCAC. The two teams have split the last six contests with MU earning a three-set win in 2011.

The Knights head over to Hinkle Fieldhouse on Sept. 28 for a 4 p.m. first serve at Butler University. The Knights are 0-3 in the last three meetings with the Bulldogs. BU finished 17-12 last season and 7-7 in the Atlantic 10.

After the short spell away from league foes, MU jumps right back in with back-to-back home matches when MVNU and Taylor visit the PE Center on Oct. 4 and 5. Both matches are set for a 7 p.m. first serve. A trip to Saint Francis (Ind.) on Oct. 9 for a 7 p.m. first serve is followed by a visit to Indy from Goshen on Oct. 11 at 7 p.m.

MU hits the road for the return with Bethel on Oct. 12 and Grace on Oct. 16 before closing the league season at home. MU plays five of its last six matches at home and its last three league contests are in Indianapolis. IWU travels to Indy on Oct. 18 for a 7 p.m. first serve before Huntington comes to town on Oct. 19 at 3 p.m. The league season closes with Spring Arbor in Indy on Oct. 23 at 7 p.m.

MU steps out of league to close the season when Oakland City University (Oct. 25) and Indiana University-East (Oct. 30) come to Indianapolis. The regular season finale will take place at Indiana University-Kokomo on Nov. 1 (7 p.m.) as MU prepares for the league tournament.

The Crossroads League Tournament gets underway on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. with the semifinals taking place on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. The championship and automatic bid will be on the line on Nov. 9 when the highest remaining seed hosts the title match with the time to be determined.

The Knights have made one NAIA regional appearance (2006-07) and are going in search of their first league championship and bid to the NAIA national championship tournament.