Thursday, May 3, 2012

Idaho Vandals announce 2012 schedule

The University of Idaho will start both schedules this fall on the road in Texas. They kick off the overall campaign with a showdown with Texas Tech and later in the slate kick off their Western Athletic Conference schedule on the road with a two-match trip to play Texas State and the University of Texas-San Antonio.

Texas Tech is coming off one of its most successful seasons in the history of the program, finishing fourth in the powerhouse Big 12 Conference. The match against the Vandals is also the Red Raiders' season-opening contest, and is arguably one of the lighter matches on a schedule that includes nine teams that reached the 2011 NCAA tournament. The game is part of a two-match homestand that concludes with reigning Mountain West regular season and tournament champion New Mexico.

WAC semifinalists a year ago, the Vandals will play three home contests against South Dakota, Gonzaga and North Dakota State after returning home and will face local Big Sky Conference schools Idaho State and Montana at the Boise State University tournament.

“The first game is away at Texas Tech – it’s a baptism of fire,” coach Pete Showler said in the school's announcement. “It doesn’t get any tougher than that start, but then we’re back home for our next three games and we’re at Boise for a tournament, which isn’t too tough of an away trip for us.”

Another lengthy trip takes the Vandals to Florida for contests versus Miami and Florida International before they make a short trip to face Eastern Washington University. They wrap up the non-conference slate with Washington State University in the battle of the Palouse before facing Utah Valley and UNLV.

“It’s always nice to challenge yourself against those top teams,” Showler said. “Win, lose or draw, we’re going to be in some tough battles, but it’s all about getting us ready for that WAC schedule and the WAC Tournament. It’s going to be the toughest schedule since I’ve been here.”

After opening the new-look WAC slate in Texas, the Vandals head to the Puget Sound to face Seattle University in a third straight road match. They finish things up with four of the next five conference meetings in the comforts of Guy Wicks Field, concluding Oct. 28 against NM State with Senior Day for Idaho’s 11 seniors-to-be.

“With the addition of Seattle and Denver and the Texas schools, it really improves the all-around depth and quality of the league,” Showler said. “We’ve got to be as well-prepared as we can and, home or away, we have to be prepared for many different styles of play.”

Games in the Northwest

Aug 19….. vs South Dakota – 1 pm
Aug 24….. vs Gonzaga – 4 pm
Aug 26….. vs North Dakota State – 1 pm
Aug 31….. vs Idaho State @ Boise State – 2:30 pm
Sept 2….. vs Montana @ Boise State – 10:20 am
Sept 14….. @ Eastern Washington – 4 pm
Sept 16….. vs Washington State – noon
Sept 21….. vs Utah Valley – 3 pm
Oct 7….. @ Seattle University* – noon
Oct 11….. vs San Jose State* - 3 pm
Oct 14….. vs Utah State* - 1 pm
Oct 26….. vs Denver* - 3 pm
Oct 28….. vs New Mexico State* - 1 pm

* Denotes conference matches

Full Schedule [+]