West Virginia volleyball opens season in challenging Penn State Classic

The West Virginia Mountaineers volleyball team will open up the 2022 regular season by participating in the Penn State Classic, taking on three separate teams from Aug. 26 to 27.

WVU will face three teams over the span of two days, playing the Loyola (MD) Greyhounds, the Duquesne Dukes, and the namesake of the tournament, the Penn State Nittany Lions.

The Mountaineers lead off the classic on Friday with a matchup against Loyola University in Maryland. WVU shut out the Greyhounds last year in the Old Dominion Classic, 3-0.

Loyola finished last year 17-11, with no tournament bid coming from the Patriot League. The first match on Friday will start at 12 p.m.

Later in the day, West Virginia will take on Pittsburgh-based Duquesne University. The two teams did not face off last year and the Dukes finished last season at 13-16, playing in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Dukes and Mountaineers’ matchup begins at 4:30 p.m.

Lastly, on Saturday, WVU will do battle against the Penn State Nittany Lions, who figures to be WVU’s toughest opponent. The Nittany Lions finished 21-11 last season, making the NCAA Tournament, where they would ultimately fall to in-state rival Pittsburgh.

Penn State is a member of the Big Ten Conference and defeated the Mountaineers in an ugly 3-0 matchup in Morgantown a year ago. The two teams will square off on Saturday at 7 p.m.

West Virginia will have a lot of new faces this season, welcoming a total of eight freshmen to the team. Six players return for WVU however to continue their impact; fifth-year Adrian Ell, senior Natalie Winter, junior Skye Stokes, and sophomores Kristen McBride, Madison Page, and Brenna Tietz.

The Penn State Classic is one of four tournaments the Mountaineers will partake in this 2022 season, and the team is hoping to double down on last years’ results, and make it back to the NCAA Tournament.

All matches on Friday and Saturday will be played at the Penn State Recreation Hall in State College, Pennsylvania. Streaming will be available on Big Ten+.

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