With the 2018 beach volleyball season on the horizon, the University of New Mexico beach volleyball team and head coach Jeff Nelson announced the team’s 2018 schedule on Friday.
The Lobos, who posted a program record-matching 17 wins in 2017, have assembled a challenging schedule for the 2018 season that provides a roster that includes six freshman and seven total newcomers chances to gain experience early and often.
“With a young group we’ve got opportunities to play a lot of matches and really improve,” Nelson said. “We play some tough ones early and hopefully that will make us better for the later part of the year. But it’s a good schedule overall.”
New Mexico will take on a schedule that includes eights matches against teams that finished the 2017 season ranked or receiving votes in either the AVCA or DiG Magazine poll. The Lobos ended their 2017 campaign receiving votes in both polls.
New Mexico opens its 2018 season at the Arizona Invitational in Tucson, playing host Arizona, Loyola Marymount and Washington on March 2-3. It’s the fourth straight year in the program’s four-year history that the team opened in the state of Arizona.
The Lobos will remain on the road the following two weekends, first playing Grand Canyon, Abilene Christian and Grossmont in Phoenix on March 9-10.
The next week, UNM ventures east to the Stetson/Hickory Point Lake Bash in Tavares, Florida, where the team will play Houston Baptist, Steton, Florida International, UNC Wilmington and the College of Charleston on March 16-17.
Nelson and company play in Albuquerque for the only time during the season to close out March, as they host Arizona State, Colorado Mesa and Abilene Christian at Lucky 66 Bowl.
UNM then heads to El Cajon, Calif., to play Grossmont on April 6 before heading to Kingsville, Texas, for the Javelina Battle on the Beach on April 14-15. There, the Lobos will face ACU, Texas A&M-Kingsville, St. Edward’s and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
New Mexico rounds out its schedule at the same place it started, taking part in the Bear Down Bash in Tucson. The Lobos will take on Arizona, Benedictine University at Mesa and Utah on April 20-21.