PORTSMOUTH — The Shawnee State University volleyball team will play in 25 matches during its 2021 regular season, including 11 home contests, six away bouts and eight neutral-site affairs — as announced by second-year head coach Devan Scarberry on Tuesday afternoon.
SSU will begin its 2021 season with each of its eight neutral-site bouts, beginning with the Vette City Classic on Friday, Aug. 20 and Saturday, Aug. 21.
The Bears play Missouri Valley College (2 p.m.) and Point, Ga. (7 p.m.) on Friday, before playing Blue Mountain, Miss. (9 a.m.) and College of Coastal Georgia (2 p.m.) on Saturday.
Following the opening weekend of play, Shawnee State gets a two-week break before returning to action on Labor Day Weekend with the return of the Emileigh Cooper Invitational at Rio Grande, following a one-year hiatus due to COVID.
The Bears play Rio Grande and Point Park (Pa.) at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 3, before playing Montreat (N.C.) and West Virginia Tech at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 4.
Shawnee State then begins a stretch where it will play 11 of its final 17 matches inside the Waller Gymnasium confines, including three of its first four contests to begin the stretch.
The home opener, which will be against Lindsey Wilson, is set for Monday, Sept. 6 at 4 p.m. — followed by a home bout against Kentucky Christian on Wednesday, Sept. 8 at 6 p.m.
A road bout with Cumberland, Tenn. on Sunday, Sept. 12 (2 p.m.) is then followed by a home affair against Georgetown on Tuesday, Sept. 14 (6 p.m.).
After that stretch, SSU then plays on the road in three of its next four affairs — with a home bout against Campbellsville on Saturday, Sept. 25 (2 p.m.), sandwiched in between road contests at Thomas More (Thursday, Sept. 16, 7 p.m.), Pikeville (Tuesday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m.) and Cumberlands, Ky. (Wednesday, Sept. 29, 6 p.m.).
The month of October will have Shawnee State hosting seven of its final nine contests, with road contests at Georgetown (Tuesday, Oct. 12, 6:30 p.m.) and Campbellsville (Saturday, Oct. 23, 2 p.m.) the only two affairs away from home.
The seven home matches are as follows:
Friday, Oct. 8: Freed-Hardeman, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 9: Bethel, 2 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 16, Thomas More, 1 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 20, Pikeville, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 28, Cumberlands, Ky., 6 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 5, UT-Southern, 5 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 6, Life, Ga., 1 p.m.
As a whole, SSU brings back 10 of the 11 players which finished the 2020-21 season with the program — the only one not coming back being Alexis Palazzo, who graduated with her bachelor’s degree in the Fall 2020 semester and is currently working on a master’s degree in occupational therapy.
Maria Kolinoff, who was a senior on last year’s squad, exercised her COVID year option and will return to Shawnee State’s program in 2021, while Macie Rhoads — a two-time first-team all-MSC selection as well as an Honorable Mention AVCA and NAIA selection — also returns.
Five newcomers will also be joining the roster, including Abbie Kallner of Wheelersburg, who will make the switch from basketball to volleyball during the 2021-22 academic year — along with Haidyn Wamsley (Northwest), Emily Boggs (Wheelersburg), Olivia Fliehman and Union (Ky.) transfer Kayla Hammerle.
For more information on SSU Bears Athletics, visit www.ssubears.com or visit the Twitter and Facebook pages at https://twitter.com/SSUBears and https://www.facebook.com/SSUBears. For more information on how to join the SSU Bear Club or for sponsorship of specific SSU players or events, visit https://givetossu.com/bear-club and https://givetossu.com/sponsorthebears.