Spokane, Wash. – The Whitworth University volleyball team will begin its season with tough competition at the 2012 Courtyard by Marriott Wittenberg National Invitational in Springfield, Ohio.
First up, Whitworth will face No. 24 Trinity (Tex.) on Friday (5:00 pm EST / 2:00 pm PDT). The last time the Pirates and the Tigers played against each other was in 2010 and Whitworth came away with the victory in three matches. Trinity returns four starters from the 2011 team and was voted to finish second in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
On Saturday, Whitworth will face even tougher competition. They will play against the defending NCAA Champion and the host of the tournament, No. 5 Wittenberg at 10:00 am EST / 7:00 am PDT. The Tigers return six letterwinners and two starters from last year's team and were chosen to defend their North Coast Atlantic Conference title in the preseason coaches poll.
The Pirates will also take on Wartburg on Saturday (3:00 pm EST/ 12:00 pm PDT). The Knights return four starters from 2011, were selected to win the Iowa Conference and are receiving votes in the AVCA preseason poll.
Despite losing five seniors, Whitworth will use the experience of returners like juniors Whitney Santos and Kristine Kardell to lead them into the weekend. Freshman setter Maddye Dinsmore emerged from fall camp to fill the void left in the setter position while junior Jalana White was rotated to outside hitter.
Live stats and a live video feed will be provided for all the games of the tournament, which can be accessed here. Audio will also be available for the game against Wittenberg.
Next up, the Pirates return home to host the Whit Classic, which will start September 6 in the Fieldhouse.