Heading into 2022, the Arizona Volleyball team has been handed a much more favorable schedule as they look to head back to the NCAA Tournament.
Coming off of a year in which the Arizona Volleyball team had a loaded non-conference schedule, including a game in Austin, in which the Wildcats stunned the Longhorn crowd by taking a set from the then No. 1 Longhorns squad.
However, the Wildcats ultimately fell short in their bid for an NCAA Tournament berth last season, but have luckily been handed a more favorable schedule for 2022.
As has become tradition, the Wildcats will start at home with the Cactus Classic, which will bring Long Island University, New Mexico State, and Alabama State to Tucson on August 26th and 27th.
Opening weekend should provide a good test for Arizona Volleyball to get their competitive legs under them, as they will face a trio of teams that should provide a solid opening test for the Wildcats.
Following the Cactus Classic, the Wildcats hit the road for ACC country as they head to Chapel Hill, North Carolina for a pair of matches against Wake Forest, and host North Carolina.
While a far cry from the likes of Texas, Dave Rubio once again found a pair of strong opponents early in the season to test the Wildcats, as UNC is regularly challenging at the upper levels of ACC competition.
The Wildcats’ road trip continues the following weekend as they head west to San Diego, for what appears to be a budding rivalry for all of Arizona Athletics as they visit San Diego State for the Aztec Invitational.
In addition to San Diego State, Arizona Volleyball will be taking on Sacramento State, and Big 10 foe Maryland.
To finish off non-conference play, the Wildcats will return home for the Wildcat Classic against Texas A&M Corpus Christi, UTEP, and Cal-State Northridge. This will once again provide yet another great tune-up, as following the Wildcat Classic, Pac-12 play will begin with a big match right off the start.
Pac-12 Play provides a favorable start with five of eight games being hosted at McKale
With five of eight at home to open up Pac-12 play, the Arizona Wildcats should be poised to stack some early wins as they head into the heart of their schedule.
After opening up at home against Arizona State, the Wildcats head back on the road as they visit Utah, Oregon, and Oregon State to complete the first two weekends of Pac-12 play.
The Wildcats then will return home as they welcome the California schools, as the LA schools roll through first as USC comes to Tucson on October 7th, and then UCLA comes to town on October 9. The following weekend welcomes Stanford (10/14), and California (10/16) before the Wildcats return to the road.
The second conference road trip is a short one, as the Wildcats look to take Pullman and Seattle by storm, as they take on Washington State, before a showdown with Washington, which has regularly become quite the battle as the Wildcats look to join the ranks among the Pac-12’s best.
The Wildcats then get into what seems more typical scheduling with the alternating Home and Away weekends as they welcome Oregon and Oregon State to the McKale Center.
The Final Stretch will determine if the Wildcats are a Tournament team in 2022
As the calendar turns to November, Dave Rubio and the Wildcats head to Hollywood for showdowns with UCLA and USC, before they return home for another showdown with the Washington schools. After squaring off with the Huskies, Washington State comes to Tucson to wrap up the season matchups with the Pacific Northwest schools.
The Wildcats then head to Northern California for their last regular season matches outside of Arizona as they take on Cal and Stanford in what very well could turn into postseason-deciding matches, as the Wildcats look to return to the NCAA Tournament.
Arizona will return home for Senior Night, and their only matchup with Colorado on the season, before wrapping up the season in Tempe against the Sun Devils.