The defending champions of the South Central region have announced their 2019 schedule, which is set to begin with an AVCA Top 25 showdown in Florida.
Last year, Tarleton finished with a program-best 32 victories and won the program's first regional championship to advance to the NCAA Elite Eight tournament. Tarleton finished the year ranked No. 9 in the final national poll by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
Tarleton will open the season on the road for the first time since 2016 by traveling to two of the most elite tournaments in the country. The Tarleton Volleyball team, who will take the court under the united name Texans for the first time in program history, will begin the season in West Palm Beach, Florida with three consecutive matches against nationally-ranked teams from last year's final AVCA poll. The Texans will open against tournament host No. 13 Palm Beach Atlantic on September 6 and finish out the first tournament with No. 22 Cal State-Los Angeles, No. 4 Cal State-Bernardino and Adelphi.
In the second week of the season, Tarleton will head to Denver, Colorado to take part in the Colorado Premier Invitational. This will be Tarleton's second invitation to compete in the country's top Division II tournament.
The Texans will begin pool play on Sept. 13 against No. 8 Southwest Minnesota State and tournament host Metro State. After pool play, Tarleton will play two games of bracket play depending on the results of the pool matches.
Tarleton will make its home debut on September 20 against new Lone Star Conference rival St. Edward's at 6 p.m. The match against St. Edward's will begin a run of single matches over the remainder of the regular season.
With the addition of the new volleyball teams into the Lone Star Conference - St. Mary's, St. Edward's, Arkansas-Fort Smith, Lubbock Christian, Dallas Baptist, Oklahoma Christian, UT-Tyler and Texas A&M International - the league will be divided into three pods. Each pod will serve as its own division of league play. At the end of the regular season, each pod will crown a champion and the conference tournament host will be determined by a set of rules. The exact details of the new conference alignment have not yet been made available by the Lone Star Conference.
Tarleton will host 11 matches inside Wisdom Gym, including non-conference showdowns between West Texas A&M and Texas A&M-Commerce on Oct. 25-26. The Texans will be on the road Homecoming weekend (Oct. 19) but will be hosting St. Edward's (Sept. 20) and St. Mary's (Sept. 21) on Family Weekend in Stephenville.