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Wesmen Volleyball to open conference season on home floor

Wesmen Volleyball to open conference season on home floor

DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics

Winnipeg Wesmen volleyball teams will get to start their Canada West conference seasons on their home floor.

The conference officially released its 2019-20 conference schedule on Monday and the UWinnipeg men and women will open the campaign with a rare Saturday-Sunday doubleheader against the UBC Thunderbirds Oct. 19-20 at the Duckworth Centre.

The Wesmen will play a pair of home-and-home series in the first semester against in-province rivals Brandon and Manitoba. Winnipeg will visit Brandon Nov. 7 before the return engagement on Nov. 9, and the Wesmen and Bisons will meet in the annual Duckworth Challenge matches Nov. 22 at the Duckworth Centre, before heading to the U of M on Nov. 23.

The Wesmen women will play six conference matches at home in the first semester and six in the second semester. The women's team plays two more matches than the men due to the University of Regina not having a men's program. The UWinnipeg men's team will have a bye week Nov. 29-30 when the Wesmen women host the Cougars.

Both Wesmen teams will have bye weeks on the weekend of Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2020.

Both teams will make two West Coast road trips — Oct. 25-26 at Trinity Western and Jan. 10-11 at UBC-Okanagan — and will be in the province of Alberta twice, first Nov. 15-16 at Alberta and later Feb. 14-15 at Mount Royal to close the conference season.

The Wesmen will welcome two B.C. schools into the Duckworth Centre with UBC in the opener and Thompson Rivers visiting on Jan. 3-4, 2020.

Playoffs are slated to begin Feb. 21.

Wesmen Athletics also officially released details of its non-conference schedules Monday as well.

The Wesmen women will host their Unruh Realty Volleyball Challenge Sept. 27-29 and the Wesmen Classic Dec. 28-30. Teams attending those tournaments will be announced at a later date.

The Wesmen men will play in two non-conference tournaments first at Brandon Sept. 27-29 and then at Manitoba Oct. 4-6.

After flying to Halifax to play at Dalhousie last non-conference season, the Wesmen will welcome the Tigers to Winnipeg for a pair of matches Oct. 2 and 3.