The first varsity sporting event held on the UC Merced campus is scheduled for Sept. 22 when the Golden Bobcats host Pacific Union College in women's volleyball. The men's basketball team, meanwhile, will travel to play its first games against Westmont College on Nov. 5 and Santa Clara on Nov. 11.
Those are among the highlights on the schedules released Tuesday by UC Merced, which will join the California Pacific Conference in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in four sports this fall. Schedules for men's and women's cross country have not yet been finalized.
The women's volleyball team will begin its inaugural season at the William Jessup Tournament in Rocklin on Sept. 9 and 10. The Golden Bobcats will then return for their home opener against Pacific Union on Sept. 22 and another home match against Cal State San Marcos on Sept. 24. They'll close out the regular season on Nov. 4, at home against Menlo College.
In what has already been established as an annual tradition, the men's basketball team will kick off its season with Midnight Madness, beginning at 11 p.m. Oct. 13. Its home opener will be Nov. 19 against Fresno Pacific. Of particular note, though, is the Nov. 11 contest at Santa Clara. The Broncos, two-time champions of the West Coast Conference and alma mater of two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Steve Nash, went 24-14 last year and capped their season by winning the second annual CollegeInsider.com Post-Season Tournament in March.