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Longhorns to begin season at tournament in Honolulu
The defending national champion Longhorns begin the season at the Rainbow Wahine Invitational in Honolulu, where they will face Hawaii, Texas-El Paso and San Diego on Saturday. Senior Sarah Palmer and sophomore Kat Brooks will return home for the invitational; they were raised in Kailua and Honolulu, respectively.
The Longhorns own a 33-6 all-time record in season openers and a 10-2 mark under head coach Jerritt Elliott. The 2013 season marks the first time since 2009 that the Longhorns opened the season on the road. That same season, Texas defeated No. 4 Hawaii 3-1 (25-11, 25-22, 22-25, 25-11) for its fourth consecutive win of the season.
The Nittany Lions will open the 2013 slate in the Penn State Invitational. Penn State kicks off the campaign playing host to Dabrowa, a professional team from Poland, in an exhibition Friday, before taking on Syracuse and No. 19 Louisville on Saturday.
Penn State is 28-6 in season openers under the guidance of head coach Russ Rose. In 2012, the Lions knocked off Morehead State 3-0 in the first match of the season. The last time Penn State lost a season opener was 2011, when it lost to Oregon, marking the first season-opening loss since 2005. Penn State has also never opened a single campaign in program history with an 0-2 mark.
This weekend is also the first time the Nittany Lions will open the season at home in six years. In 2007, Penn State defeated Texas 3-1, kicking off the start of an eventual national championship campaign.
Stanford opens the season at UC Santa Barbara on Friday. The Cardinal, ranked No. 3 entering the season, return all of their starters from last year’s squad which appeared in its 32nd consecutive NCAA tournament, reaching the regional finals for the eighth time under head coach John Dunning.
Stanford has captured the Pac-12 title in six of the past seven seasons and has its sights set on another conference championship in 2013. In total, Stanford will play 10 matches against teams ranked in the preseason top 25.
Michigan starts the 2013 season on Friday against Clemson at the Xavier Invitational.
The Wolverines have a program-best three players on the preseason All-Big Ten team, as seniors Lexi Erwin and Jennifer Cross, and junior Lexi Dannemiller were named to the 14-player squad.
No. 10 Nebraska begins the 2013 season this weekend at the Marcia E. Hamilton Classic hosted by Saint Louis. The Huskers will open the weekend with a match against Louisiana-Monroe on Friday. Nebraska will then take on Auburn at 10 a.m. ET Saturday before facing Saint Louis at 7 p.m.
Friday’s meeting will be the first between the Huskers and Louisiana-Monroe.
The Huskers hold a 2-0 record against Saint Louis, the last meeting coming in 2012 when Nebraska won in three sets (25-13, 25-17, 25-18).
Nebraska and Auburn have met just once, with the Huskers leading the all-time series 1-0. The Huskers faced the Tigers in the second round of the 2011 NCAA tournament, winning in three sets (25-10, 25-17, 25-15).