Daniel Sipocz

The Shondell era may not have officially started on the court yet, but the 2010 Ball State women's volleyball team will have the opportunity to break through with its first winning season in five years.

"I'm very pleased with the schedule," coach Steve Shondell said. "This is all kind of foreign to me having never coached against any of these teams, but I like the schedule. I'm glad that we play at home the second weekend."

While the schedule has not been released by the Ball State Athletic Department, the Daily News has learned that Ball State will have 12 non conference opponents in 2010.This year's scheduled is highlighted with a Cardinals' appearance at the University of North Carolina's Tar Heel Classic September 17 and 18. In the Tar Heel Classic the Cardinals will meet North Carolina, Temple University and Appalachian State University.

"Both my brothers have coached at North Carolina and have said that it's a great place to play," Shondell said. "They have the athletic tradition and history that makes for a great atmosphere in addition to a big arena. Playing against an ACC opponent, particularly North Carolina is the highlight of our schedule."

The Cardinals will kick the season off on the road in Edwardsville, Ill., participating in the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Classic. Ball State will be challenged by the hosts SIUE, Indiana State University and The Citadel on August 27 and 28.

Ball State will then return home to host the Active Ankle Challenge once again. This year's field does not have any big name opponents such as the University of Louisville last season. The 2010 edition, September 3 and 4, of the Active Ankle Challenge will include Robert Morris University, Tennessee State University and Oakland University.

"With this team it will be important to win our own tournament. Its more about winning and gaining confidence and showing our fans that we can win our own tournament more than anything," Shondell said. "I'm pleased with our the teams in our tournament even though we don't have a big name team. You can't always bring in a Louisville."

Two road matches and a home match fall between the Active Ankle Challenge and the Tar Heel Classic. Ball State will host IUPUI on September 7 and then travel to Wright State University and IPFW on September 11 and 14 respectively.

Ball State will begin the Mid-American Conference schedule on September 24 at Northern Illinois and swinging north to Western Michigan on the 25.


2010 Ball State Schedule:

SIUE Classic at SIU Edwardsville :

Aug. 27 the Citadel 4 p.m.
Aug. 28 Indiana State 11 a.m.
Aug. 28 @ SIUE 7 p.m.

Active Ankle Challenge at Ball State:

Sept. 3 Tennessee State 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 4 Robert Morris 2:30 p.m.
Sept. 4 Oakland 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 7 IUPUI 7 p.m.
Sept. 11 @ IPFW 7 p.m.
Sept. 14 @ Wright State 4 p.m.

Tar Heel Classic at North Carolina:

Sept. 17 @ UNC 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 18 Temple 11 a.m.
Sept. 18 Appalachian State 5:30 p.m.

Sept. 24 @ Northern Illinois 8 p.m.
Sept. 25 @ Western Michigan 7 p.m.
Oct. 1 Central Michigan 7 p.m.
Oct. 2 Eastern Michigan 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 @ Toledo 7 p.m.
Oct. 9 @ Buffalo 7 p.m.
Oct. 15 Ohio 7 p.m.
Oct. 16 Kent State 7 p.m.
Oct. 22 @ Miami 7 p.m.
Oct. 23 @ Bowling Green 7 p.m.
Oct. 29 Western Michigan 7 p.m.
Oct. 30 Northern Illinois 7 p.m.
Nov. 5 @ Eastern Michigan 7 p.m.
Nov. 6 @ Central Michigan 7 p.m.
Nov. 11 Toledo 7 p.m.
Nov. 13 Akron 7 p.m.

MAC Tournament:

Nov. 16-21