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ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Four in-season tournaments plus eight home matches at Justice Center highlights the 2012 UNC Asheville volleyball schedule that was announced today by second-year Bulldog coach Frederico Santos.

"We face some new teams in our pre-conference schedule that should help us prepare for the rigors of the Big South Conference," commented Santos. "I think we have a nice schedule with a good mix of teams. Every match will be a challenge, but it is a challenge we welcome."

Asheville opens the 2012 season in Columbia, S.C. at the Gamecock Invitational (Aug. 24-25). The Bulldogs face ETSU and Akron (Aug. 24) the first day of the tourney before battling Temple and South Carolina the next day (Aug 25).

The following weekend (Aug. 31-Sept. 1) has Asheville traveling to Savannah for the Tiger Invitational on the campus of Savannah State. The Bulldogs play New Mexico of the Mountain West Conference and Savannah State on Aug. 31. Asheville battles Maryland Eastern Shore and Southern Utah on Sept. 1.

The Bulldogs first home match at Justice Center will be with mountain rival Western Carolina on Sept. 4.

Asheville's third tournament of the season is in Greensboro as the Bulldogs compete in the Spartan-Aggie Invitational (Sept. 7-8). The Bulldogs play at UNC Greensboro (Sept. 7) and vs. American and at North Carolina A&T the following day (Sept.  8).

The final tournament for Asheville comes at Charlotte when the Bulldogs participate in the Hilton University 49er Invitational (Sept. 14-15). Santos' club takes on Towson of the American East Conference (Sept. 14) on the first day before facing Charlotte and Kennesaw State (Sept. 15).

Big South Conference play begins on Sept. 21 when Asheville travels to Gardner-Webb. The Bulldogs first two home conference matches will be with Radford (Sept. 28) and defending Big South Conference champion Liberty (Sept. 29).

The October schedule is highlighted by a three-game homestand against league opponents. Asheville hosts Gardner-Webb (Oct. 12), Charleston Southern (Oct. 19) and Coastal Carolina (Oct. 20).  In November, the Bulldogs entertain Presbyterian College (Nov. 2) and Winthrop (Nov. 3) for their final home matches of the season.

Asheville finishes up the regular season with road matches at Liberty (Nov. 9) and Radford (Nov. 10). The Big South Conference championship will be played at Gardner-Webb (Nov. 15-18).