ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The UNC Asheville volleyball team plays its home opener when the Bulldogs host mountain rival Western Carolina at Justice Center Tuesday night starting at 7 p.m. The match will be video-streamed and can be seen at


A young Asheville (1-7) team is off to tough start to the 2012 season but a tough schedule has been a big reason for some of the early losses. The Bulldogs went 1-3 this past weekend at the Tiger Invitational at Savannah State.


Second-year coach Frederico Santos knows the season is a long one and this year has just started.


"We have a young team, and we're learning in every match," stated Santos. "Our team just has to stay focused and be ready to get better with each match."


After travelling to Savannah this past weekend, Asheville is pleased to be playing in the Justice Center tonight.


"It's exciting to be home," commented Santos. "We love to play in Justice Center and I believe being at home is going to really help us. I know our freshmen will really like playing at home.  Tuesday will be a fun match.


Like the Bulldogs, Western Carolina has faced a tough schedule in the early going. The Lady Catamounts are 2-4 on the year.


The teams played twice last year with each squad winning at home in four sets.


"Western Carolina has a good team," declared Santos. "We had two great matches with them last year, and I expect another close match Tuesday night."


Asheville is back on the road this weekend when it travels to Greensboro for the Spartan-Aggie Invitational. The Bulldogs will battle UNC Greensboro, North Carolina A&T and American on Friday and Saturday.