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June 29, 2007
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The USC Upstate volleyball team will usher in the Division I Era for the University as the first team to play a regular season Division I contest when the Spartans host the USC Upstate Invitational Aug. 24-25 at the Hodge Center. The tournament kicks off the 2007 season as Upstate moves into Division I and the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Upstate will play 29 matches this season, including a full A-Sun slate. The Spartans open the season against Savannah State at 2:00 p.m. in the USC Upstate Invitational and plays Navy that night at 7:00. The day kicks off the season in which Upstate will also play in two tournaments away from home at UNC Asheville and South Carolina State.
Upstate will play a full A-Sun schedule in 2007, taking on 11 conference opponents. The A-Sun is made up of 12 schools in five different states (Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida) and several major television markets (Nashville, Atlanta, Jacksonville, and Orlando). Upstate will play home matches against North Florida, Jacksonville, East Tennessee State, Gardner-Webb, Mercer, and Kennesaw State. The Spartans will hit the road in league play at Belmont (Nashville, Tenn.), Lipscomb (Nashville, Tenn.), Florida Gulf Coast (Ft. Myers, Fla.), Stetson (DeLand, Fla.), and Campbell (Buies Creek, N.C.).
The non-conference portion of the schedule finds Upstate playing home contests against Navy, Wofford, Winston-Salem State, Savannah State, Presbyterian, and UNC Asheville. The Spartans will play Western Carolina, UNC Asheville, Georgia, South Carolina State, Hampton, Savannah State, Presbyterian, The Citadel, Winston-Salem State, and Savannah State away from the Hodge Center.
Upstate finished the 2006 season with a 23-11 record, the eighth time in 11 seasons under head coach Jennifer Calloway that the Spartans have posted 20 or more wins. Under Calloway, Upstate made back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament in 2000 and 2001, the only two NCAA Tournament appearances in the history of the program.