Volleyball Release 2012 Schedule By Rudy Roediger | July 13, 2012 | RSS BLUEFIELD, Va. – Bluefield College volleyball head coach Brian Votaw released the Ram’s 2012 schedule on Friday. The schedule which opens Sept. 7 features seven home matches scheduled to be played at the Dome Gymnasium on BC’s campus, with the remaining 32 matches played in Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia. (Schedule) “We are very excited about the upcoming season. We have a lot of returners and newcomers, and we believe this is the first year of a turnaround at Bluefield,” said Votaw. Bluefield’s 2012 schedule will be its first in 10 years away from the Appalachian Athletic Conference where they were a founding member, features 15 contests in September and 18 in October before wrapping up the regular season with a loan game in November. Of the Rams 33 regular season contests, Bluefield will play 14 neutral site, and seven home contests. Those home matches will take place at the Rams longtime home, the Dome Gymnasium where the Rams went a respectable 7-10 in Votaw’s first season a year ago. Bluefield experienced its best season in 1998 when the Rams went 37-8, finished second in the Tennessee-Virginia Athletic Conference, and finished runner-up in the NAIA Mid-South Regional Championship after defeating the top-seed and NAIA No. 20 Georgetown (KY). In the seven seasons prior to the Mount Vernon Nazareene graduate arriving to guide the program, Bluefield had won just 23.3 percent (49-161) of its games. Votaw led the U15 Club Mintonette to the National Title in 2011 before arriving on College Avenue expects his first recruiting class to start the rebirth of the once proud program. “We have the potential and ability to play well, and compete with just about everyone we play. It will depend on how we play with four or five first-year players potentially playing at the same time," Votaw said. “Our goals are to be competitive in every game and hopefully make a splash in the Mid-South Conference and do well in the NCCAA Regionals. Our dream goal would be to get to the NCCAA Nationals, but that is a lofty goal.” The 2012 schedule under Votaw kicks-off with BC traveling to Owensboro, Ky., to play in the Kentucky Wesleyan Tournament on Friday, Sept. 7 and Saturday, Sept. 8. The Rams will return to Bluefield to the friendly confines of the Dome for its first Mid-South Conference match on Tuesday Sept. 11 when the Highland Cavaliers of UVA-Wise come to town for a 6 p.m. start. After playing at West Virginia Tech in Montgomery, W. Va., on Sept. 13, the Rams return to host a pair of NCAA-II opponents in Bluefield State (WV), and Charleston (WV) on Sept. 15 and 20 respectively. Friday Sept. 21 sees the Rams travel to Bristol, Va., to face Virginia Intermont and St. Andrews (NC) before making the 120 mile drive to Pikeville, Ky., for a pair of matches against Pikeville and Midway (KY) the next day. The Rams return to Bluefield for a MSC match against the RedStorm of Rio Grande (OH) on Tuesday, Sept. 25 with a primetime 6 p.m. opening serve at the Dome. Thursday, Sept. 27 sees BC start an eight-match road swing with games in Berea, Ky., Columbia, Ky., Portsmouth, Ohio, and Bluefield, W. Va., which includes four MSC games. The Red, White & Blue returns to the Dome on Wednesday, Oct. 10, after 13 days away from Bluefield when they host West Virginia Tech at 6 p.m. After six days off from competition BC heads to Wise, Va., on Tuesday, Oct. 16, to face the Highland Cavaliers of UVA-Wise before heading to Athens, W. Va. to face Concord the following day. The Rams return to Wise, Va., for a trio of matches on Friday and Saturday when they face St. Catharine (KY), Cumberland (KY), and Georgetown (KY) who they defeated in that historic 1998 NAIA Mid-South Regional Tournament. BC hosts its final two matches on Monday Oct. 22 when Appalachian Bible (WV) and MSC foe Pikeville (KY) come to the Dome for a 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. respective starts. Bluefield heads back on the road for its final seven regular season contests when they travel Pippa Passa, Ky., to face Hiwassee (TN) and Alice Lloyd (KY) on Oct. 25 before heading the 150 miles to Midway, Ky., for a tournament on Friday and Saturday Oct. 26-27 at Midway College. The Red, White & Blue then makes a two game trip to Ohio to face MSC opponents Rio Grande and Shawnee State on Oct. 30 and Nov. 5 to conclude the regular season. Those final two games could be most important as URG and SSU finished in the top two spots of the MSC East Division last season. This season the MSC will feature a 10 team conference without seperate divisions. The Mid-South Conference Tournament will run Nov. 9-10. NOTES FROM THE RIDGE…. BC: Bluefield College is a small, private, Christian liberal arts institution located on 82 acres of land in the beautiful mountains of Southwestern Virginia offering 22 majors with 61 percent of faculty holding Doctorate degrees and 94 percent of its students earning financial aid. RAMS: As part of its educational experience, the college fields 15 teams in its intercollegiate athletic program, including seven for men (baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, and tennis) and eight for women (basketball, cheerleading, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball). MID-SOUTH: Bluefield College is entering its first season as a member of the Mid-South Conference (MSC), which is affiliated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The MSC is a 16-member conference that offers championships in 17 sports, featuring schools in six states that have combined for 17 national championships with teams from Belhaven (MS), Bethel (TN), Bluefield (VA), Campbellsville (KY), Cumberland (TN), Faulkner (AL), Georgetown (KY), Kentucky Christian, Lindsey Wilson (KY), Shawnee State (OH), St. Catharine (KY), Union (KY), Pikeville (KY), Rio Grande (OH), Cumberlands (KY), Virginia-Wise (VA).