By Andrew Glover, Wiley College Sports Information Director,
The Wiley College volleyball team will open its 2022 campaign on August 19 in Oklahoma City as it revealed its schedule, which features 30 matches – including 10 at Alumni Gymnasium.
The Lady Wildcats enter their first season in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference and open the season with the “Battle of the ‘Boro” Tournament hosted by Mid-America Christian and the University of Oklahoma Science & Arts in Oklahoma City and Chickasha, Oklahoma. On August 19, it will face the host Mid-America Christian and Oklahoma City University. On August 20, it will face Oklahoma Wesleyan and the host Science & Arts.
On September 2 and 3, Wiley College will compete in Lyon College’s Highlander Invitational. It will play the host and Haskell Indian Nations University on September 2 and former Red River Athletic Conference foe Huston-Tillotson University on September 3.
“I’m wanting to get our ladies ready for conference play,” head coach Nancy Sikobe said. “I’ve scheduled teams that will give us good competition.
The Lady Wildcats will open their home schedule on August 27 against RRAC school Texas A&M University-Texarkana – which is competing in its first season. They will also host Paul Quinn College on September 15. Wiley College will also play three matches against National Collegiate Athletic Association programs. It plays a home-and-home against NCAA Division III school Centenary College with a road match on September 13 and a home match on October 5. The Lady Wildcats play NCAA Division III program LeTourneau University on October 18.
In its inaugural season in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference, Wiley College will have to adjust to a pod-play schedule after primarily playing a home-and-home conference schedule in the RRAC. It will travel to Fisk University (October 1), Oakwood University (October 8 and 9) and Dillard University (October 15 and 16). The Lady Wildcats will host the final pod on October 22 and 23. They will play Dillard University and Oakwood University on the first day and Tougaloo College on the second day. A home-and-home against Philander Smith College with a home match on October 13 and a road match on October 29 will round out the conference schedule.
“We need to emphasize our fitness,” Sikobe said. “We have days we are playing multiple matches in a row. We are used to doing it in the conference tournament but not in regular season conference play. This is going to be a huge adjustment. I’m glad the College allowed us to come in early and work on our fitness. When the time comes we will be ready physically and mentally.”
The Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament will be November 4 and 5. The location is to be determined. The Lady Wildcats are coming off an eight-win season – reaching the Red River Athletic Conference semifinals. They return eight players from last season’s squad including Second Team All-Conference selections Marissa Neal and Hailie Williams. Alia Scott, who helped Wiley College win the 2018 RRAC title and was a Second Team All-Conference selection in 2019 returns. Sikobe brought in four freshmen recruits and one transfer.