Dec. 9, 2015
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The 2016 UNLV softball schedule was announced on Wednesday by fourth year head coach Lisa Dodd and features a 53-game slate, 34 of which will be played at the friendly confines of Eller Media Stadium. The season begins with six tournaments and 26 non-conference contests from Feb. 11 to March 19. Following tournament action, the Rebels will play 24 times against Mountain West foes - eight three-game series - and thrice against Oklahoma State from the Big 12 Conference.
“This season's schedule looks like it will prove to be exciting and beneficial in preparing our team for going after a Mountain West Conference Championship,” said Dodd. “We have a lot of competitive schools in our conference, so the type of preseason we play is essential in getting the team ready for that. We are excited to be able to play at home quite a bit in preseason and have a lot of quality teams joining us at those home tournaments.”
This year’s schedule features six teams - Washington, Kansas, Florida Atlantic, San Diego State, Fresno State and Nebraska – that advanced to the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Washington, ranked #21 in the 2015 USA Today/NFCA Division I Final Top 25 Poll, Kansas, Florida Atlantic and San Diego State all went 2-2 and advanced to their regional finals.
UNLV will play 29 non-conference contests against 24 opponents from 16 different conferences. The Rebels will face off against four Big 12 teams for a total of seven times with Texas Tech, Kansas and Nebraska facing UNLV in non-conference tournaments and Oklahoma State coming to Las Vegas from April 30-May 1 during a bye week from conference series. The Rebels will play two teams from the Big Sky (Southern Utah and Portland State), Conference USA (UTEP and Florida Atlantic), West Coast (Saint Mary’s and Santa Clara) and WAC (Utah Valley and Grand Canyon).
They’ll play once against the ACC (Syracuse), American (USF), Big EAST (DePaul), Big Ten (Wisconsin), Big West (UC Davis), Horizon (Valparaiso), Missouri Valley (Drake), NEC (Robert Morris), SEC (Arkansas), Southland (Lamar) and Summit (South Dakota).
UNLV will start the year at home with two straight home tournaments beginning with six games in the Sportco Kick-Off Classic on Feb. 11-15 that will feature an 18-team field. The Rebels will play five games in the DeMarini Desert Classic on Feb. 18-21. Both tournaments will be contested at both Eller Media Stadium and in nearby Henderson at Stephanie Lynn Craig Park.
After the conclusion of those two tourneys the Rebels will play at the USF Tournament on Feb. 26-27 with doubleheaders on both days in Tampa, Fla. UNLV will return home for two more tournaments with the Alexis Park Resort Classic (March 3-6) and Rebel Classic (March 10-13). The final tournament for UNLV will be the Easton Tournament on March 18-19 with three games in either Fullerton or Riverside, Calif.
The Scarlet and Grey will begin Mountain West play at San Diego State on March 24-26. Alternating the home and away series from last season, the Rebels will host Utah State (Apr. 1-3), Nevada, Reno (Apr. 15-17) and Colorado State (May 6-8) and travel to San Jose State (Mar. 29-30), Boise State (Apr. 8-10), New Mexico (Apr. 22-24) and Fresno State (May 12-14).