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Golden Bobcats set first intercollegiate schedule

POSTED July 22, 2011 9:01 p.m.

The University of California Merced Golden Bobcats recently released its first official varsity athletic schedule.

The Bobcats’ first sports contest ever is scheduled for Sept. 9 when the women’s volleyball team is scheduled to participate in the William Jessup University Tournament in Rocklin. The first UC Merced home contest is set for Sept. 22 against Pacific Union College.

Men’s basketball tips off its inaugural season on Nov. 5 against Westmont College and the team’s first home game is scheduled for Nov. 19 versus Fresno Pacific, which recently joined the Division II ranks.

In what has already been established as an annual tradition, the men's basketball team will kick off its season with Midnight Madness, beginning at 11 p.m. Oct. 13.

The basketball team will face its biggest test when it travels to Santa Clara University on Nov. 11. The Broncos, two-time champions of the West Coast Conference and alma mater of two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Steve Nash, went 24-14 last year and capped their season by winning the second annual CollegeInsider.com Post-Season Tournament in March.

"Going into the Leavey Center in Santa Clara, facing a team of that caliber and in that environment, will be an incredible experience for our young athletes and our fans," Dunham said. "And we're looking forward to a challenging conference schedule, which will be a great litmus test for our fledgling program."

This year men’s and women’s cross country will join men’s basketball and women’s volleyball in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. UC Merced will join the California Pacific Conference. Schedules for the cross country teams have not been finalized.

"This will be a momentous year for UC Merced as we begin building the foundation for what we hope will be a vibrant athletics program with a rich tradition," said David Dunham, director of recreation and athletics. "That tradition begins now, and our future success will depend on the hard work put in by our athletes, coaches and staff, as well as support from the community."

In the fall of 2012, women’s basketball and either men’s or women’s soccer will be phased into the UC Merced athletic lineup.

To contact Jonathan McCorkell, e-mail jmccorkell@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2015 ext 2015.

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