BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – The wait has ended and CSU Bakersfield's volleyball team is prepared to kick off the 2017 season this weekend. The Roadrunners will compete in three matches over two days as a part of the Arkansas Tournament, Aug. 25-26.

“We are trying to focus on the process this season,” said Giovana Melo, Director of Volleyball at CSUB. “We have a very young team, so, we are focusing on getting better each day. I have very high expectations for them, but we are taking one step at a time.”

Melo went on to comment on the Arkansas Tournament this weekend and her squad's preparedness for NCAA Division I competition: “I feel good about it. It will be a very challenging tournament for us, but I am excited to watch them compete.”

The `Runners will open the 2017 campaign on Aug. 25 with a single match against tournament host Arkansas. The Razorbacks are coming off of a 2016 season in which they went 9-21, but finished the season 5-1 in their final six games.

CSUB will compete against Utah State Saturday morning before wrapping up the tournament against Louisiana-Monroe. The Aggies return four starters from their squad that went 14-16 in 2016 while ULM hopes to rebound from a 9-25 year this season.

Bakersfield has a relatively new squad with 10 newcomers joining a cast of six veteran `Runners for the 2017 season. The `Runners boast more height on the roster than in several years past with nine student-athletes measuring at six feet or taller. CSUB has a good mix of youth and experience with eight upperclassmen and eight underclassmen, which will prove well for this season as well as years to come.

The first match of the year is scheduled for a 7 p.m. (CT) first serve in Fayetteville, Ark. on Friday against the host school. The `Runners will return to the gym Saturday to face USU at 10 a.m. (CT) before closing out the weekend against ULM at 5 p.m. (CT). Live stats are available for all three matches and can be found at this link.