Western Carolina’s volleyball team will open its season at 7 p.m. Friday against Georgia State at the Georgia State Invitational.

The Lady Cats will continue the event Saturday facing Fordham at 10 a.m. and Lamar at 4 p.m.

The team will play 16 of its first 17 matches on the road. The only exception will be a contest with UNC-Asheville on Sept. 17 at the Ramsey Center.

Coach Karen Glover has several players returning from a squad that went 12-16 overall and tied for seventh among nine teams in the Southern Conference at 6-10.

Merry Gebel was named to the league’s all-freshman team last season when she led the squad in kills (290) and digs (304).

Seniors Abigail Veit and Aleah Keaton were second and third on the team with 259 and 179 kills, respectively. Veit was also second with 292 digs.

Junior Hannah Price was tops in assists (525) and second in digs (186) a year ago.

The schedule is as follows:

Aug. 30 – at Georgia State; 31 – Fordham and Lamar at Georgia State.

Sept. 6 – Cal State Fullerton and Tennessee State at Chicago State; 7 – Alabama State at Chicago State; 12 – at Appalachian State; 13 – Iowa State and N.C. State at ASU; 17 – UNC-Asheville; 20 – Drake and N.C. A&T at UNC-Wilmington; 21 – at UNC-W; 27 – at UNC-Greensboro; 28 – at Furman.

Oct. 4 – at Mercer; 5 – at UT-Chattanooga; 11 – Citadel; 12 – Wofford; 16 – East Tennessee; 19 – at Samford; 25 – UNC-G; 26 – Furman.

Nov. 1 – UT-C; 2 – Mercer; 8 – at Wofford; 9 – at Citadel; 13 – at ETSU; 15 – Samford; 22-24 – Southern Conference Tournament at Wofford.