BROOKLINE, Mass. - If you want to be the best, then you have to beat the best and that cliche will be in full effect on Opening Night for men's volleyball as they welcome No. 8 Wentworth Institute of Technology to Pappas Gymnasium to begin their 2018 campaign.
The Nighthawks look to build off their 2017 season when they finished 10-16 and 4-8 in the New England Collegiate Conference. The 10-wins were the most in a season for the Nighthawks since 2011 and their appearance in the NECC Semifinals was their first appearance in that round since 2015.
The Nighthawks return with three players from last season's team. Senior Joshua Thorne will anchor the Newbury attack, junior Cesar Cruz will continue his defensive specialist role while sophomore Oscar Chavez changes roles from setter to outside hitter.
Following Opening Night against Wentworth, the Nighthawks make the short trip to Emmanuel for a tri-match with the Saints and Ramapo College. The Nighthawks and Saints haven't played since 2015 while the Nighthawks are 2-6 all-time against Ramapo.
Another tri-match awaits to kick off February for Newbury. The Nighthawks will face CCNY and Sarah Lawrence on Feb. 3. The Nighthawks return home after nearly two weeks on the road when they face Emerson College on Feb. 6.
Road matches at Mount Ida on Valentine's Day and Emerson on Feb. 17 are next on the schedule. The Nighthawks finished 0-2 against both teams last season.
The conference schedule gets underway on Feb. 21 against Eastern Nazarene College at Pappas Gymnasium. The Lions will look to avenge their loss in the NECC Quarterfinals to the Nighthawks last season.
Southern Vermont and Endicott finish the February slate for the Nighthawks. Endicott enters the season as the preseason favorite to repeat in the NECC.
The only home tri-match for the Nighthawks starts the March schedule as NECC foe Dean and Mount Ida come to Pappas on March 3.
The Nighthawks then play three consecutive away from home, all in the NECC, starting March 7 at Lesley, followed by March 13 at Elms, then March 17 at Eastern Nazarene.
Newbury returns home on March 21 to face Southern Vermont before heading out on the road again for a March 24 match at Endicott and March 27 match at Dean.
A two-game homestand finishes the regular-season for the Nighthawks starting with a March 31 game against Lesley, followed by the season finale on April 7 against Elms.