The Vikings are looking to get into the postseason for the first time under third-year Head Coach Barb Sherwood in 2016 after missing it the past two years. A tough non-conference slate will get Portland State prepared for a Big Sky Conference season full of parity.
The Vikings will play eight games against Power 5 Conference opponents from the ACC, Big 10, and Pac-12 during their non-conference slate. They will play 10 games against NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago including two against the University of Oregon, which earned the No. 2 overall seed in last year’s tournament. The Vikings will play 53 games in total, 32 against non-conference opponents and 21 against Big Sky regular season foes.
Portland State opens the season Friday, Feb. 12 against Stanford at the Kajikawa Classic (Feb. 12-14) hosted by Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz. It will be the eighth consecutive season that the Vikings have opened at the Kajikawa. The opening weekend gauntlet will not end with Stanford, as the Vikings take on Wisconsin, Utah, San Diego, and host ASU over the three-day tournament.
The Vikings will spend the second weekend of the season at the DeMarini Desert Classic (Feb. 19-21) hosted by UNLV in Las Vegas, Nev. Portland State will open with CSUN of the Big West Conference before taking on four-straight Mountain West opponents in Colorado State, Nevada, San Jose State, and UNLV.
The third week brings the Vikings’ longest road trip of the season as they head to the Aloha state for the Hawaii Invitational (Feb. 26-28) hosted by the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. The Vikings will open the invitational with the first of five meetings this season against Utah Valley. Portland State will face the Wolverines three times in Hawaii and then again in a doubleheader on May 4 in Hillsboro. The Vikings will also face Hawaii twice over the weekend.
Portland State will head back to the sun for its fourth tournament in four weeks when the Vikings head to sunny San Diego for the San Diego Classic I (March 4-6) co-hosted by San Diego and San Diego State. The Vikings will take on both hosts on the weekend along with Pittsburgh, Illinois-Chicago, and Grand Canyon.
The final non-conference tournament for the Vikings will come at the Saint Mary’s Tournament II (March 11-13) hosted by Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif. It will be the Vikings’ first trip back to Moraga since sweeping the Gaels in a best-of-three series to clinch the 2012 Pacific Coast Softball Conference Tournament Championship and earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The Vikings will play the Gales once along with Manhattan College twice and Towson twice.
After five straight weeks on the road to open the season, the Vikings will get a much deserved week off before opening their home slate with a doubleheader against Seattle on Tuesday, March 22. The games against the Redhawks will be the first two of 13 home games for the Vikings at the Gordon Faber Recreation Complex. The Vikings went 6-9 at home last season, their first at the new field.
Portland State’s much anticipated Big Sky Conference regular season opens at home against defending Big Sky Tournament champion Weber State (March 25-26). The final game of the three-game series on March 26 will be the Vikings’ Military Appreciation Day.
The Vikings will then hit the road for five-straight games. They head to Cedar City, Utah for a three-game series against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds (April 1-2). Portland State will then head to Eugene, Ore. for a doubleheader with the Oregon Ducks on Tuesday, April 5. It will be the first for the Vikings in Oregon’s new Jane Sanders Stadium.
Portland State returns home for another three-game conference series with North Dakota (April 8-9). The series against UND will be Alumni Weekend for the Vikings.
Portland State heads into a stretch of seven consecutive road games with a mid-week game against Oregon State on Tuesday, April 5 in Corvallis, Ore.
Portland State continues its stretch of road games by heading to Missoula, Mont. for a three-game set with the Montana Grizzlies (April 16-17). The next stop is Greeley, Colo. for three games against the Northern Colorado Bears (April 22-23).
Defending Big Sky regular season champion Idaho State comes to Hillsboro for three-games April 29-30. The final game of the series with the Bengals will be Senior Day for the Vikings, honoring seven seniors who will be playing in their final home conference game.
The Vikings conclude their home schedule with a non-conference doubleheader against Utah Valley on Wednesday, May 4.
Portland State concludes regular season play on the road with a three-game conference series at Sacramento State (May 6-7).
The Big Sky Conference Tournament will expand from four to six teams in 2016 and will be hosted by the regular season champion. It will be double-elimination tournament held over four days. The winner will earn the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Non-Conference Opponents by Conference (32 Games)
ACC (1) – Pittsburgh (1)
Big 10 (1) – Wisconsin (1)
Big West (3) – CSUN (1), Hawaii (2)
CAA (2) – Towson (2)
Horizon (1) – Illinois-Chicago (1)
MAAC (2) – Manhattan (2)
Mountain West (5) – Colorado State (1), Nevada (1), San Diego State (1), San Jose State (1), UNLV (1)
Pac-12 (6) – Arizona State (1), Oregon (2), Oregon State (1), Stanford (1), Utah (1)
WAC (8) – Grand Canyon (1), Seattle (2), Utah Valley (5)
West Coast (3) – San Diego (2), Saint Mary’s (1)
Games vs. Power 5 Conference Teams – 8 (ACC, Big 10, Pac-12)
Games vs. 2015 NCAA Tournament Teams – 10 (Arizona State, CSUN, Oregon, Pittsburgh, San Diego State, Utah, Weber State)
Most Games vs. One Opponent – 5 (Utah Valley)
Most Games vs. One Conference – 8 (WAC)
Total Games – 53
Conference Games – 21
Non-Conference Games – 32
Home Games – 13
Road Games – 22
Neutral Site Games – 18