@MemphisVolley Announces 2014 Schedule
May 20, 2014
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis volleyball program announced their 2014 fall schedule Tuesday afternoon. The team will play in four pre-conference tournaments, hosting one at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
"We wanted to create a balanced schedule during our non-conference play," head coach April Jauregui said. "I wanted to challenge our team right from the start. In our opening weekend we will play SEC foe Alabama, a team that made the 2013 NCAA Tournament. We will play three other SEC schools early in the season in Ole Miss, Mississippi State and the University of Tennessee. I do not want to shy away from tough competition and I feel this preseason schedule will give our team the experience they need for conference play."
The Tigers will start the year on the road, Aug. 29-30, when they travel to the Saint Louis Tournament. They'll play the host Billikens, the aforementioned Alabama and Southeast Missouri during the two day tournament.
The team will return to Memphis for their lone home tournament Sept. 5 and 6, hosting Ole Miss, UT Martin and Arkansas State. The Tigers will face off against Ole Miss on Friday evening before playing UT Martin and Arkansas State on Saturday.
Returning to the road the following weekend, the Tigers will travel to Starkville, Mississippi, to take part in the Mississippi State tournament Sept. 12-13. Playing four games in two days, the Tigers will battle Nicholls State, Mississippi State, Northwestern State and South Alabama.
Memphis will remain on the road the following weekend as they travel to Knoxville, Tennessee, for the final pre-conference weekend of the season. The Tigers will face another four-game in two day slate, facing off against Mercer, Tennessee, Montana State and Austin Peay.
"Our conference will be a battle night in and night out," Jauregui said. "There are no easy games on the schedule. We picked up three very strong Conference USA teams that will add more parity to the conference. We have set our goals high for the season. We know as a team what we want to accomplish, however we cannot lose sight of the game in front of us. It should be a thrilling ride!"
The Tigers will play 20 conference matches during the 2014 season, playing each team twice, once at home and once on the road. They will begin with one of the previously mentioned former C-USA team, Tulane, on the road Friday, Sept. 26. They'll complete their first conference weekend traveling to Houston, for a Sunday, Sept. 28 game.
The first home conference games of the season at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse will come Friday, Oct. 3 against Tulsa, with SMU coming to town Sunday, Oct. 5.
The Tigers will face UCF and USF Oct. 17 and 19 respectively, as the two Florida teams in The American travel to Memphis. Temple will finish the month in Memphis, with a game Friday, Oct. 31 before UConn visits the Elma Roane Fieldhouse Sunday, Nov. 2.
The Tigers will have four straight home games in the middle of November starting with Houston on Friday, Nov. 14 when they face off against the Cougars for the second time in the season. Memphis will face off against Tulane on Sunday, Nov. 16. The final home weekend will start Friday, Nov. 19 when Memphis welcomes Cincinnati, with senior day Sunday, Nov. 21 against East Carolina. The Tigers will wrap up the season on the road in Florida with two games bookending Thanksgiving day. First facing USF on Wednesday, Nov. 26 and then playing UCF on Friday, Nov. 28.
The Tigers return four of the top-five hitters from the 2013 team, with all-conference middle blockers Lauren Hawkins and Alexis Wesley along with freshmen standouts Catlin Lilly and McKenzie Hayes. Top libero Aleksandra Petronijevic returns for her senior year, needing just 196 digs to break the program record for career digs, already holding the records for digs in a game and in a season.