Memphis Volleyball Announces 2013 Schedule
June 20, 2013
MEMPHIS - - The University of Memphis volleyball team announced its 2013 schedule, Thursday. Memphis will play in four tournaments in the early part of the season, hosting a pair of tournaments in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
"Our preseason schedule allows us to gain a lot of experience in a short amount of time," Head Coach April Jauregui said. "We understand that our team dynamic has changed having three starters graduate from last season. We worked a lot this spring on implementing a new offensive system. We need those preseason matches to continue to develop our system for Conference play. We open up our season against Belmont, a 2012 NCAA tournament team. That will be an immediate test and gauge for where this team can go this season."
The Tigers open their road slate at the aforementioned Belmont tournament, facing the host team right away in the season-opening match on August 30th. Memphis then faces Miami (Ohio) and Gardner Webb before returning to the Bluff City to host their own tournament, Sept. 6-7th. Alabama A&M, Western Carolina and Southeastern Louisiana will venture to Memphis for the tournament.
It'll be back on the road for the Tigers after that, as the team travels to Evansville, Ind., to participate in the Purple Aces' tournament with Valparaiso (a Horizon League semifinalist last year), SIU-Edwardsville and host Evansville on Sept. 13-14th.
The Tigers will quickly squeeze in a single match against Arkansas State on Sept. 17th before hosting the Memphis Invitational, Sept. 20-21st. The Tigers have invited LaSalle, UALR and Austin Peay into the non-conference tournament, which will be the final match to prep for their American Athletic Conference opener.
Memphis opens its time in the American Athletic Conference with three straight road games, starting with a match at Louisville, the No. 17-ranked team in the country at the end of 2012, finishing with a 30-4 mark. Memphis plays the Cardinal on Sept. 27th, then stays on the road to play at Cincinnati, Sept. 29th. A road match at Temple on Oct. 4th will close out the three-game road swing to start league play.
"We are extremely excited to make our debut in the American Athletic Conference," Jauregui said. "I am confident that The American will be a strong volleyball conference and has the ability to get multiple teams into the NCAA tournament."
The Tigers' first American Athletic Conference home match will be on Friday, Oct. 11th when SMU visits the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. That will be followed by a Sunday match (Oct. 13th) against Houston. The final non-conference match of the season will be sandwiched in-between the two home league weekends, as the Tigers host Tennessee State, Tuesday, Oct. 15th. That match will be followed by visits from Rutgers (Oct. 18) and Connecticut (Oct. 20) before Memphis wings to Florida for contests at USF (Oct. 25) and UCF (Oct. 27).
That Florida swing will be followed by a big three-game home stand. Memphis welcomes Cincinnati (Nov. 1), Louisville (Nov. 3), and Temple (Nov. 8) before closing out their American Athletic Conference road slate with four straight matches away from the confines of home. The Tigers play at Houston (Nov. 15), SMU (Nov. 17), Connecticut (Nov. 22) and Rutgers (Nov. 24) before returning home to host the two Florida schools in the final weekend - UCF on Nov. 27 and USF on Nov. 29.
Memphis will look to a trio of seniors and two juniors to help replace the three starters lost to graduation. Lost in that trio from last year is the Tigers' all-time kills leader Altrese Hawkins, who capped her Memphis career with 1,806 kills. The Tigers have a number of young hitters looking to take some of those swings with the career kills leader off the roster. That number includes four freshmen, one sophomore and two redshirt sophomores.