2014 USC Women's Volleyball Schedule Announced|
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June 16, 2014
LOS ANGELES - The USC women's volleyball team revealed its 2014 schedule on Monday (June 16) in which it will appear in 21 televised regular-season matches this fall. In addition to the challenging rigors of the Pac-12 Conference schedule, the Women of Troy and Galen Center will host Southeastern Conference powers Texas A&M and Florida for the USC Classic tournament (Sept. 11-12). In all, the Trojans will have 20 matches in which they will face teams that made the NCAA tournament in 2013, including two squads that were national semifinalists (Washington and Wisconsin).
"This schedule is extremely challenging," said head coach Mick Haley, "but it is exciting that USC will play on television 21 times between broadcasts by ESPN and the Pac-12 Networks. This schedule calls for us to face two separate eight-day spans through which we will play four matches. We will also play five Wednesday night matches against some of the best teams in the Pac-12 Conference. In this league, this year really looks like a free-for-all."
USC opens the new season at the Pacific Community Classic hosted by University of the Pacific (Aug. 29-30) at the Alex G. Spanos Center in Stockton, Calif. The Trojans will take on Rider, Arkansas-Little Rock, and host team Pacific. The Trojans then head to Lexington, Ky., for the 2014 National Challenge (Sept. 5-6) hosted by SEC contender Kentucky. USC will take on Creighton, Northern Iowa, and the host Wildcats.
The Trojans host the USC Classic (Sept. 11-12) at the Galen Center in the only non-conference home tournament of the regular season. USC battles Texas A&M on Sept. 11 and Florida on Sept. 12 in matches set to be broadcast by the Pac-12 Networks. San Diego will also take on the Aggies and Gators in separate matches at the Galen Center.
USC then heads up to the Pacific Northwest in the first of two regular-season trips to Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle, Wash. The Trojans face 2013 NCAA semifinalist Wisconsin (Sept. 18) and Maryland (Sept. 19) in the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge hosted by the University of Washington. The Trojans will return to Seattle for its league match against the Huskies who will also host one of four NCAA regional championships in 2014.
The Women of Troy open the Pac-12 schedule at rival UCLA on Sept. 23, and will face Arizona State in their conference home opener on Sept. 26. USC returns to Seattle and the Evergreen State for its first Pac-12 road matches Oct. 1-3, but will get to host Colorado, Utah, Oregon, and Oregon State in four consecutive home matches from Oct. 10-19. The Trojans' trip to the Bay Area will take place Oct. 22 for a bout at Cal before an Oct. 26 match at Stanford.
The month of October wraps up with home matches against Washington and Washington State (Oct. 29-31). The Trojans then open November at Utah (Nov. 7) and Colorado (Nov. 9) and then return home to host Stanford and Cal (Nov. 12-14). USC takes a three-match road trip to face the Oregon schools (Nov. 21-23) and then Arizona (Nov. 26) before it completes the regular season at home on Nov. 28 against rival UCLA for Senior Night. The Trojans will honor seniors Hayley Crone, Hannah Schraer, and Emily Young that day.
The NCAA's first- and second-round matches will take place at various sites to be determined from Dec. 4-6. NCAA regional championships will be played at Seattle (Alaska Airlines Arena), Iowa (Hilton Coliseum), Louisville (KFC Yum! Center), and Minnesota (Sports Pavilion) the weekend of Dec. 12-13. The Chesapeake Energy Arena--home of the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder--will host the 2014 NCAA championships. The Big XII Conference and Oklahoma City All Sports Association will serve as hosts of the championships set for Dec. 18-20.
In 2013, the Pac-12 put an unprecedented nine teams into the NCAA tournament including Arizona, Arizona State, California, Colorado, Oregon, Stanford, USC, Utah, and Washington. The Trojans will face eight of those teams twice in 2014 with the exception of ASU. In addition, 2014 non-conference opponents Texas A&M, Florida, Wisconsin, Creighton, and Kentucky were all NCAA tournament contenders last season. Including postseason matches, USC appeared in 22 televised matches in 2013.
Last year, the Trojans finished third in the Pac-12 with a 16-4 mark in league matches and received the sixth seed in the NCAA tournament. USC made its 23rd consecutive (31st overall) appearance in the tourney and advanced to the regional championship match for the fourth straight year. The Trojans finished with a final record of 29-6 following a hard-fought five-set loss to third-seeded Pac-12 champion Washington at the Galen Center.
The Women of Troy bring back the services of All-American outside hitters Samantha Bricio and Ebony Nwanebu in 2014. Nwanebu was last year's national freshman of the year and Bricio led the country in service aces. USC will have to replace three-time All-American libero Natalie Hagglund and has space in the middle where graduated All-American middle blocker Alexis Olgard was a force last season. For more information on the USC women's volleyball team, visit USCTrojans.com and follow @USCWomensVolley on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.