2013 MAC Player of the Year/AVCA All-American Abby Gilleland will help lead Ohio through a challenging 2014 schedule.
May 12, 2014
FULL SCHEDULE | SEASON TICKETS
ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio University volleyball team announced its 2014 schedule Monday, which features a season-opening tournament in Hawai'i and 14 contests with top-100 RPI squads.
Ohio will begin the season with four challenging non-conference tournaments, before opening the 16-match MAC slate in late September. Three of Ohio's non-conference opponents competed in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, while the Bobcats' first eight opponents posted a top-100 RPI last season.
"The schedule for this fall is an incredible one, and the toughest Ohio has faced in several years," head coach Deane Webb said. "It will give us the opportunity to be challenged by many great programs, as all but three of our preseason opponents finished last year in the top-75."
"Our players see this schedule as a challenge and a big step up in level, and they are eager to go out and compete at the highest level possible," Webb added. "They are working this summer with this schedule in mind, and I am excited to see the results of their hard work."
Ohio kicks off the 2014 campaign in Honolulu, Hawai'I, where the Bobcats open with a three-match tournament. After starting the season vs. the host Rainbow Wahine in the early hours of August 30 (1:30 a.m. EST), the Green and White also will take on San Diego State (Aug. 30, 11:30 p.m.) and Pac-12 foe Arizona State (Aug. 31, 9 p.m.). Both Hawai'i and Arizona State earned a berth in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
"Opening at Hawaii will be an experience our players will always remember, playing in front of thousands of the best volleyball fans anywhere," Webb said.
From there, the Bobcats return home to host the annual Baymont Inn & Suites Invitational inside the Convocation Center. Ohio opens the event with a 7 p.m. contest against SEC foe Texas A&M on Sept. 5. The Aggies advanced to the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament. From there, the `Cats will host VCU (Noon) and ACC foe Virginia Tech (7 p.m.) on Sept. 6.
The 2014 home tournament will give #BobcatNation an exciting opportunity to see some of the nation's top talent in Athens. The Convocation Center continues to host one of the toughest home environments in all of college volleyball, as Ohio is one of just 17 schools to be ranked in the top-30 in national attendance in each of the past eight seasons.
Ohio will play three matches in Cincinnati, Ohio, during a tournament hosted by Xavier University Sept. 12-13. The `Cats face off with the host Musketeers on Sept. 12 (7 p.m.) before taking on in-state foe Ohio State (Sept. 13, 10 a.m.) for the first time since the Bobcats defeated the Buckeyes to advance to the 2005 Sweet 16. The Green & White wrap up the tournament with a contest against the Syracuse Orange on Sept. 13 (4:30 p.m.).
The Bobcats finish their non-conference tournament competition with a two-match event in Evanston, Ill., Sept. 18-19. Ohio tangles with Big Ten opponent Northwestern on Sept. 18 (8 p.m.) and takes on Wisconsin-Green Bay on Sept. 19 at 5:30 p.m.
"This is the type of schedule that we need to prepare us for a challenging conference season," Webb said. "Many traditional powers will be strong again this fall, and several teams that have not done as well in the past have made significant strides forward. It should make for an exciting MAC regular season and tournament."
Ohio splits its opening MAC weekend, hosting Kent State (Sept. 25) and traveling to West Division foe Central Michigan (Sept. 27).
The `Cats host East Division opponents Buffalo (Oct. 3) and Akron (Oct. 4) the following weekend, then hit the road for another divisional clash at Miami (Oct. 10) and Bowling Green (Oct. 11).
Ohio remains on the road for a swing through 2013 West Division Champion Ball State (Oct. 17) and Toledo (Oct. 18). From there, the Green & White host a pair of West opponents in Western Michigan (Oct. 24) and Northern Illinois (Oct. 25).
The Bobcats have another split weekend with a match at Kent State (Oct. 30) and a home contest against Eastern Michigan on Nov. 1. From there, Ohio heads to Akron (Nov. 7) and Buffalo (Nov. 8) and plays its final two home matches against BGSU (Nov. 14) and Miami (Nov. 15).
After winning the 2013 MAC regular season title, the Bobcats will now host the MAC Championship as part of a new rule implemented by the conference in 2014. The `Cats will enjoy some home cooking during the league tournament November 21-23 inside the Convocation Center.
The Green & White wrap up the regular season Nov. 29 with a non-conference tilt against Atlantic 10 opponent Dayton. The Bobcats defeated the Flyers, 3-1, last season in Athens.
Season tickets for the 2014 campaign can be purchased as part of the Ohio All-Sport Pass, which includes entry to all regular season home games for Volleyball, Women's Basketball, Baseball and Softball. To purchase the All-Sport Pass, call 800-575-CATS (2287), click here, or visit the Ohio Athletics Ticket Office inside the Convocation Center.
Ohio has proved to be one of the Midwest's most consistent programs over the better part of a decade, and the Bobcats will look to continue that perennial success this season.
The Green & White have qualified for the NCAA Tournament nine of the past 11 years and have won a MAC title (regular season and/or tournament) in 10 of the past 11 seasons. The streak includes eight MAC regular season championships and eight MAC Tournament crowns over the 11-year span.
The Bobcats return nine of 15 student-athletes from last season's MAC title team, including four of seven starters (including libero).