JONESBORO, Ark. (AStateRedWolves.com) - The Arkansas State University volleyball team has announced its schedule for the upcoming 2014 season, which features 10 home matches against Sun Belt Conference opponents.
The Red Wolves will begin the season with three non-conference tournaments beginning Aug. 29-30 at the George Washington Invitational in Washington, D.C. The tournament field includes Auburn, North Dakota, and host George Washington. The next weekend, A-State makes the short trip over to Memphis, Tenn., to take part in the Memphis InvitationalSept. 5-6 which features regional opponents Ole Miss, UT Martin, and rival Memphis.
Arkansas State wraps up non-conference play at the Southern Illinois Edwardsville tournament Sept. 12-13. Joining the Red Wolves at the tournament will be Southern Utah, host SIUE, and in-state foe Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
"We've got three tournaments to open the season and help prepare us for conference play," A-State head volleyball coach David Rehr said. "We had one non-conference weekend taken away from us due to the new members joining the conference, so we have to get ready for conference matches quicker than last year, but I'm confident we can. Our home schedule starts off with the defending conference tournament champs, so we have to be ready and need some big crowds to help us win at home."
A-State opens its SBC and home schedule Sept. 21 against the defending SBC Tournament champs and NCAA Tournament participant Texas State Bobcats. First serve at the Convocation Center is scheduled for 7 p.m. After the home opener, the Red Wolves hit the road to wrap up the first weekend of conference play with a match against new Sun Belt member Georgia Southern in Statesboro, Ga.
The Red Wolves travel to Troy Sept. 26 and South Alabama Sept. 27 to end an early three-match SBC road swing and return home for three straight home matches to begin October. A-State kicks off the home stand at the Convocation Center against ULM Oct. 3, followed by matches against UT Arlington (Oct. 5) and Georgia State (Oct. 10).
Arkansas State travels to Little Rock, Ark., to take on in-state rival UALROct. 14 at 7 p.m., before traveling to Texas to square off against UT Arlington (Oct. 17) and Texas State (Oct. 19). The Red Wolves return home for a match against new SBC member Appalachian State Oct. 24and face South Alabama Oct. 25before wrapping up the three-match home stand against Troy Oct. 31.
A-State begins the month of November with four straight road matches starting with a trip to Louisiana-Lafayette Nov. 2. Arkansas State heads east to Georgia State (Nov. 7) and Appalachian State (Nov. 9) before wrapping up the road swing with a match at ULM Nov. 14.
The Red Wolves return home for matches against Georgia Southern (Nov. 16) and Louisiana-Lafayette (Nov. 21) before their final match of the regular season against UALR Nov. 22. The Sun Belt Conference Tournament runs Nov. 27-29 in San Marcos, Texas.
Arkansas State returns eight players from last season's squad that registered a 15-20 record and advanced to the SBC Tournament semifinals. A-State has added seven players in the offseason, including six freshmen and one junior college transfer.