July 29, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Six teams that participated in the 2013 NCAA tournament highlight the 2014 UAB volleyball schedule, head coach Kerry Messersmith announced on Tuesday. Four of the Blazers’ opponents were ranked in the top 25 during the 2013 season.
“Our non-conference schedule is going to be very challenging,” said Messersmith. “We will face five teams in the span of four weeks that participated in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. It’s definitely the toughest pre-conference schedule we have had in my tenure and will definitely test us early.”
This season’s challenging schedule will include programs from 11 different conferences, including Big 10, Pac-12, Big Sky, Southern Conference, SEC, Ohio Valley, Atlantic Sun, Mid-American, Summit League, Sun Belt and Southwestern Athletic.
UAB will open the season at home with the annual UAB/Samford tournament Aug. 29-30. This year’s tournament schedule will feature 2013 NCAA regional semi-finalist Michigan State, who finished the season ranked No. 14, along with Georgia State and Southeastern Louisiana.
The Blazers only other non-conference home match will be against Chattanooga on Tuesday, Sept. 9. UAB will also have mid-week matches with several in-state foes this season.
The team will travel to Alabama on Sept. 16, Samford on Sept. 30 and 2013 SWAC champion Alabama State on Nov. 11. All three teams finished with at least 20 wins, while the Crimson Tide and Hornets each made the NCAA tournament in 2013.
Along with the UAB/Samford tournament, UAB will participate in three other tournaments to begin the season. The Blazers will travel to Tempe, Ariz. to take on Arizona State, Iowa and Idaho State in Arizona State’s tournament (Sept. 5-6). The Sun Devils were ranked for five weeks last season.
The Blazers will also take part in Ole Miss’s tournament (Sept. 11-12) with Jacksonville State and Mercer. Then, UAB will head to Oxford, Ohio to Miami University’s tournament Sept. 19-20 where the Blazers will face Ohio State, Miami and IUPUI.
On the road in conference play, the Blazers will travel to face Charlotte (Sept. 26), Florida Atlantic (Oct. 3), FIU (Oct. 5), Marshall (Oct. 17), Southern Miss (Oct. 24), Rice (Oct. 26), UTSA (Nov. 7) and Middle Tennessee (Nov. 9).
The 2014 Conference USA Tournament site will be hosted by Southern Miss in Hattiesburg, Miss and will take place Friday, Nov. 21 through Sunday, Nov. 23.