Maya McClendon was last year's conference Freshman of the Year.
June 24, 2014
The University of Louisville volleyball team has released its 2014 schedule according to U of L head coach Anne Kordes. The Cardinals, the defending champions of the American Athletic Conference last season, is the newest members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and will vie for their 25th NCAA appearance.
The 2014 Cardinal slate will feature nine nationally ranked teams, 11 regionally ranked teams, nine teams in the top 60 RPI as well as featuring traditional rivals and a showdown with the B1G. Seven matches will be held in the KFC Yum Center and six will be in Cardinal Arena.
"We structured our tough non-conference schedule with opponents like Wisconsin, Minnesota and Arizona State not only to bolster our RPI, but to prepare us as we enter our inaugural year in the ACC," said Kordes. "Our new conference will be highly competitive every weekend and that is an exciting challenge for us. We are also thrilled about playing in the KFC Yum! Center where we hope to establish new attendance records. I know our loyal fans are highly anticipating our move into the ACC."
UofL begins the season with a bang when it partners with fellow ACC power Notre Dame to take on Wisconsin and Minnesota in the ACC / B1G Challenge in Minneapolis on August 29-30. The Cardinals then host the Active Ankle with Tennessee State, Appalachian State and Cincinnati visiting Cardinal Arena on Sept. 5-6.
Archrival Kentucky will open the KFC Yum! Center portion of the schedule on Sept. 9 for a match. The Cardinals will then depart for Morehead for another intrastate match at the Eagles' tournament that will also feature Arizona State and Northern Illinois on Sept. 12-13. The next weekend will be the last non-conference slate as the Cards head to Houston for the Rice Invitational which will also feature Stephen F. Austin and Texas Southern.
The Cardinals make their debut in the ACC in the KFC Yum Center on Sept. 26 and 28 when Boston College and Georgia Tech visit. UofL will then take on the travel partners of Virginia Tech and Virginia on Oct. 3 and Oct. 4. Two old conference rivals rear their heads when old Metro foe Florida State visits Oct. 10 followed by former Big East rival Notre Dame on Oct. 12, both in the KFC Yum Center.
Next up is a three-match road stretch led off by former Big East foe Syracuse on Oct. 17 and North Carolina State on Oct. 19 followed by old Big East-turned-ACC opponent Pitt on Oct. 25 in Pittsburgh.
UofL will host Syracuse on Halloween night followed by Virginia on Nov. 2 both in the Yum Center, before heading to Miami on Nov. 7 and Notre Dame on Nov. 9. The Cards take on travel partners Clemson and Wake Forest on Nov. 14 and Nov. 15 as the last two on the four-match road stand.
The Cardinals will finish out the regular season in the friendly confines of Cardinal Arena when Duke (Nov. 21), UNC (Nov. 23) and Pitt (Nov. 26 ) conclude the schedule.
The ACC will challenge the Cards in their inaugural season as they face their new conference without four senior starters from a year ago. In particular, look for defending champion Duke, which compiled a 28-5 overall record and 18-2 mark in the ACC, become a dangerous foe. Duke made its ACC-leading 18th NCAA Tournament appearance in 2013. Duke adds four freshmen into a mix which includes third team All-American outside hitter Emily Sklar, All-ACC hitter Jeme Obeime, All-ACC setter Maggie Deichmeister and All-ACC Freshman Team middle blocker Jordan Tucker.
Other threats in the ACC will come from Florida State, which returns three starters and libero Katie Mosher, who continued to climb up the FSU All-Time Digs list after amassing 506 digs in 2013, she now moves into third place with a total of 1,615. In addition to Mosher, Florida State returns Sarah Burrington, Nicole Walch and Sarah Wickstrom from the starting lineup. The Cards will also have be be wary of North Carolina, which will return 14 veterans, led by All-ACC selections and All-America honorable mentions Paige Neuenfeldt and Chaniel Nelson.
The Cardinals will reunite with rival Notre Dame as the 2014 Irish return nine letterwinners from 2013 including two-time AVCA honorable mention All-American and Louisville native Jeni Houser. Don't count out Virginia as the Cavaliers return five starters from last season's squad that finished 18-14 overall and 11-9 in ACC play.