Volleyball Unveils 2014 Schedule, with Eight Matches on National TV
May 14, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky volleyball team has gotten used to playing on the national stage, but it will be taken to a new level with the addition of the SEC Network as the Wildcats' 2014 schedule is unveiled.
Kentucky's 31-match 2014 slate features eight contests broadcast live on national television. Six matches will air on the new SEC Network, while two will air on ESPNU.
"We are excited to appear on the SEC Network this fall," UK head coach Craig Skinner said. "The addition of the Network will be great exposure for UK and volleyball in the SEC. It will be great for the Big Blue Nation to be able to tune in across the country to watch us compete against some of the nation's best."
UK's first nationally-broadcast contest of 2014 will be at LSU on Sept. 24 on ESPNU at 9 p.m. ET. The Wildcats will make their SEC Network debut on Oct. 5 when they host Texas A&M at 6 p.m. Kentucky's first road contest on the SEC Network will be at Texas A&M on Oct. 26 at noon.
Auburn comes to Memorial Coliseum on Oct. 12 for a contest that will air on the SEC Network at noon. The Wildcats' rivalry matchup with Tennessee, in Lexington on Oct. 29, will air on ESPNU at 8 p.m. UK also hosts Missouri on Nov. 9 and Florida on Nov. 16, both at noon on the SEC Network. Kentucky's final regular season contest on national television will be at Mississippi State on Nov. 23 at 2 p.m. on the SEC Network.
In total, 50 Southeastern Conference volleyball matches will air nation-wide on the SEC Network or ESPNU in 2014. An additional number of matches, to be announced at a later date, will air on the SEC Network's digital platforms. All SEC Network and ESPNU games will be available on WatchESPN.
Kentucky's complete 2014 schedule features 31 total matches. Fourteen of UK's opponents made the 2013 NCAA Tournament that total 17 matches. The Wildcats will host 18 home contests, including nine Southeastern Conference matches, in the friendly confines of Memorial Coliseum.
"We feel very good about this schedule," Skinner added. "We have great competition both at home and on the road against teams from several different conferences in the non-conference portion of the season. We will face teams with varying systems and strengths. We anticipate another strong year within the SEC and we think this schedule can help prepare us to compete for a run at the league championship."
Skinner begins his 10th season with the Wildcats as the program's second all-time winningest coach. With 202 victories, he is seven wins shy of tying UK's all-time wins mark of 209, set by Kathy DeBoer from 1984-92.
The Wildcats, who went 14-4 at home in 2013, open the 2014 slate with six consecutive home matches, three of them against teams that made the NCAA Tournament. UK hosts the annual Bluegrass Battle Aug. 29-30 before it hosts the Commonwealth Classic Sept. 5-6 in Memorial Coliseum.
Kentucky will open the season on Aug. 29 at 6:30 p.m. ET against Wichita State before it plays Butler and Virginia Tech on Aug. 30. The following weekend, the Wildcats host Northern Iowa and Southern California, a team that advanced to the Elite Eight in 2013, on Sept. 5 and Creighton on Sept. 6.
UK travels to Louisville for an in-state clash against the Cardinals on Sept. 9. Winners of three of the last four contests, the Wildcats look to win two in a row after a five-set thriller at home in 2013.
The season's first roadtrip continues at the Carolina Classic in Chapel Hill, N.C. The four-team event hosted by North Carolina begins for UK Sept. 12 vs. UNC before a doubleheader on Sept. 13 vs. Georgia Southern and VCU. Both UNC and GSU advanced to postseason play last season.
The final two nonconference matches before SEC competition begins will both be held in Lexington, when UK hosts Lipscomb on Sept. 18 and Xavier on Sept. 20. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m.
The SEC schedule, which features 18 contests, will see nine teams come to Memorial Coliseum. Ten of the 18 matches will be against teams that made the postseason in 2013, including a stretch of four consecutive matches and eight of 10 vs. NCAA Tournament foes.
League play begins on Sept. 24 with back-to-back road contests, at LSU on Sept. 24 on ESPNU and at South Carolina on Sept. 28.
UK returns home for two matches against Alabama on Oct. 3 and Texas A&M on Oct. 5, both teams that made the NCAA Tournament last year. The Wildcats and Crimson Tide begin the weekend at 7 p.m. while the Aggies close UK's brief homestand at 6 p.m. on the SEC Network's inaugural telecast from Memorial Coliseum. The two-match weekend is also Alumni Weekend, where Skinner will welcome back former Wildcats to Lexington.
A short trip across the border to Tennessee on Oct. 10 precedes an SEC Network-broadcasted home date with Auburn on Oct. 12 at noon. UK then travels to Georgia on Oct. 17 before it hosts LSU on Oct. 19 at 1:30 p.m. Kentucky then travels to Arkansas on Oct. 24 and Texas A&M on Oct. 26.
A mid-week matchup at home against Tennessee on Oct. 29 kicks off a four match homestand, followed by a nonconference contest against in-state foe Morehead State on Nov. 3 and a Nov. 7 meeting with Georgia. The homestand closes vs. Missouri, the reigning SEC champion, on Nov. 9 at noon. UK's matchup with Tennessee, on ESPNU, will start at 8 p.m., while the final two home contests are scheduled for a first serve of 7 p.m.
After a trip to Ole Miss on Nov. 14, the Wildcats return home to host Florida on Nov. 16 at noon on the SEC Network. The final road series of the year sees UK travel to Mississippi State on Nov. 23 and Auburn on Nov. 26. Kentucky will close the regular season on Nov. 29 against Arkansas at 7 p.m. in Memorial Coliseum.
The NCAA Tournament's First and Second Rounds will be held Dec. 5-7 on campus sites, while the NCAA Regionals are Dec. 12-13. The NCAA Final Four will be held in Oklahoma City, Dec. 18-20.
Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the Kentucky volleyball team and all 22 varsity sports. For additional info on the volleyball team like Kentucky Volleyball on Facebook or follow the team on Twitter at @KentuckyVB.