Volleyball Kicks off AAC Era with Competitive 2014 Schedule

UABSPORTS.COM Head Coach Julie Torbett
Head Coach Julie Torbett

April 16, 2014

2014 Schedule

GREENVILLE, N.C. -The East Carolina volleyball program and second year head coach Julie Torbett are ready to move into the American Athletic Conference with the announcement of the 2014 schedule on Wednesday. The Pirates' schedule features a pair of tournaments and 17 home matches.

"I think the schedule is very challenging," Torbett said. "We are playing the defending National Champion in Penn State and 20 conference matches. It will be a very good experience for our players. We need to focus on continuing to get better and playing top quality teams will help us do that."

The Pirates will begin the 2014 campaign with the East Carolina Invitational which runs from Friday, September 5 to Saturday, September 6. UNC Wilmington and Morgan State will open the tournament at 10 a.m. and the Pirates and Tennessee Tech will take the court at 1 p.m., followed by Norfolk State and Tennessee Tech at 4 p.m., before East Carolina and Norfolk State conclude day one with a 7 p.m. contest. Saturday's schedule includes four matches at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., and 7 p.m., with the Pirates closing the tournament against Morgan State in the final contest of the day.

ECU hosts North Carolina A&T on Tuesday, September 9 at 7 p.m., before making its first road trip of the season to State College, Pa., to take part in the Penn State Invitational on Friday, September 19 and Saturday, September 20. During the tournament, East Carolina will play Eastern Illinois and UIC on Friday at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., respectively, before battling it out with DePaul on Saturday at 2 p.m., and defending National Champion and tournament host, Penn State, on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

East Carolina opens American Athletic Conference action in Greenville, N.C., with UConn on Friday, September 26, followed by Temple on Sunday, September 28.



"The American Athletic Conference is going to be a very balanced conference with a few teams struggling at first," Torbett explained. "We are certainly in a position to compete as we move forward through this transitional phase. I am hopeful we will learn our opponents and attract top athletes who want to represent ECU. The conference is committed to a scheduling philosophy that will help the entire league have a strong RPI and be able to represent the American Athletic Conference in the NCAA Tournament with multiple teams in the future."

The Pirates will play host to North Carolina Central in a mid-week non-conference match-up on Tuesday, September 30, before resuming AAC play at Tulane (Oct. 3) and Houston (Oct. 5). ECU will return to Minges Coliseum and welcome South Florida (Oct. 10) and UCF (Oct. 12), before traveling to Tulsa (Oct. 17) and SMU (Oct. 19).

East Carolina hosts a four-match home stand in which the Pirates welcome a pair of AAC schools in Cincinnati (Oct. 24) and Memphis (Oct. 26). The home stand concludes with a non-conference doubleheader against the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Hampton on October 28 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.

The month of October will close at UCF on Friday, October 31, at 7 p.m., followed by another league match at South Florida on Sunday, November 2, at 12 noon.

The Pirates conclude the final month of regular-season action with six road matches sandwiched between four home contests. East Carolina plays host to Houston (Nov. 7) and Tulane (Nov. 9), before battling it out at University of Maryland Eastern Shore (Nov. 11), Temple (Nov. 14), UConn (Nov. 16), Memphis (Nov. 21) and Cincinnati (Nov. 23). ECU returns to Greenville to go up against SMU (Nov. 28) and Tulsa (Nov. 29) to wrap up the regular-season.

"I expect our team to be competitive and to continue to get better," Torbett said. "We are striving for comprehensive and sustainable success, therefore it's not going to happen overnight, but as it transpires it will be long lasting and we will be proud of the result. It is an exciting time to be a Pirate!"