Volleyball Releases 2014 Schedule
June 11, 2014
PITTSBURGH - Steve Opperman, head coach of the defending Atlantic 10 champion Duquesne Dukes, had released the 2014 volleyball schedule.
Among the 27 matches include 14 against Atlantic 10 Conference opponents, a pair of matches against cross-town rivals and a Big 10 powerhouse. The Dukes will play in four tournaments before starting league play.
The season will start off in Cincinnati for the Queen City Classic. Both the University of Cincinnati and Xavier will be hosting the event. The Dukes will open with the Bearcats on August 29th. Last season, Duquesne defeated Cincinnati 3-1 at the Michigan State Spartan Invitational. Following the UC match, the Dukes will play twice on August 30th starting with former A-10 rival Xavier. Duquesne ended a its 10-year, 15-match losing streak against the Musketeers last season. The day is capped off with a match against UC Irvine. This will mark the first-ever matchup between the Dukes and the Anteaters.
The home slate opens up at the Palumbo Center with the Duquesne/Robert Morris Invitational. The event begins on the morning of September 5th against UMass-Lowell. This is the Riverhawks second season playing at the Division I level. The Dukes will host Indiana State in the nightcap. This will mark the first match against the Sycamores since a 3-0 DUQ victory in 2006. On September 6th, Duquesne will play Youngstown State. The Dukes have not faced the Penguins since a 3-0 win in 2006.
The next tournament will be at the University of Pittsburgh. Duquesne will face the Panthers in the City Match on September 12th. The next day, the Dukes will take on Niagara and Norfolk State. Duquesne is a perfect 8-0 all-time against the Purple Eagles and 3-0 against the Spartans.
The final tournament is hosted by the University of Toledo. The first match on September 19th will be against one of the top teams in the Big 10 Conference, Minnesota. The Golden Gophers are coming off a 29-7 season and an appearance in the Sweet 16 in the 2013 NCAA Championship. After the UM match, Duquesne will play IPFW. The Mastodons shutout the Dukes in last season's opener.
Atlantic 10 Conference play begins on September 26th at the Palumbo Center with Dayton. Last season Duquesne ended a 16-match losing streak against the Flyers during the regular season and knocked them out of the A-10 Championship in the semifinal round. On September 28th, the Dukes host Saint Louis. Duquesne currently has a 3-match winning streak against SLU.
The Dukes hit the road for the next four matches. The road trip starts on October 3rd at Fordham. The Rams, coached by former Duquesne assistant Gini Ullery, are coming off a 10-20 season. From the Bronx, the Dukes will travel to Rhode Island on October 4th. The Dukes have won 8-of-9 against URI. The next weekend, Duquesne visits A-10 newcomer Davidson on October 10th. The Wildcats, who participated in the Southern Conference last season, are coming off a 16-14 season. On October 11th, Duquesne faces VCU. The top two teams in the A-10 last season each won on the other's home court during the regular season before the Dukes took out the Rams 3-1 in the A-10 Championship game.
Duquesne returns home on October 15th to host cross-town rival Robert Morris. The Dukes have won the last six matches against the Colonials. The teams have played each other 16 straight seasons and 26 of the last 27 seasons.
Conference play continues on October 18th against La Salle. The Explorers, who were 1-31 last season, are looking for their first A-10 win since October 1, 2011 - 39 matches. On October 24th, George Mason comes to town. In their inaugural season in the A-10, the Patriots went 3-11 including a 3-0 loss to the Dukes. On October 26th, Duquesne hosts George Washington. Last season, the Dukes and Colonials split a pair of matches. The homestand closes out with Rhode Island on October 31st and Fordham for Senior Day on November 2nd.
The regular season closes with three road matches. On October 7th, Duquesne plays at La Salle followed by Saint Louis in October 14th and Dayton on October 16th.
The 2014 Atlantic 10 Championship will be hosted by the University of Dayton. The 1st Round will be November 21st. The semifinals are November 22nd followed by the championship game on November 23rd.