FAIRFIELD, CONN. (June 16, 2014)—Sacred Heart Women's Volleyball Head Coach Rob Machan announced the team's 2014 schedule Monday. The Pioneers, who finished third in the Northeast Conference last year with a 8-5 conference record, will begin the hunt for their third NEC crown on August 29 when they face the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the Titan Classic hosted by UC Fullerton.
"We are looking forward to getting back in the gym and preparing for the season," said Machan. "We start off with a very competitive preseason schedule that should help prepare us for increasingly tough Northeast Conference opponents. The players are working hard and gearing up for what we expect to be a very exciting 2014 season."
In addition to Texas Tech, SHU will also face Bucknell and host-school Fullerton that weekend before heading home for the SHU Hampton Inn Invitational on September 5 and 6. The Pioneers make their 2014 home debut in the tournament's opener against Iona at noon. Hartford and the University of Rhode Island round out the participants in this year's Invitational.
Sacred Heart will round out the majority of their non-conference play with stops at the Hofstra invitational and the Pitt Panther Invitational.
The Pioneers open the 2014 NEC slate on the road against Saint Francis U and Robert Morris on September 27 and 28 respectively. Last season, went 3-1 against the western Pennsylvania teams, sweeping the Red Flash twice and splitting with the Colonials.
After a single home match against the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 4, the Pioneers head to Brooklyn to face the two-time reigning NEC Champion LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds.
SHU takes a pause from conference action to host Stony Brook, whom the Pioneers lost to 3-0 last season, on October 7 at 7:00 p.m., and take on Hofstra on the road on November 4.
On October 19, Sacred Heart will rematch the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils in New Britain, Conn. CCSU knocked the Pioneers out of the 2013 NEC Championship handing SHU a 3-1 loss in the semifinal. The Blue Devils went on to lose the Championship to perennial favorite LIU Brooklyn. The Pioneers face CCSU again on Sunday, November 16 at home in the regular season finale at 1:00 p.m.