Matchups with teams from the Big 10, Pac-12, ACC, and SEC highlight the 2014 University of Central Arkansas volleyball schedule.
The Sugar Bears, owners of the second-most wins in NCAA Division-I over the last two years with 59, will play 12 non-conference matches before beginning Southland Conference play in late September.
After Alumni and intrasquad exhibition matches, The Sugar Bears (29-4, 21-0 SLC in 2013) head to Eugene, Oregon, the first weekend of the season to play The University of Oregon, Illinois State, and Ohio State.
"Oregon was in the national championship game just two years ago, Ohio State plays in the toughest volleyball conference in the country, and Illinois State is a very good team from a great volleyball conference, the Missouri Valley," said UCA coach David McFatrich.
Central Arkansas will open its home schedule on Sept. 5-6, welcoming The University of Louisiana at Monroe, Boise State, and Tulsa to the Prince Center for the 2014 UCA-Sears Sugar Bear Classic.
For the third weekend of the season, UCA will travel to Tallahassee, Florida, to participate in the Four Points by Sheraton Seminole Invitational, hosted by Florida State. The Sugar Bears will play Samford, LSU and Florida State.
"Florida State is a recent final four participant and has won the ACC in two of the last three years, LSU made yet another trip to the NCAA tournament, and Samford won twenty-plus games again," said McFatrich.
The Sugar Bears will play their final weekend before the start of Southland Conference play at home, as Nevada-Las Vegas, New Orleans, and Grambling will come to the Prince Center for the 2014 Central Arkansas Invitational, Sept. 18-20. "We’re very fortunate to host two tournaments again this year," said McFatrich. "We’ve traveled extensively in the past during pre-season and it’s tough on our players. Being able to host on the second and fourth weekends so our great fans have a chance to pack the Prince Center and support us is a huge positive."
Central Arkansas will open SLC play with a four-game road trip.
The Sugar Bears will open the home portion of their SLC slate on Oct. 9, when McNeese State comes to Conway.
UCA is looking to win its third consecutive Southland Conference Tournament title in Natchitoches, Louisiana.