Two Home Tournaments, 17 Home Matches Highlight 2014 University of Delaware Volleyball Schedule
NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware volleyball team announced its 2014 schedule on Wednesday, as the Blue Hens will host two tournaments for the first time in 20 years before entering its 16-match Colonial Athletic Association slate.
The Blue Hens, led by 13th-year head coach Bonnie Kenny, will open their campaign on Aug. 29-30 when they host the 37th Annual University of Delaware Invitational. UD kicks off its season against Albany on Friday, Aug. 29 before facing Loyola (Md.) and Rhode Island the following day.
Delaware then hosts Delaware State on Sept. 2, before heading to the Harvard Tournament on Sept. 5-6 to face Central Connecticut, Santa Clara and the Crimson. The Blue Hens are back home to take on Penn on Sept. 9, and will then host the Delaware Tournament on Sept. 12-13 by welcoming Manhattan, Princeton and George Mason to the Bob Carpenter Center. This year will mark the third time in school history, along with 1993 and 1994, that UD will host two tournaments in the same season.
Following its final non-conference home match against Villanova on Sept. 16, the Blue Hens will take on Sacred Heart, South Florida and the host Panthers at the Pittsburgh Tournament on Sept. 19-20.
For the fifth straight season Delaware will open its CAA schedule against Towson, as the Blue Hens play the first of 16 consecutive league matches on Sept. 24 at SECU Arena. The Blue Hens head south to take on College of Charleston on Sept. 28, while the following weekend Delaware travels north to face Northeastern on Oct. 3 and Hofstra two days later.
UD will battle William & Mary on Oct. 10 at the Carpenter Sports Building, the Blue Hens’ first game in their former home since a victory over VCU in the 2011 CAA Tournament championship match. Two days later Delaware returns to the Bob Carpenter Center to face James Madison, before heading to UNCW and league newcomer Elon the following week.
The Blue Hens open a four-match homestand by welcoming Towson to the BCC on Oct. 24, while Hofstra then visits Newark on Oct. 29. The home stretch concludes with matches against College of Charleston on Oct. 31 and Northeastern on Nov. 2.
After a road swing through Virginia to face James Madison on Nov. 7 and William & Mary a day later, Delaware’s regular season concludes with home matches against Elon on Nov. 14 and UNCW on Nov. 15. The CAA Tournament will again feature six teams and will be held on Nov. 20-22 on the campus of the regular season champion.
The Blue Hens, who finished 11-17 last season, will be led by third team All-CAA selection and team MVP Ariel Shonk, who enters her junior season slated to again start as the team’s libero. Shonk ranked second in the CAA and 11th in Division I by averaging 5.52 digs per set last year, which ranked third on the UD single season list. Also returning are junior outside hitter Katie Hillman, who ranked fifth in the league with 3.15 kills per set, and junior middle hitter Chandler Bryant, who was eighth in the conference with a .259 hitting percentage.
We look forward to another challenging preseason to prepare us for the CAA,” Kenny said. “Our team was hungry this spring, and the players’ work ethic was excellent. We look forward to August and getting ready to get back to the CAA Championships in November.”