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Volleyball Announces 2014 Campaign
Bearcats begin season against four-time National Champ UCLA on Aug. 29
June 16, 2014Tweet
Contact: Terrence Lollie (firstname.lastname@example.org)
VESTAL, N.Y. – Binghamton volleyball head coach Glenn Kiriyama has released the 2014 schedule, and his Bearcats will kick the season off against four-time National Champion UCLA. Binghamton will play its first 19 games on the road, competing in their four yearly preseason tournaments, with just six home contests. The Bearcats look to bounce back in 2014 after missing the postseason for just the second time in the last 10 years.
“We believe the schedule poses several challenges,” Kiriyama said. “The preseason schedule is a little light than usual, but there is still a good mixture of elite teams. I believe the conference slate will be more difficult than last year as every team in the league will be much improved.”
Binghamton will play 16 games in a 26-day stretch to open the season traveling to Loyola Marymount, Akron, Army and Maryland Eastern Shore for its four preseason tournaments. Kiriyama, who will be entering his 16th season at Binghamton, mixed in the Bearcats’ annual matches against Upstate New York rivals Siena (Sept. 9) and Cornell (Sept. 24).
The Bearcats open the 2014 slate on August 29 in Los Angeles, Calif. at the Loyola Marymount Tournament against the Bruins who won National Championships in 1984, 1990, 1991 and 2011. Binghamton then plays a pair of matches the next day against the host Lions and two-time defending Northeast Conference champion LIU Brooklyn. Binghamton will face UCLA and Loyola Marymount for the first time ever as the Bearcats make their first trip to the Golden State since 2006.
“We wanted to start the season with a tough tournament,” Kiriyama said. “It will be the most difficult tournament of the preseason where we will see some of the best teams in the country. I believe it will be a good trip for the team and a productive way to start the season.”
Kiriyama and the Bearcats return to Akron, Ohio for the Zips Invitational on Sept. 5-6. Binghamton played in the tournament during the 2012 season, a year that ended with the program’s third America East title. While in Ohio, Binghamton will face Austin Peay (Tenn.), Bryant (Rhode Island) and Drake (Iowa) as well as the host Zips.
“Akron hosts a great tournament so I thought it would be good for us to go back there,” Kiriyama noted. “All the teams in the tournament are about the same level as us so it should be very competitive. I envision us picking up a few wins while were there.”
After playing at Siena, the Bearcats make the quick trip down state to West Point for the Army Tournament (Sept. 12-13). Binghamton, who also played in the Army Tournament in 2009, will take on Oakland University (Mich.) and Army on the opening day before closing the tournament with Holy Cross.
“Army has a lot of tradition and a beautiful campus,” Kiriyama explained. “I thought it would be a fun place to play for our team and will be a good barometer of where we are as a program.”
Binghamton concludes its preseason tournament schedule with a visit to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (Sept. 19-20) in Princess Anne, Md. The Bearcats will face the host Hawks, Bethune-Cookman (Fla.) and Campbell University (N.C.) for the first time in program history while also facing Rider University for just the second time.
“This tournament will be a little bit of an unknown for us,” Kiriyama stated. “We are going to a place we’ve never been before and facing three teams we’ve never played so it should be an interesting weekend. However, we want to be playing at a high level with conference play on the horizon.”
The Bearcats will have their final tune-up before league play in Ithaca against Cornell on Sept.24. The past two seasons witnessed matches going the distance with each team winning on the opposition’s home court.
Binghamton opens conference play at five-time champion Albany (Sept. 26) before heading to defending champion New Hampshire (Oct. 3) the following weekend. The Bearcats conclude its 19-game road trip with a visit to UMass Lowell (Oct. 5), who begins its second season in the America East in 2014.
The Bearcats finally begin their home schedule on Oct. 10 and Oct. 11 against Hartford and Stony Brook. Binghamton then has eight days off before hosting UMBC over Homecoming Weekend on Oct. 19. The Bearcats conclude their six-game homestand and schedule with the second half of conference play against Albany (Oct. 24), UMass Lowell (Oct. 31) and New Hampshire (Nov.2). Binghamton boasts a record of 50-23 (.685) at West Gym since 2005.
Binghamton closes-out the 2014 season with a brief three-game road trip facing Stony Brook (Nov. 7), Hartford (Nov. 9) and UMBC (Nov. 14). Each game will weigh heavily on the final conference standings and playoff positioning.
“Conference play is always difficult as the intensity is turned up another level,” Kiriyama said. “Its eye-opening for the newcomers, but we have a veteran group that will help them assimilate. We will be in a fight throughout league play and will have to be playing our best towards the end of the season.”