SIU head coach Justin Ingram
June 9, 2014
By Tyler Wooten
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Saluki volleyball has unveiled its entire schedule for the upcoming 2014 season, which includes a steady gauntlet of high-caliber competition from around the country in both the non-conference and Missouri Valley Conference seasons.
In total, Southern will go head-to-head with 11 schools that finished the 2013 season with top-100 RPIs -- including two to open the season that finished in the top-25, No. 16 Illinois and No. 24 North Carolina.
SIU will join the Illini and Tar Heels (along with 80th-ranked Long Beach State) in Champaign, Ill., on Aug. 29-30 for the Illini Classic -- which should prove to be an early showcase for some of the top squads in the country in 2014. The Illini have gone to six consecutive NCAA Tournaments (including a national runner-up finish in 2011); the Tar Heels have punched tickets to the tournament four years in a row; and the LBSU 49ers will open the season with the 10th-best recruiting class in the country according to PrepVolleyball.com.
Southern's next tournament -- the Sports Imports/D.C. Koehl Classic in Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 5-7 -- won't be too steep of a step-down in competition. Host school No. 43 Ohio State and No. 65 Auburn will be in attendance along with SIU and Florida Gulf Coast. The Buckeyes aren't too far removed from a national tournament themselves as they went dancing in 2012, and the Tigers earned their first-ever berth in 2010.
Next, the Salukis return home to Carbondale to host the Saluki Invitational for the first time in two seasons. As it did in 2012, Southern will host the two-day, four-team tournament in the SIU Arena on Sept. 12-13. Coming to SIU will be IPFW, Marshall and No. 58 Kansas State -- where SIU head coach Justin Ingram was an assistant coach for eight years from 2001-08. This is the second straight year that the Salukis and Wildcats have gone head-to-head, as SIU travelled to Manhattan, Kan., just last season for the K-State Invitational.
SIU has posted 20 wins in each of the last two seasons (Ingram's first two at Southern), a feat that hasn't been accomplished since 1984-85. From last year's squad, the Salukis return First-Team All-MVC honoree Taylor Pippen, as well as MVC Freshman of the Year Hannah Kaminsky and MVC All-Freshman team member Meg Viggars.
|2014 Illini Classic (Champaign, Ill.)|
|Fri., Aug. 29||vs. No. 24 North Carolina !||Champaign, Ill.||4 p.m. CT|
|Sat., Aug. 30||at No. 16 Illinois !||Champaign, Ill.||10 a.m. CT|
|vs. No. 80 Long Beach State||Champaign, Ill.||5 p.m. CT|
|Tue., Sep. 2||at No. 87 Middle Tennessee State||Murfreesboro, Tenn.||6 p.m. CT|
|2014 Sports Imports/D.C. Koehl Classic (Columbus, Ohio)|
|Fri., Sep. 5||vs. Florida Gulf Coast||Columbus, Ohio||9 a.m. CT|
|vs. No. 65 Auburn||Columbus, Ohio||4:30 p.m. CT|
|Sun., Sep. 7||at No. 43 Ohio State||Columbus, Ohio||1 p.m. CT|
|2014 Saluki Invitational (Sponsored by Comfort Inn and Suites (Carbondale, Ill./SIU Arena)|
|Fri., Sep. 12||Marshall vs. Kansas State||Carbondale, Ill. (SIU Arena)||11 a.m. CT|
|vs. IPFW||Carbondale, Ill. (SIU Arena)||1 p.m. CT|
|Marshall vs. IPFW||Carbondale, Ill. (SIU Arena)||5 p.m. CT|
|vs. No. 58 Kansas State||Carbondale, Ill. (SIU Arena)||7 p.m. CT|
|Sat., Sep. 13||IPFW vs. Kansas State||Carbondale, Ill. (SIU Arena)||11 a.m. CT|
|vs. Marshall||Carbondale, Ill. (SIU Arena)||1 p.m. CT|
|Tue., Sep. 16||at Tennessee-Martin||Martin, Tenn.||6 p.m. CT|
|Fri., Sep. 19||vs. Evansville *||Carbondale, Ill.||7 p.m. CT|
|Sun., Sep. 21||at Southeast Missouri State||Cape Girardeau, Mo.||2 p.m. CT|
|Fri., Sep. 26||at No. 91 Illinois State *||Bloomington, Ill.||7 p.m. CT|
|Sat., Sep. 27||at Indiana State *||Terre Haute, Ind.||6 p.m. CT|
|Fri., Oct. 3||vs. Loyola *||Carbondale, Ill.||7 p.m. CT|
|Sat., Oct. 4||vs. Bradley *||Carbondale, Ill.||7 p.m. CT|
|Fri., Oct. 10||at Drake *||Des Moines, Iowa||7 p.m. CT|
|Sat., Oct. 11||at No. 61 Northern Iowa *||Cedar Falls, Iowa||7 p.m. CT|
|Fri., Oct. 17||vs. No. 38 Wichita State * !||Carbondale, Ill.||7 p.m. CT|
|Sat., Oct. 18||vs. No. 70 Missouri State *||Carbondale, Ill.||7 p.m. CT|
|Fri., Oct. 24||vs. Indiana State *||Carbondale, Ill.||7 p.m. CT|
|Sat., Oct. 25||vs. No. 91 Illinois State *||Carbondale, Ill.||7 p.m. CT|
|Fri., Oct. 31||at Bradley *||Peoria, Ill.||7 p.m. CT|
|Sat., Nov. 1||at Loyola *||Chicago, Ill.||7 p.m. CT|
|Fri., Nov. 7||vs. No. 61 Northern Iowa *||Carbondale, Ill.||7 p.m. CT|
|Sat., Nov. 8||vs. Drake *||Carbondale, Ill.||7 p.m. CT|
|Fri., Nov. 14||at No. 70 Missouri State *||Springfield, Mo.||7 p.m. CT|
|Sat., Nov. 15||at No. 38 Wichita State * !||Wichita, Kan.||7 p.m. CT|
|Fri., Nov. 21||at Evansville *||Evansville, Ind.||7 p.m. CT|
|2014 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament (Cedar Falls, Iowa)|
|Thu., Nov. 27||Quarterfinal||Cedar Falls, Iowa||TBA|
|Fri., Nov. 28||Semifinal||Cedar Falls, Iowa||TBA|
|Sat., Nov. 29||Championship Game||Cedar Falls, Iowa||TBA|
* = Missouri Valley Conference game
! = 2013 NCAA Tournament team
BOLD = Home Games in Davies Gym (except the Saluki Invitational, which will be held in the SIU Arena)
Rankings reflect the top-100 teams in the final 2013 NCAA Volleyball RPI report. Southern Illinois finished 2013 ranked 105th.