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    June 9, 2014

    Schedule | 2013 NCAA RPI

    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

    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.



    Only two non-conference matches remain (Sept. 16 at UT Martin, Sept. 21 at Southeast Missouri) as Southern's MVC schedule will begin on Sept. 19 at home against Evansville. Last season, the Valley finished with one NCAA Tournament berth (MVC Champion Wichita State) and four top-100 RPIs: No. 38 Wichita State, No. 61 Northern Iowa, No. 70 Missouri State and No. 91 Illinois State. That said, the 105th-ranked Salukis (20-13) finished third in the regular season after a 13-5 conference season that saw historic wins over Northern Iowa (their first in 20 seasons) and Wichita State (their first in 12 seasons), and a trip to the MVC title game against the Shockers -- the first for SIU since 2002.

    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.)
     Date Opponent Location Time
    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
    = 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.