COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Head coach Steve Aird and the Maryland volleyball team has announced an exciting schedule for the team’s inaugural season as members of the Big Ten Conference in 2014, featuring 13 matches against teams ranked in the top-16 of the final 2013 AVCA poll.
The Terrapins’ schedule features six of the eight teams from the 2013 NCAA Elite Eight, and 11 NCAA Tournament teams overall from a year ago. Last season, the Big Ten – arguably the nation’s toughest conference – sent seven of its 12 teams to the Sweet 16.
Aird was selected in January to lead Maryland into its first season of Big Ten action. The youngest current coach in the Big Ten, Aird made three NCAA Final Fours as a player at Penn State from 1997-2001 and was on the Penn State women’s volleyball coaching staff for a pair of national titles (2007, 2013).
“We are excited to begin our first season at Maryland,” Aird said. “Our staff is familiar with the Big Ten and the effort it takes to have success within it. The Big Ten will test you every weekend as the coaching and level of athlete is as good as anywhere in the country.”
The home schedule is highlighted by a visit from No. 10 Minnesota on Nov. 19, followed by a bout with defending National Champion Penn State three days later on Saturday, Nov. 22, at 7 p.m.
Other home matches include dates with Indiana (Oct. 3), No. 8 Purdue (Oct. 5), No. 14 Michigan State (Oct. 17), Michigan (Oct. 18), Rutgers (Oct. 21), Iowa (Oct. 31) and Northwestern (Nov. 29).
Also included on the Terrapins’ impressive slate is a West Coast swing that includes a pair of matches with No. 4 Washington (Sept. 18) and No. 6 USC (Sept. 19) on the campus of the University of Washington. Both Pac-12 schools advanced to the Elite Eight last season, with Washington eventually falling in the Final Four.
The Terrapins open the season with a trio of local tournaments at Elon (Aug. 28-29), George Mason (Sept. 5-6) and Appalachian State (Sept. 12-13).