SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Looking to get back to the NCAA Tournament for the 12th time under head coach Jon Wallace, Santa Clara volleyball announced its schedule for the 2014 season. The season kicks off Aug. 29 at Hofstra University where the Broncos will play four games in two days as part of the Hostra Asics Invitational. West Coast Conference play begins Sept. 26 at San Francisco with the conference home opener coming four days later on Sept. 30 vs. Pacific at 6 p.m.
"Every year we set up a schedule with the intentions of making the NCAA tournament," said Wallace. "Our non-conference schedule sets us up well for both the NCAA Tournament and very competitive WCC. If we can get the right wins we'll be looking good for the tournament. Most importantly, our preseason schedule should prepare us well to compete for the WCC championship as well as allowing our team grow and improve every time out."
The first games of the year will allow the Broncos to experience the east coast and experience many things off the court.
"We have some really exciting dates on our schedule," said Wallace. "First and foremost we're making a great trip to the east coast. We're going to open up in New York City, playing a tournament in Hofstra. It'll be a tough tournament as we play four matches in two days. We will have a very young team and probably have two to three new players on the court and I know that we're going to have strong competition at many positions so it should be a good weekend where we're going to be able to play a lot of kids and help our team grow and develop. The team will spend Sunday in New York City. We will show the team Ground Zero, Central Park, we will be complete tourists on Sunday and have a great day in New York City, which I'm very excited about. And I know most of our girls have not been there so it'll be a really good experience for them in New York."
After the trip to Hofstra, the Broncos will head to Army for one game before continuing on to Harvard for another tournament.
"I've heard that West Point campus is just amazing," continued Wallace. "I've wanted to go to Army for a long time and experience everything that they have there and watch the cadets go about their business. Hopefully we'll get a practice in on Monday and see what they go through. That'll be really eye opening for our girls and a very historical trip for us. We will end the week on the East Coast at a tournament at Harvard. We will play three matches at Harvard and we will be able to spend a little time on Sept. 3 in the city of Boston and touring around that city. We'll get in eight matches in 10 days which will be a good start for our young group. We'll get to play a lot of players and we'll be able to bond as a group. Our 10 day trip on the east coast will set the tone for the year."
Santa Clara opens the home schedule with matches vs. U Penn and Duke on Sept. 12 and 13.
"I'm really excited for the fact that we get to play U Penn and Duke here at the Leavey Center," said Wallace. "Duke won the ACC last year and they're picked to win it again in 2014 so playing them will be an exciting challenge for us. These two home matches are very important for us to establish a great home court advantage in the Leavey Center."
The WCC looks to be a tough conference yet again and the Broncos will open up at San Francisco on Sept. 26 before hosting Pacific on Sept. 30.
"Our conference will be very tough again in 2014," said Wallace. "Leading the way will be BYU this year with everybody back plus a kid that was redshirted last year and they should be somewhere in the top-10 nationally. It should be a great challenge going up against them and we'll be ready. We're looking forward to competing against them again. In our conference all the teams have gotten better."
The Broncos finish the season at home vs. Saint Mary's on Nov. 25.