CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Chattanooga Mocs volleyball team announced its 2014 schedule Wednesday afternoon. The season features two tournaments at Maclellan Gym, 16 Southern Conference matches and 15 home-matches.
“I think we’ve put together a challenging preseason schedule, we’ve added another home tournament and then we have two new programs entering the conference this season,” Head Coach Travis Filar said. “I believe this may be one of our most exciting and testing schedules we’ve had.”
The Mocs open the season August 29 in Houston, Texas at the Houston Marriott Westchase Classic hosted by Houston Baptist University. While in the Lone Star State, UTC takes on Houston Baptist, Northern Arizona and 2012 Conference USA champion Tulsa. The Hurricanes were also 2013 C-USA Tournament semi-finalists.
Chattanooga returns to the Scenic City Sept. 2 for its first match at Maclellan Gym for a Tuesday night match with Kennesaw State. The first of three mid-week matchups, UTC visits UAB Sept. 9 and Austin Peay Sept. 16.
“I wanted some mid-week matches and I think we added some tough teams to the schedule,” Filar said. “I have close relationships with those coaches and they aren’t far drives. And I believe Kennesaw State and Austin Peay are from conference a lot like the SoCon. They should help us prepare for what conference play is going to be like.”
The Bulldog Invitational in Athens, Ga., Sept. 5-6 is next on Chattanooga’s calendar. The Mocs face off against Georgia, the College of Charleston and Belmont before returning home to host back-to-back tournaments.
The Mocs host the Chattanooga Classic Sept. 12-13 and the Scenic City Showdown Sept. 19-20. It marks the first time since 1987 that UTC has hosted two volleyball tournaments in the same season.
“Hosting two tournaments gives us extra home matches,” Filar said. “It gives us more opportunities to play in front of our fans and play in our home environment. It gives us more chances to represent our program and host a number of schools. And the timing of these tournaments allows us to play at home for a very long stretch.”
The Chattanooga Classic features six matches. Murray State, Mississippi Valley State and Wright State visit Maclellan Gym for the weekend and will each face the Mocs. Wright State gets its shot Sept. 12 at 6 p.m. while Sept. 13 has UTC taking on Mississippi Valley at 12:30 p.m. and Murray State at 7 p.m.
The Scenic City Showdown totes six matches, as well, with Chattanooga scheduled for three. The Mocs are set to take on Stetson at 6 p.m. Sept. 19 and wrap up the following day with South Carolina State and UT-Martin at 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.
Both invitational are also sponsored by Hampton Inn & Suites of Downtown Chattanooga.
“We’re excited to have Hampton Inn & Suites of Downtown Chattanooga onboard for these tournaments,” said Filar. “The visiting teams will be staying right in the heart of the city and will really get to experience Chattanooga while they are here. They can eat in downtown and check out some of the other sights – like the Tennessee Aquarium and the Riverfront.”
The SoCon regular season begins Sept. 26 with UTC hosting Samford at 6 p.m. Newly-added East Tennessee State comes to town the following day for a 3 p.m. conference match.
The conference slate continues for two more weekends before the Mocs make their first trip to Macon, Ga., to face another new member of the SoCon – Mercer. UTC and the Bears square off just south of Atlanta Oct. 11 at 4 p.m.
The Mocs wrap up the regular season at home Nov. 15 against Furman at 6 p.m. before visiting Greensboro, N.C., Nov. 22-24 for the Southern Conference Championships.
The full schedule is now available on the GoMocs volleyball schedule page. Tournament central pages for both the Chattanooga Classic and Scenic City Showdown will soon be available on the volleyball homepage, as well.