The WSU athletic department released the 2014 volleyball schedule Monday on its website, and 13 matches will be broadcast on Pac-12 Networks. WSU won't be playing as many matches in Bohler Gym, thanks to the fact that the non-conference schedule has them only playing one tournament in Pullman.
Cougar volleyball is scheduled to play 12 non-conference opponents -- four, three match tournaments -- and only three of those matches are going to be played in Pullman. The three opponents for those home matches are Idaho (finished 2013 ranked 139 in RPI), Portland State (83), and Loyola Marymount (116). Those three squads are pretty representative of the non-conference schedule that WSU will face in 2014.
In fact, the average final RPI ranking for those 12 nonconference teams (in 2013) was 102.6. That best team that WSU will face in the non-conference schedule is Illinois (16), and the worst team is Montana (195).
If the Cougs are to make it back to the NCAA tournament, they likely are going to need to finish the non-conference schedule with 10 or 11 wins ... and pick up seven or eight wins in conference play.
Unfortunately for the Cougs, Pac-12 play begins with a tough road trip to Seattle to take on in-state rival Washington (3), and then a trip down to Palo Alto to take on Stanford (6). Then the squad heads home to host USC (7) and UCLA (48). Three of Washington State's first four conference matches are going to be broadcast on Pac-12 Networks.
The match-up against the Trojans is going to be must see TV for Coug fans, as USC is going to be looking for revenge, thanks to the Cougs come from behind upset victory in Pullman last year.
The match-up against USC is one of 13 televised games for the Cougs in 2014. Of those televised matches, six are home matches; the six home matches that will be televised are:
- USC on Friday Oct. 3 at 6 pm
- UCLA on Sunday Oct. 5 at 11 am
- Utah on Sunday Oct. 26 at 11 am
- Oregon State on Thursday Nov. 6 at TBA
- Oregon on Sunday Nov. 9 at 11 am
- Washington on Friday Nov. 28 at TBA (the day before the Apple Cup)