The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is pleased to announce the schedule for the 2014 AVCA College Volleyball Showcase. It will feature a school from elite NCAA Division I conferences in the Big Ten Conference, Pac-12 Conference, Big 12 Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) playing over the course of two days in two venues.
The matches kick off at 7pm C.T. on August 29th when No. 3 Stanford travels to Ames, IA to take on (RV) Iowa State University. At the same time just over 200 miles away in Lincoln, NE, the No. 7 ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers will play host to No. 13 Florida State University. Two days later at noon C.T., Stanford and Florida State swap locations to set up a marquee matchup between volleyball powerhouses Stanford and Nebraska in an early-season Big Ten-Pac-12 showdown. The action remains hot in Iowa as the Cyclones and Seminoles square off at 1pm C.T. with conference bragging rights on the line.
"We could not have had better partners than Nebraska and Iowa State in launching this new model for the AVCA College Volleyball Showcase," said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. "Two schools with great fan bases for volleyball and very supportive administrations. Add quality opponents in Stanford and Florida State and we have the recipe for four feature events to start the 2014 season."
All four matches will be televised or streamed online for those unable to attend the live action. The Cyclone Network will air Iowa State's match against Stanford starting at 7 p.m. C.T. and simulcast on Pac-12 Networks Bay Area. They will also telecast their Florida State matchup on Sunday, August 31 at 1 p.m C.T. BTN Plus will stream the Florida State vs. Nebraska match live on August 29 at 7pm C.T. and the Big Ten Network will air the marquee matchup of the opening weekend between the Cardinal and Huskers starting at noon C.T. on August 31.
All four teams competing are either ranked in the AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll or receiving votes. Stanford is the highest ranked of four Pac-12 teams to crack the top-25, checking in at No. 3. The Cardinal was also selected by Pac-12 coaches to win the conference as they return AVCA First-Team All-American Inky Ajanaku, Second-Team All-American Madi Bugg and All-America Honorable Mentions Jordan Burgess and Kyle Gilbert.
At No. 7, Nebraska is one of a conference-leading seven schools from the Big Ten in the AVCA Top-25. The Huskers return all but one starter from the 2013 squad that saw them reach the NCAA Regional Final. They will look to make another success run in 2014 without graduated AVCA First-Team All-American Kelsey Robinson, but return sophomore outside hitter and Third-Team All-American Kadie Rolfzen.
Florida State is coming off an incredibly strong 2013 campaign, advancing into the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 for the third time in school history. They begin the 2014 season at No. 13 in the AVCA Coaches Poll, and are no strangers to playing some of the best competition the country has to offer. Last year they broke a program record with six victories over nationally ranked teams. They will look to continue that success on Opening Day Weekend with the firepower to do just that, returning two All-ACC Second Teamers Nicole Walch and Katie Mosher.
The Iowa State Cyclones received 59 votes in the AVCA Preseason Poll and return four starters and 11 letter-winners to this year's squad. Junior right side Mackenzie Bigbee and senior outside Victoria Hurrt are back with ISU on the 2014 Big 12 Preseason Team.
The AVCA, with its headquarters in Lexington, Ky., is managed by Associations International. The mission of the AVCA is to advance the sport of volleyball with AVCA coaches at the epicenter of leadership, advocacy and professional development. With a membership of over 6,400 and counting, the AVCA provides a professional network for those individuals and companies dedicated to enhancing and promoting the sport. Members include collegiate, high school, club, youth and Olympic coaches, as well as volleyball club directors. The AVCA provides education to volleyball coaches, recognition of elite players and coaches, promotion of volleyball competitions throughout the world, and networking opportunities for volleyball products and services providers. Further information is available at www.avca.org.