ALBANY — Earlier this week the Albany State volleyball team was predicted to win the SIAC East Division title, and now the Lady Rams have their map to get there.
The program’s 2014 schedule was released on Thursday, and the Lady Rams will open the season Sept. 5 in a doubleheader at Valdosta State against Lynn University and VSU.
“After a fourth place finish last season and losing two all-conference players, we are surprised we were selected as the team to beat in the East,” coach Robert Skinner said.
Last year’s team finished with a 17-14 record but failed to make the SIAC championship game for the first time since 1999. The Lady Rams also lost four seniors, including All-SIAC selections Jillian Anderson and Ashley Johnson.
“We have a young team full of inexperience, but they have a lot of heart and desire to achieve the goals we set for ourselves,” Skinner said. “This stands to be a promising season regardless of the record.”
After their season opener, the Lady Rams will travel to Huntsville, Ala. on Sept. 15 to battle Division I Alabama A&M.
ASU opens conference play Sept. 18-20 during the SIAC crossover tournament, which will be hosted by Fort Valley State. The Lady Rams will face all seven teams from the conference’s West Division during the three-day affair. They will open the tournament against defending SIAC champion Kentucky State on the first day of action.
After road contests with Paine College (Sept. 25) and Benedict College (Oct. 1), Albany State will host its first home match against Clark Atlanta University on Oct. 7. The Lady Rams’ home schedule will continue with rematches with Paine (Oct. 9) and Benedict (Oct. 11).
ASU will also take on two Division II opponents from the Southeast Region. The Lady Rams will face Armstrong Atlantic University on Oct. 14 in Savannah. On Oct. 17, the Lady Rams will play at Columbus State University before returning home Oct. 20 for a matchup against rival Fort Valley State.
Albany State will close out the regular season on Nov. 7 against Clark Atlanta and will compete in the SIAC tournament Nov. 10-12 in Birmingham.