RICHMOND, Va. – VCU Volleyball Coach Jody Rogers isn't afraid of a little competition. At least, that's what the Rams' 2014 schedule, released Monday, seems to be saying.

The Rams, 26-8 last season under Rogers, will meet nine 2013 NCAA Tournament qualifiers from this fall, including five conference champions, in one of the more challenging VCU Volleyball schedules in recent memory. VCU will meet three teams ranked in the final 2013 AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll.
VCU, the 2013 Atlantic 10 Conference runner-up, will open Rogers' second season at the helm with a bang. The Rams travel to Fort Collins, Colo. Aug. 29-30 to open the 2014 campaign, where they'll meet three conference champions from last season in host Colorado State (Mountain West), Marquette (Big East) – which reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year – and UC Santa Barbara (Big West).  Colorado State won 27 straight matches in 2013 and finished the season ranked 21st, while Marquette was 23rd in the final AVCA poll.
The following weekend, Sept. 5-6, VCU will meet MAC stalwart Ohio in Athens, Ohio as part of the Bobcat Invitational. Texas A&M, which advanced to the NCAA round of 32 last year, also awaits in Athens, as does Virginia Tech.
The Rams also have a scheduled trip to the Carolina Classic Sept. 12-13, where they'll meet host North Carolina, which finished the 2013 season ranked 25th, as well as reigning Southern Conference champ Georgia Southern and N.C. State.
The Black and Gold will also host the VCU Invitational Sept. 19-20 at the Verizon Wireless Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center and welcome a field that will include Virginia, Ball State and East Tennessee State.
Conference play will begin on Saturday, Sept. 27 when the Rams head to newly-minted A-10 member Davidson. The Rams will meet defending league champion Duquesne in rematch of the A-10 Championship Match on Sunday, Oct. 12 at the Siegel Center.
The Rams will also play host to Dayton, Davidson, La Salle, George Mason, George Washington and Saint Louis in A-10 action.
Dayton will host the 2014 Atlantic 10 Volleyball Championship Nov. 21-23.