EMU releases 2014 field hockey, volleyball schedules
Another year, another challenging schedule for the emu field hockey team. Coach Brenda Bechler released Eastern Mennonite’s 2014 slate today, which will push her women but will also let them lean on the home crowd. Ten of their 18 games will be played in Harrisonburg.
The Royals open their year at home, welcoming in Gettysburg and Ursinus on August 29 and 30, respectively. The Bears will be one of three teams the women face who went to the national tournament last year. All three games are at home.
Final four participant Christopher Newport comes to visit on Sept. 17 and ODAC champion Lynchburg, winners of eight straight league crowns, is in on Sept. 30.
Bechler planned opponents who would push her team in preparation for the ODAC season.
“We continue to have a challenging schedule both in and out of conference,” said Bechler. “We are ready to rise to the challenge.”
Other familiar non-conference opponents include: McDaniel, York (Pa.), Johns Hopkins, Mary Washington and St. Mary’s (Md.). The Royals added two new games in 2014 – at Bethany (W.V.) and hosting Ferrum College’s new program. The game with the Panthers on Oct. 25 is the final home contest of the year. emu wraps up the regular season at Shenandoah on Oct. 29. The ODAC Tournament quarterfinals are Nov. 1.
For the third straight year, eastern mennonite University also hosts the ODAC Play Day. The preseason exhibition day starts at12:30pm on Aug. 24, giving numerous teams a handful of chances to play and giving fans the opportunity to watch quality field hockey all afternoon.
Royals spending time in Yoder Arena this fall
The emu volleyball women will be playing at home this fall – a lot. The Royals, who released their 2014 schedule today, have 13 contests set in Yoder Arena, which is the most they have had since 2007.
As has happened most years in recent history, the year starts at home with the emu Invitational. Six teams will play a total of 12 matches over Aug. 29 and 30, with each school playing four times. The Royals will play Hood, Goucher, Catholic and Salem.
The women host Southern Virginia on Sept. 10 before their ODAC opener at home against Virginia Wesleyan on Sept. 17. Their other seven home contests are bunched into October, including a tri-match with Guilford and Bluefield State on Oct. 4. A new opponent, Notre Dame of Maryland, visits on Oct. 11 for emu Homecoming.
emu also plays at a two-day invite at Salisbury on Sept. 5 and 6, and spends one day (Sept. 13) at the FSU Tournament hosted by Frostburg State. The 29-event regular season ends with a non-conference tri-match at Marymount on Nov. 1. The ODAC Tournament is the following week.
Coach Jeff Tyson said his schedule should help his players improve.
“We will be a young team this fall,” Tyson explained. “Our 2014 schedule will provide a number of challenging matches to help us grow and develop. I think we are up to the challenge and I am looking forward to the start of the season.”