After a strange pandemic-altered 2020 season that took place in early 2021 and featured weekend back-to-backs against the same team, the Big Ten is returning to normal for its real 2021 volleyball season. Nebraska released its schedule for the upcoming season on Friday.
We're not telling you to drink the Kool-Aid.
We're just telling you our schedule with Kool-Aid. pic.twitter.com/IHKSKwo8Ij
— Husker Volleyball (@Huskervball) June 11, 2021
After a conference-only season that featured a max of 22 matches for each team (though no team in the conference played more than 20 because of cancellations), the schedules will feature the typical 20-match conference slate with Nebraska playing 10 nonconference matches.
The Huskers will open the season in Lincoln, hosting Tulsa, Colgate and Kansas State for a tournament August 27 and 28. The Huskers will play Tulsa at noon and Colgate on 7:30 p.m. on Friday, and first serve on Saturday against Kansas State is to be determined. Nebraska will host another tournament the following week with matches against Omaha (noon) and Georgia (7:30 p.m.) on Friday and Arizona State (TBD) on Saturday.
Nebraska will renew its rivalry with in-state foe Creighton after a year off, heading to Omaha to face the Bluejays at the CHI Health Center on Wednesday, Sept. 8. The huskers will close out the nonconference slate with a home match against Utah on Sept. 11, a trip to Stanford on Sept. 14 and another home match against Louisville, led by former Husker player and coach Dani Busboom Kelly, on Sept 18.
The Big Ten schedule, which begins with a trip to Northwestern on Sept. 22, will feature seven home-and-home series (Iowa, Penn State, Rutgers, Indiana, Illinois, Purdue and Wisconsin), three home-only matches (Michigan, Michigan State and Maryland) and three road-only contests (Northwestern, Minnesota and Ohio State).
Nebraska finished 14-2 in conference play in the spring, finishing in third place, and 16-3 overall. Wisconsin won the conference title for the second straight season in 2020-21 after finishing 15-0, advancing to the Final Four before bowing out of the NCAA Tournament.
In total, the Huskers will face eight teams that qualified for the 48-team 2020-21 NCAA Tournament (Utah, Creighton, Louisville, Wisconsin, Penn State, Purdue, Ohio State and Minnesota).
The Nebraska athletic department is planning for 100 percent capacity for all home fall sporting events and online season ticket renewals for volleyball will be available within the next two weeks.
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.