Nebraska volleyball released its 2018 schedule on Thursday and it includes 19 home matches and a nonconference slate that will not take the Huskers outside of the state’s borders. The 19 home matches are the most for Nebraska since volleyball became an NCAA-sanctioned sport in 1981.
Nebraska hosts three nonconference events — the VERT Challenge, the Ameritas Players Challenge and the Nebraska Invitational — as well as a single game against Iowa State at the Devaney Center.
Nebraska opens the regular season by hosting the VERT Challenge in its final season. The Huskers will host Florida in a rematch of the 2017 National Championship game on Aug. 24 before taking on Oregon the following day. For the second straight year, Nebraska will not play Texas in the event.
Nebraska hosts Ohio, Wake Forest and Santa Clara for the Americas Players Challenge and Central Michigan, New Mexico and Missouri State in the Nebraska Invitational.
Nebraska’s lone road nonconference game is a short drive up I-80 to take on Creighton at CenturyLink Center Omaha on Sept. 6.
The Huskers will again play 20 Big Ten games with home-and-away matches with 2018 co-Big Ten champion Penn State, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio State, Iowa and Indiana. Nebraska will travel to Northwestern, Wisconsin and Purdue once each and will host Michigan State, Rutgers and Maryland. Nebraska will look to win its third straight Big Ten title in 2018.
The Huskers went 32-4 including 19-1 in the Big Ten last season en route to a conference and national championship. Nebraska lost two All-Americans and co-captains Kelly Hunter and Annika Albrecht along with middle blocker Briana Holman and defensive specialist Sydney Townsend to graduation but return two-time NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player Mikaela Foecke along with three other starters. The Huskers also brought in one of the top recruiting classes in the country headlined by Nicklin Hames, PrepVolleball.com’s top-ranked setter, and added a highly-touted transfer in outside hitter Lexi Sun from Texas.
Jacob Padilla has been writing for Hail Varsity since 2015. He covers football, volleyball men’s basketball and prep sports. He also co-hosts the Nebraska Preps Postgame and Nebraska Shootaround podcasts for the Hurrdat Media and Hail Varsity podcast networks. 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.