Volleyball is into the third week of practice and I am reading Coach Cook’s book, Dream like a Champion. That is what is going on in my world! It is a good book, and while I recommend it, you most likely care more about the volleyball practice happening today so I’ll write about that.
These days, the Husker volleyball team is in the Devaney Center practicing and preparing for a modified season.
Doesn’t that warm your heart, Husker volleyball fans?
We’ve seen more changes to this season than I have kept track of, but there have been so many that let’s just stick to the basics: They are practicing. They are in a bubble. They begin match play on January 22nd.
Practice began October 12th. The team uses a specific door into Devaney, basketball, gymnastics and wrestling use their own. They all use different training rooms and of course different locker rooms. This is their bubble.
Husker Volleyball will go right to the B10 schedule on January 22nd. There won’t be a preseason with non-conference matches. The proposed – but not approved or announced – schedule would have 11 weeks of conference play. Each team would play at home five weekends and away five weekends. Inside each weekend there will be two matches against the same team.
The 11th weekend would be a split with the travel partner. Nebraska and Iowa are likely travel partners so they might play at Iowa on Wednesday night and at Devaney on Saturday night. The B10 schedule ends in time for the NCAA tournament, which is scheduled to start April 23-25 2021.
The tournament will look different this year. There will be only 48 teams, compared to the normal 64. There will be 32 automatic qualifiers as conference champs. This leaves 16 at large bids, instead of 32. Traditionally, the B10 and Pac-12 send 7, 8 or 9 teams to the tournament. It won’t be that many this year, it just won’t.
So, the stakes are super high to win the conference. Realistically, we can expect the B10 to get 3 or 4 teams in. There can be no let downs. A bad weekend that leads to an upset could be the difference between a tournament berth and an early end to the season.
We don’t know how all this is going to work. But volleyball practice is going on in Devaney. This much we know.