The Nebraska volleyball schedule is set! We can look forward to 11 weeks of conference-only matches, with two matches each week against the same opponent. Regular-season competition starts January 22 and ends April 3. The first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament begin April 8-10 (48 team format).
Nebraska opens the season at Indiana on Jan. 22 and 23. I like this opening matchup. Indiana is a program to watch, their third year head coach, Steve Aird is on the right track with the Hoosiers. He is a former Penn State assistant coach, a talented recruiter, and was integral during two of their national championship campaigns in Happy Valley.
He is recruiting some fantastic coaches to the Indiana program. Krista Vansant is a former player from University of Washington and not just any former player, the most decorated Huskie volleyball player in that program’s history. She is also an assistant coach for USA Volleyball.
The Huskers then return home to take on Northwestern (Jan. 29-30) and Maryland (Feb. 5-6) before traveling to New Jersey to face Rutgers on Feb. 12 and Feb. 13. These are good matchups to fine tune the machine prior to playing two of the powerhouse programs in the B10. While of course Coach Cook and the team won’t look past these three opponents, the next week, the Huskers host Minnesota on Feb. 19 and Feb. 21 then head Wisconsin to take on the Badgers on Feb. 26 and Feb. 27.
I expect the coaching staff will scout Northwestern, Maryland and Rutgers and prepare for them. They will prepare to beat them, naturally, but also have some longer term goals they attempt to refine and practice during these matches.
In a shortened season where practices have started and stopped more times than most of us can count, preparing for the NCAA tournament is a shorter fuse. It is part of the coaching plan every match. We’ll get more into this in our game previews, but look for some changes these weeks from Coach Cook and his staff.
The Huskers open the month of March with an away series against Illinois (March 5-6). Then, on March 13-14, NU hosts Ohio State. The following week, Nebraska will play Iowa in a two-game series where each team gets a home match. The match on March 17 will be in Iowa City while the match on March 20 will be in Lincoln. We don’t know the verdict on if fans will be able to attend these games yet.
Nebraska finishes the month in Ann Arbor when it competes against Michigan on March 26 and 27. The Huskers finish the regular-season at home against Penn State on April 1 and 2. Penn State always finds a way to be at the top of the national poll. I already look forward to this grand finale to the season.
Coach Cook says he is excited to know what the season holds. He also believes playing teams back to back will challenge coaches and players in a new way this season. “There is no room for error or playing into the season. This schedule is like riding a horse in the Kentucky Derby. Get out of the gate and hang on for a wild ride.”
2020-21 Nebraska Volleyball Schedule
Week 1: Nebraska at Indiana (Friday, Jan. 22)
Week 1: Nebraska at Indiana (Saturday, Jan. 23)
Week 2: Nebraska vs. Northwestern (Friday, Jan. 29)
Week 2: Nebraska vs. Northwestern (Saturday, Jan. 30)
Week 3: Nebraska vs. Maryland (Friday, Feb. 5)
Week 3: Nebraska vs. Maryland (Saturday, Feb. 6)
Week 4: Nebraska at Rutgers (Friday, Feb. 12)
Week 4: Nebraska at Rutgers (Saturday, Feb. 13)
Week 5: Nebraska vs. Minnesota (Friday, Feb. 19)
Week 5: Nebraska vs. Minnesota (Sunday, Feb. 21)
Week 6: Nebraska at Wisconsin (Friday, Feb. 26)
Week 6: Nebraska at Wisconsin (Saturday, Feb. 27)
Week 7: Nebraska at Illinois (Friday, March 5)
Week 7: Nebraska at Illinois (Saturday, March 6)
Week 8: Nebraska vs. Ohio State (Saturday, March 13)
Week 8: Nebraska vs. Ohio State (Sunday, March 14)
Week 9: Nebraska at Iowa (Wednesday, March 17)
Week 9: Nebraska vs. Iowa (Saturday, March 20)
Week 10: Nebraska at Michigan (Friday, March 26)
Week 10: Nebraska at Michigan (Saturday, March 27)
Week 11: Nebraska vs. Penn State (Thursday, April 1)
Week 11: Nebraska vs. Penn State (Friday, April 2)