The Nebraska volleyball program announced its 2014 volleyball schedule, including a breakdown of the new Big Ten format, on Wednesday. Thirteen matches against NCAA qualifiers, including showdowns against defending national champion Penn State, NCAA runner-up Wisconsin and NCAA semifinalist Texas highlight the schedule.
The schedule, which includes 15 home matches at the Bob Devaney Sports Center, will provide numerous tests for the Huskers as they come off a 26-7 season which included a berth in the NCAA regional final. Nebraska, which led the NCAA in attendance in 2013 with an average of 8,175 fans per match, will look to build upon its 200 consecutive home sellouts at the Devaney Center in 2014.
The Huskers will open the season at the Devaney Center with the AVCA Showcase that features NCAA regional semifinalist Florida State and NCAA regional finalist Stanford. The Huskers will face the Seminoles on Friday, Aug. 29 and the Cardinal on Sunday, Aug. 31. Nebraska will then travel to the Flyer-Raider Invitational in Dayton, Ohio, to take on Dayton on Sept. 5, and Cal State Bakersfield and Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 6. The Huskers will return home for the Ameritas Players Challenge at the Devaney Center to face Denver on Sept. 12 and Colgate on Sept. 13.
Nebraska will hit the road the following week as the Huskers travel to Creighton on Sept. 17. NU will close the nonconference slate with a rematch of the 2013 NCAA Lincoln Regional Final against Texas at the Devaney Center on Sept. 20.
With the addition of Rutgers and Maryland to the Big Ten, the conference has announced a new format which features a schedule where teams will see seven opponents twice (home and away) and six opponents once (home or away) in a 10-week schedule. Each team will play its travel partner twice each year, facing them at home and away in the same week. For the first seven weeks of the conference season, teams will play in accordance with their travel partners, but for the final three weeks of the conference play divisional scheduling will be used and will follow a mainly Wednesday-Saturday schedule.
NU will begin Big Ten play on Sept. 24 when the Huskers host Iowa before traveling to Iowa City the following Saturday, Sept. 27. Nebraska will return home for a match on Friday, Oct. 3 against Penn State, before the Huskers host Ohio State on Saturday, Oct. 4. NU will close conference play at Penn State on Saturday, Nov. 29.
The Huskers will play home-and-home matches with Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State. The Huskers will see Northwestern, Ohio State, Minnesota, Rutgers, Purdue and Wisconsin only once in 2014.
The NCAA Tournament will begin December 4-6, with the first two rounds at campus sites. The NCAA Regionals will take place on Dec. 12-13, hosted by Iowa State, Louisville, Washington and Minnesota. The national semifinals and championship will be December 18 and December 20 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla., co-hosted by the Big 12 Conference and the Oklahoma City All Sports Association.
Nebraska will hold its annual Red/White Scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 23 at the Devaney Center.