Gone are weekend getaways, back are multicity road trips for the fall 2021 season. And perhaps most importantly, fans will return to fill the Devaney Center and other volleyball venues.
Nebraska released its volleyball schedule Friday, and the Big Ten reverted back to its normal scheduling after a year when teams played each other twice in one location because of COVID-19 precautions.
The Huskers will also welcome back former coach and player Dani Busboom Kelly and renew a couple of their biggest rivalries that were canceled this past season.
Nebraska’s nonconference schedule features three teams that made the NCAA tournament during the spring. The Huskers will play Creighton at the CHI Health Center on Sept. 8 before hosting Utah, which finished the year ranked No. 17.
Busboom Kelly will bring Louisville to Lincoln on Sept. 18 after the Cardinals reached the regional semifinals and ended the spring ranked No. 11.
And that doesn't include a road trip to the 2019 and 2018 national champion Stanford, which went 2-8 during the spring as the Cardinal dealt with a myriad of health issues and graduated a core that won three titles in four years.
Nebraska fans won’t have to wait long to see live action at the Devaney Center again. The Huskers begin the season with six matches at home during the first two weekends as they will play Tulsa, Colgate, Kansas State, UNO, Georgia and Arizona State at the Devaney Center.
The Nebraska athletic department is planning for 100% capacity for all home fall sporting events. Online season ticket renewals for volleyball will be available within the next two weeks.
NU was scheduled to welcome fans back for the last two matches of the regular season against Penn State, but those were canceled. A limited crowd of 4,154 watched Nebraska play Texas in the regional final at the CHI Health Center.
Nebraska's fall league schedule opens at Northwestern, which the Huskers didn’t play last season. The Wildcats were at the Devaney Center, but a positive coronavirus test canceled the matches and knocked the Wildcats out of action for several weeks.
The Huskers will play Wisconsin for the first time since losing to the Badgers in the 2019 regional final in Madison. NU hosts the Badgers on Wednesday, Oct. 27 and then plays at Wisconsin on the last weekend on Friday, Nov. 26. NU closes the regular season at Purdue the following night.
The Huskers will play home-and-home series against Iowa, Penn State, Rutgers, Indiana, Illinois, Purdue and Wisconsin. They have single road matches against Northwestern, Minnesota and Ohio State and will play Michigan, Maryland and Michigan State at home once.
Start times for most matches as well as televised matches will be announced at a later time.
Nebraska volleyball's 2021 schedule
Friday, Aug. 27: Tulsa, noon
Friday, Aug. 27: Colgate, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 28: Kansas State
Friday, Sept. 3: UNO, noon
Friday, Sept. 3: Georgia, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 4: Arizona State
Wednesday, Sept. 8: at Creighton
Saturday, Sept. 11: Utah
Tuesday, Sept. 14: at Stanford
Saturday, Sept. 18: Louisville
Wednesday, Sept. 22: at Northwestern
Saturday, Sept. 25: Iowa
Friday, Oct. 1: Michigan
Sunday, Oct. 3: Michigan State
Friday, Oct. 8: at Penn State
Saturday, Saturday, Oct. 9: at Rutgers
Wednesday, Oct. 13: Indiana
Saturday, Oct. 16: Illinois
Wednesday, Oct. 20: at Iowa
Saturday, Oct. 23: Purdue
Wednesday, Oct. 27: Wisconsin
Saturday, Oct. 30: at Minnesota
Thursday, Nov. 4: at Illinois
Saturday, Nov. 6: at Ohio State
Friday, Nov. 12: Maryland
Sunday, Nov. 14: at Indiana
Friday, Nov. 19: Penn State
Saturday, Nov. 20: Rutgers
Friday, Nov. 26: at Wisconsin
Saturday, Nov. 27: at Purdue