Following the U.S. Olympic women’s volleyball team gold medal in Tokyo, with a roster featuring eight B1G Volleyball alumni, the Big Ten Network today announced the most expansive volleyball schedule in network history. The 2021 schedule includes at least 47 matches on television, a new high-water mark for the network, with all non-televised matches scheduled to appear on Big Ten Network+
Action kicks off on Saturday, Aug. 28, with a non-conference tripleheader featuring multiple teams ranked in last season’s final AVCA Coaches Poll. The season opens with Kansas State at No. 6 Nebraska at 5 p.m. ET, No. 13 Baylor at No. 3 Wisconsin at 7 p.m. ET and TCU vs. No. 9 Minnesota at 9:30 p.m. ET. The final two games of the night will be played at Wisconsin as part of Big Ten/Big 12 Challenge.
Non-conference season continues in September with a star-studded lineup from last season’s Women’s Volleyball Championship. Minnesota hosts NCAA national runner-up Texas on Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. ET, national semifinalist Washington heads to Illinois on Sept. 3 at 9 p.m. ET and the defending National Champion Kentucky Wildcats visit national semifinalist Wisconsin on Sept. 10 at 9 p.m. ET.
Big Ten Conference play on Big Ten Network begins with a doubleheader on Wednesday, Sept. 22, when Illinois visits Iowa at 7 p.m. ET before Nebraska travels to Northwestern at 9 p.m. ET. A variety of doubleheaders are scheduled throughout the year, including Nebraska at Penn State and Minnesota at Michigan on Oct. 8, Penn State at Minnesota and Ohio State at Wisconsin on Oct. 22, Michigan at Purdue and Penn State at Nebraska on Nov. 19 and Nebraska at Wisconsin and Minnesota at Penn State on Friday, Nov. 26, following the Iowa vs. Nebraska football game.
I will have more on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.