Huskers VB Release 2006 Schedule

Two home tournaments and 16 matches against 2005 NCAA qualifiers highlight the 2006 Nebraska volleyball schedule released Friday.

The 28-match slate includes 17 home matches at the NU Coliseum along with a match aganist Creighton at Qwest Center Omaha, the site of the NCAA Volleyball Championships this December. In all, NU will play nine matches against teams that finished in the top 25 of the final 2005 AVCA/CSTV Coaches poll.

According to Head Coach John Cook, this fall's schedule will prepare the Huskers for the rigors of the Big 12, a league which sent seven teams to the NCAA Tournament last season.

"We were forced to do some scrambling because of teams canceling, but I think it worked out for us when you look at our schedule," Cook said. "Having two tournaments and playing a very good San Diego team will get us prepared for the Big 12."

"One of the other goals we had was to play a regular-season match at the Qwest Center and playing Creighton there on Sept. 24 will also give our fans who are unable to get tickets for home matches an opportunity to see both us and Creighton.

 The regular-season schedule opens on Tuesday, Aug. 29, as NCAA Tournament qualifier San Diego makes the trip to the NU Coliseum, beginning a stretch of eight straight home matches for the Big Red. The Toreros finished 23-6 in 2005 and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2005.

The following weekend, a pair of West Coast teams visit Lincoln, as NU will host a four-team tournament that includes three-time NCAA champion Long Beach State, NCAA Tournament qualifier St. Mary's and Middle Tennessee State. Long Beach State, which finished 25-6 in 2005, is one only five volleyball programs in the nation which has won more national titles that NU.

Nebraska's final preconference test will be taxing, as the Huskers host the second edition of the Players Challenge. The four-team field includes NCAA Sweet 16 finisher Louisville, and NCAA Tournament qualifier Minnesota and Cal Poly The Huskers and Golden Gophers, which finished No. 21 in the final AVCA/CSTV poll played an epic five-game match in Minnesota last September. The matchup between the Huskers and Cardinals, which won 31 matches and finished 11th in the final coaches poll, will be the first time the teams have met since the 2004 NCAA Louisville Regional.

NU begins defense of its Big 12 title on Sept. 13, when it opens conference play against Kansas at the NU Coliseum. In all, seven Big 12 teams reached the NCAA Tournament a year ago, including NCAA Regional finalist Missouri, while three teams finished ranked in the final CSTV/AVCA Top 25. The Huskers finish with three of their final four regular-season matches at the NU Coliseum, including the regular-season finale against 2005 Big 12 runner-up Texas on Nov. 25

While the first and second rounds are on campus sites the weekend of Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, the NCAA Regionals will take place Dec. 8-9, at the following sites: Gainsville, Fla.; Austin Texas; Seattle, Wash., and Honolulu, Hawaii. The 2006 NCAA Championships will take place Dec. 14 & 16 at a sold-out Qwest Center Omaha.

The Huskers return four starters from last year's team that finished 33-2 and earned an NCAA runner-up finish, including 2005 AVCA National Player of the Year Christina Houghtelling and two-time AVCA first-team All-American Sarah Pavan.

2006 Nebraska Volleyball Schedule
Date    Day     Event   Site    Time
Aug. 26       Saturday        Alumni Match    NU Coliseum     TBA
Aug. 26       Saturday        Red/White Scrimmage     NU Coliseum     TBA

Aug. 29       Tuesday San Diego       NU Coliseum     TBA

Sept. 1-3      Friday-Sunday   Labor Day Tournament           
                St. Mary's      NU Coliseum     TBA
                Long Beach State        NU Coliseum     TBA
                Middle Tennessee State  NU Coliseum     TBA

Sept. 8-10    Friday-Sunday   Players Challenge              
                Minnesota       NU Coliseum     TBA
                Cal Poly        NU Coliseum     TBA
                Louisville      NU Coliseum     TBA

Sept. 13        Wednesday       Kansas  NU Coliseum     7 p.m.
Sept. 16        Saturday        at Oklahoma     Norman, Okla.   7 p.m.
Sept. 20       Wednesday       Iowa State      NU Coliseum     7 p.m.
Sept. 23        Saturday        Texas Tech      NU Coliseum     TBA
Sept. 24        Sunday  at Creighton    Qwest Center Omaha      2 p.m.
Sept. 30        Saturday        at Baylor       Waco,Texas      7 p.m.
Oct. 4           Wednesday       Kansas State    NU Coliseum     7 p.m.
Oct. 7           Saturday        at Texas A&M    College Station, Texas  6:30 p.m.
Oct. 11         Wednesday       at Missouri     Columbia, Mo.   6:30 p.m.
Oct. 14         Saturday        Colorado        NU Coliseum     7 p.m.
Oct. 18         Wednesday       at Texas        Austin, Texas   7 p.m.
Oct. 25         Wednesday       Missouri        NU Coliseum     7 p.m.
Oct. 28         Saturday        at Kansas State Manhattan, Kan. 7 p.m.
Nov. 1          Wednesday       at Texas Tech   Lubbock, Texas  7 p.m.
Nov. 4          Saturday        Oklahoma        NU Coliseum     TBA
Nov. 8         Wednesday       at Iowa State   Ames, Iowa      6:30 p.m.
Nov. 11        Saturday        at Colorado     Boulder, Colo.  7 p.m.
Nov. 15       Wednesday       Texas A&M       NU Coliseum     7 p.m.
Nov. 18        Saturday        Baylor  NU Coliseum     7 p.m.
Nov. 22        Wednesday       at Kansas       Lawrence, Kan.  7 p.m.
Nov. 25        Saturday        Texas   NU Coliseum     7 p.m.

NCAA Tournament        
Nov. 30-Dec.. 3 Thursday-Sunday NCAA First/Second Rounds        Campus SItes    TBA
Dec. 8  Friday  NCAA Regionals  Campus Sites    TBA
Dec. 9  Saturday        NCAA Regionals  Campus Sites    TBA
Dec. 14 Thursday        NCAA Semifinals Qwest Center Omaha      TBA
Dec. 16 Saturday        NCAA Finals     Qwest Center Omaha      TBA
* All times listed are Central and subject to change


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