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.
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
1-3 Friday-Sunday Labor Day
St. Mary's NU Coliseum TBA
Long Beach State NU Coliseum TBA
Middle Tennessee State NU Coliseum TBA
8-10 Friday-Sunday Players
Minnesota NU Coliseum TBA
Cal Poly NU Coliseum TBA
Louisville NU Coliseum TBA
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.
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