August 9, 2021
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Illinois volleyball team released its complete 2021 schedule with the announcement of its non-conference slate on Monday (August 9), highlighted by the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge in Huff Hall on Sept. 3-4.
The Illini open the season with the Panther Invite in Milwaukee, Wis., and will kick off the 2021 schedule against UC Santa Barbara and tournament host Milwaukee on Friday, Aug. 27, before taking on Valparaiso on Saturday, Aug. 28.
Illinois then returns home to host the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge in Huff Hall and welcomes in Washington on Friday, Sept. 3 and Colorado on Saturday, Sept. 4.
A trip to Omaha, Neb., is up next for the Bluejay Invitational, hosted by Creighton on Sept. 9-10, with the Illini facing Nebraska-Omaha and SMU on Friday, before a meeting with the host Bluejays on Saturday.
The non-conference slate then wraps up with the Redbird Classic in Normal, Ill., with the Illini facing off against Missouri and host Illinois State on Friday, Sept. 17, followed by a match against North Texas on Saturday, Sept. 18.
The 2021 Big Ten volleyball schedule was previously announced by the conference office in June, with the league once again competing in a 20-match conference schedule, with the Illini playing seven teams both home and away and six teams once (three home and three away).
Here is the breakdown of Illinois’ opponents for the 2021 Big Ten schedule:
Home & Away – Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue, Wisconsin
Home Only – Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio State
Away Only – Michigan State, Penn State, Rutgers
The Illini open Big Ten play on the road against Iowa on Sept. 22, before returning to Champaign for their conference home opener against Northwestern on Sept. 25 in Huff Hall. UI then wraps up conference action and the 2021 regular season with a trip to the state of Michigan as Illinois takes on Michigan on Nov. 24 and Michigan State on Nov. 26.
• 31 total matches
• 12 matches at Huff Hall
• 13 away matches, six neutral-site matches
• Four non-conference tournaments
• Ranked in the final AVCA poll: 11 matches vs. 8 teams
• 2020-21 Conference Champions/Tournament Champions: 4 (Illinois State, Washington, Creighton Wisconsin)
• NCAA Tournament:
- Qualifiers: 10 (Illinois State, Minnesota, Washington, Purdue, Missouri, Creighton, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Nebraska, Penn State)
- Sweet 16: 7 (Wisconsin, Ohio State, Nebraska, Penn State, Minnesota, Washington, Purdue)
- Elite Eight: 4 (Washington, Wisconsin, Purdue, Nebraska)
- Final Four: 2 (Washington, Wisconsin)
• Season opener: August 27 vs. UC Santa Barbara at Milwaukee, Wis.
• Home opener: September 3 vs. Washington
• B1G opener: September 22 at Iowa
• B1G home opener: September 25 vs. Northwestern
• NCAA Tournament First & Second Rounds: Dec. 2-4 at campus sites
• NCAA Tournament Regionals: Dec. 10-11 at campus sites
• NCAA Tournament Semifinals & Championship: Dec. 16 & 18 Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio
For more Fighting Illini volleyball news, stay tuned to FightingIllini.com and follow @IlliniVBall on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook.
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