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    Northwestern Announces 2013 Volleyball Slate

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM 2012 AVCA All-American Stephanie Holthus returns to the Wildcats for her senior season this fall.
    2012 AVCA All-American Stephanie Holthus returns to the Wildcats for her senior season this fall.

    June 4, 2013

    Complete 2013 Volleyball Schedule

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern head volleyball coach Keylor Chan announced, Tuesday, the 2013 schedule that his Wildcats will face in the fall. The 'Cats will play in four nonconference tournaments to open the season, including a pair at Welsh-Ryan Arena, before facing a challenging 20-match Big Ten calendar.

    Northwestern will play a total of 32 regular-season matches in the fall, plus an exhibition match against the Polish Women's National Team at Welsh-Ryan Arena as that squad completes a tour through the United States with stops on multiple Big Ten campuses. The Wildcats will face a combined 10 teams that appeared in the 2012 NCAA Tournament in 16 of their 32 contests.

    Coach Chan Discusses 2013 Schedule

    "We feel like we've put together a strong nonconference schedule that will undoubtedly test our team out of the gate and prepare us well for Big Ten play," said Chan. "I am confident that the returning group, coupled with the talented newcomers we will have in the fall, is ready to take the next step in their journey and challenge for a spot in the NCAA Tournament field."

    The 2013 campaign kicks off on Friday, Aug. 30 when the Wildcats travel to Kalamazoo, Mich. for the Holiday Inn West Invitational, hosted by Western Michigan. Northwestern draws the host school in the first match after WMU competed in the Wildcat Classic in Evanston last season. The `Cats close out the two-day tournament with a pair of matches on Saturday, Aug. 31. The first is against 2012 NCAA Tournament participant Oklahoma and the nightcap is versus the Horizon League's Milwaukee Panthers.

    Northwestern returns home Sept. 6-8 to host the first of two tournaments at Welsh-Ryan Arena this fall. During that particular weekend's Wildcat Challenge, NU welcomes to town Columbia and Belmont on Friday, Sept. 6 and the Boise State Broncos on Sunday, Sept. 8. There will be a neutral site match between Columbia and Belmont on Saturday, Sept. 7, however the Wildcats will be idle that day.

    Chicago's Big Ten Team will have a unique opportunity to host the Polish Women's National Team in an exhibition match on Monday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. The White and Reds are two-time European champions, having most recently claimed the gold medal in 2005.

    Following the friendly against the Poles, the Wildcats will depart for Honolulu, Hawai'i to participate in the Verizon Volleyball Challenge, Sept. 12-14. Northwestern will travel to the 50th state for the first time since 2006 to square off against three strong opponents. The Big Ten's 'Cats will open on Sept. 12 by taking on Arizona (Sept. 12) for the first time since knocking off the Pac-12's Wildcats in the opening round of the NCAA tournament on Dec. 3, 2010.

    The Verizon Volleyball Challenge continues on Friday, Sept. 13 against Hawai'i. The Rainbow Wahine posted an overall record of 27-3 last season as they advanced to the second round of the postseason tournament. Northwestern will play its final match on the island on Sept. 14 against Portland State before returning to Chicagoland.

    Chan's squad will host the Wildcat Classic, the second of two home tournaments, Sept. 20-22. NU will face South Florida and Miami (Ohio) during the first day of the event and IUPUI to wrap things up on Sunday, Sept. 22. This season marks the first time since 2010 that the Wildcats will host two nonconference tournaments prior to jumping into Big Ten play.

    The conference clashes begin in earnest on Friday, Sept. 27 when the Nebraska Cornhuskers visit Welsh-Ryan Arena for the second time as members of the Big Ten. The last time that the Huskers came to town, the Wildcats knocked off the then-second-ranked Big Ten champions in thrilling fashion, 3-1, to close the 2011 regular season. The five-match homestand concludes the following evening against Iowa.

    October begins with four-straight matches on the road for Northwestern. The Purple and White will travel to Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana and Purdue on consecutive weekends: Oct. 4-5 and Oct. 11-12. The squad will return to Evanston for three home matches in a row against Ohio State (Oct. 16), Penn State (Oct. 20) and instate rival, Illinois (Oct. 23). The match against the Buckeyes is the first of three midweek tilts this year slated for Wednesday evenings and the battle with the Illini is the second such affair.

    The Wildcats will face the Minnesota Golden Gophers just one time this season, on Saturday, Oct. 26, in Minneapolis. Northwestern also faces Wisconsin on only one occasion, which will occur in the regular season finale on Nov. 30 at home.

    The start of November brings the mirrored second half of Big Ten play. The 'Cats will travel to Iowa City, Iowa to face the Hawkeyes on Nov. 1 before continuing west to challenge the Huskers in Lincoln on Nov. 2. NU then returns home for a four-match homestand that will feature visits from MSU (Nov. 8), Michigan (Nov. 9), Purdue (Nov. 15) and IU (Nov. 17).

    After the homestand, a final regular-season road trip awaits Northwestern, this one of a three-match variety. The Wildcats will play at Penn State (Nov. 22), at Ohio State (Nov. 23) and conclude at Illinois in a Thanksgiving-eve showdown in Champaign on Nov. 27.

    As noted above, Northwestern will conclude regular season play on Saturday, Nov. 30 against the Wisconsin Badgers and their new head coach Kelly Sheffield.

    The first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament are slated for Dec. 5-8 with the regional semifinals and finals scheduled for Dec. 12-15. The national semifinals and national championship match will be held at Key Arena in Seattle on Dec. 19 and 21, respectively.

    The Wildcats will return nine letterwinners in the fall, including one senior, AVCA All-America honoree, Stephanie Holthus.


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