June 6, 2014
2014 Northwestern Volleyball Schedule
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern head volleyball coach Keylor Chan revealed the 2014 schedule Friday, a slate that features 16 matches against 2013 NCAA Tournament qualifiers and 15 contests on the Wildcats home court at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Northwestern's schedule features a total of 31 matches to be played on 28 dates in 2014. The 'Cats will play 16 matches against 11 different 2013 NCAA Tournament teams. Four of those teams, all from the Big Ten, made it to at least the NCAA Regional round, while two of NU's opponent met in the 2013 national championship match in Seattle. This year's opponents won over 440 matches combined a year ago with a winning percentage of .573.
"We can't wait to get back out on the court this fall," said Chan. "Our schedule begins with four challenging nonconference weekends before we get into the grind of the Big Ten schedule at the end of September. We'll be face a lot of teams with quality postseason experience that will help push us to be the absolute best program that we can be and make it back to the NCAA Tournament."
The Wildcats open the 2014 campaign on Aug. 29 with a short trip to DeKalb, Ill. for the NIU Invitational. NU will face its first tough test from an NCAA Tournament-tested squad on opening night against the Colorado Buffaloes before taking on both Presbyterian College and Northern Illinois on the following day.
Northwestern's second weekend of competition features a much longer trip, one to San Diego, Calif. Chan's squad will play Cal State Fullerton on Sept. 5 and both Brown and San Diego on Saturday, Sept. 6. The hosting Toreros posted a 26-4 record last season, including a mark of 14-1 at Jenny Craig Pavilion.
Chicago's Big Ten Team begins its challenging home schedule with a season-long nine-match homestand at Welsh-Ryan Arena on Sept. 12. NU welcomes Youngstown State and Loyola (Chicago) to Evanston on the first day of the Wildcat Classic before tangling with Virginia on Saturday, Sept. 13. Northwestern has never played YSU in the past, but it owns a combined record of 19-4 against LUC and UVA all-time.
The homestand continues with the final two nonconference matches of the season. The 'Cats will play Ohio, a 2013 NCAA Tournament team, on Thursday, Sept. 18 before wrapping up that portion of the schedule with a Sunday matinee against UW-Green Bay on Sept. 21.
With the addition of two new programs in 2014, the format for Big Ten matches has changed. Northwestern will play seven opponents both home and way and six opponents only once. The Wildcats double up against Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State and Purdue. NU hosts Indiana, Rutgers and Wisconsin and travels to Michigan, Nebraska and Ohio State.
Big Ten play opens the weekend of Sept. 26 and Northwestern has the pleasure of welcoming the conference's two newest members into the mix at the onset. The Wildcats will host Rutgers on Sept. 26 and Maryland the following evening. The early-season clashes will be NU's first-ever meetings against both the Scarlet Knights and the Terrapins.
Wisconsin, the 2013 national runner-up, makes the trek to Evanston on Oct. 1 for the only meeting between the Wildcats and Badgers this season. It also marks the first of three consecutive Wednesdays that Northwestern will play. The nine-match homestand then concludes on Sunday, Oct. 5 with a matinee against Minnesota.
A four-match road trip, NU's longest during the Big Ten season, begins on Oct. 8 against the defending national champions, Penn State. The journey continues with stops at Ohio State (10/11) and Nebraska (10/15) before concluding on Oct. 18 at Iowa.
Northwestern returns to Welsh-Ryan Arena for back-to-back home matches against Purdue and Indiana on Oct. 24-25, before heading on the road, once again, for five of its next six matches. The 'Cats will begin the stretch at Michigan on Halloween and at Michigan State on Nov. 1.
On Wednesday, Nov. 5, Northwestern hosts instate rival Illinois in the first of two matches in four days against the Illini. Another scheduling quirk with the additions of Maryland and Rutgers has all 14 teams playing against their travel partners twice in the same week. The Wildcats make the return trip to Champaign, Ill. on Saturday, Nov. 8 before visits to Minnesota (11/12) and Purdue (11/15).
Chan and the 'Cats will play three straight matches in Evanston beginning on Nov. 19 against Michigan State. NU hosts Iowa on Nov. 22 before Penn State comes calling on Nov. 26, the night before Thanksgiving. Northwestern will wrap up the 2014 regular season with its first-ever trip to College Park, Md., where it will play the Terps on Nov. 29.
The first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament will be held at campus sites Dec. 4-6. The regionals will be held Dec. 12-13 in Seattle, Ames, Iowa, Louisville, Ky., and Minneapolis. The 2014 NCAA semifinals and championship will be played at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City on Dec. 18 and Dec. 20, respectively.
A link to the complete schedule is available at the top of the page. Ticket, television and promotional information will be announced at a later date.
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