July 8, 2008
2008 Northwestern Volleyball Schedule
EVANSTON Ill. -- With less than two months until the opening serve, Northwestern has released its 2008 volleyball schedule, and head coach Keylor Chan's team will face one of its most challenging schedules. The Wildcats face 10 opponents who were 2007 NCAA tournament qualifiers, a legendary Pac-10 program as well as a pair of matches against the defending national champions.
"This season's schedule is going to be a great challenges for our program," said Chan. "We open up the season with four quality tournaments, including matches against Dayton, Wichita State and UCLA, who contend every year to win their respective conferences. I'm confident this non-conference schedule will prepare our team for the rigors of Big Ten volleyball, which is full of teams vying for the Big Ten and national titles. There will be tremendous parity within the conference that will help each team improve throughout the season."
The Wildcats open up the 2008 season with the annual Chicago Classic, being hosted this year by Loyola-Chicago. NU faces Illinois-Chicago on Friday, August 29, with DePaul and Loyola meeting up in the other semifinal, followed by the consolation and championship games scheduled for Saturday, August 30.
Northwestern then hits the road for a pair of tournaments, beginning in Dayton, Ohio the weekend of Sept. 5 and 6. The `Cats open up with the host Flyers on Friday, Sept. 5, then face Cleveland State and Towson on Saturday, Sept. 6.
The next weekend finds NU in Pullman, Washington, taking part in the Washington State Tournament. After a meeting with Montana State on Friday, Sept. 12, the Wildcats face a challenging Saturday doubleheader, beginning with NCAA tournament qualifier Wichita State and capping off the tournament against the host Cougars of the Pac-10.
NU hosts the 27th annual Wildcat Classic September 19-20 and welcomes a trio of big names to Evanston. Coach Chan's squad will first meet up with Georgetown in a Friday matinee, then hosts Virginia Friday night. The Wildcats close out their home tournament with their first-ever meeting against national powerhouse UCLA, a three-time NCAA champion.
Following the Wildcat Classic, Northwestern pounces into its challenging Big Ten schedule, opening up the season on the road at Minnesota and Iowa the final weekend of September. The `Cats open up the home portion of its conference schedule with matches against Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin - three teams which figure to be in the hunt for the conference crown.
After a three game road trip to Michigan State, Illinois and Purdue, NU returns home for a pair of games, including a showdown with Penn State, the defending national champions, on Saturday, October 25.
The remainder of the regular season schedule has the Wildcats alternating between road dates and home matches over the final month of the season, culminating with a season-ending home stand against Purdue and Illinois the last weekend of November.
Northwestern hopes the season continues well into December and the NCAA tournament, which would be the fourth appearance for the `Cats in the past seven seasons under Chan. Last season NU just missed a tournament appearance, finishing the year 18-13 and seventh in the Big Ten with a 9-11 mark.