Illinois volleyball unveils 2021 regular-season schedule

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Photo Courtesy of Andy Wenstrand/Fighting Illini Athletics

Illinois volleyball head coach Chris Tamas gives a thumbs up to his players during the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Carver-Hawkeye Arena Jan. 24. Illinois volleyball unveils 2021 regular-season schedule.

By Enji Erdenekhuyag, Staff Writer

As Illinois volleyball released its complete schedule Monday morning, it appears some sense of normalcy has been restored for the 2021-2022 season. The Illini will play a total of 31 matches, consisting of both conference and nonconference play. 

In its season opener, Illinois will play in its first of four tournaments with the Panther Invite on Aug. 27 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where it will match up against the University of California, Santa Barbara and Milwaukee. On Aug. 28, Illinois is up against Valparaiso. 

Returning to Champaign to make its debut at Huff Hall, Illinois will host Washington on Sept. 3 and Colorado on Sept. 4 as a part of the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge.

Next on the schedule is a series of matches for the Bluejay Invitational in Omaha, Nebraska. Illinois will take on Omaha and Southern Methodist University on Sept. 10 and Creighton on Sept. 11.

The remaining slate of nonconference matches will wrap up with the Redbird Classic in Normal, Illinois. Illinois will face Missouri and Illinois State on Sept. 17 and finish with North Texas on Sept. 18. 

Illinois’ Big Ten schedule will consist of 20 matches, half at home and half away. The Illini will play seven teams twice and six teams once. 

Kicking off its conference opener, Illinois will travel to Iowa on Sept. 22 and then return to Champaign to face Northwestern on Sept. 25. 

At the beginning of October, Illinois will see a lot of Purdue and Wisconsin. Oct. 1, the Illini will head off to West Lafayette to face the Boilermakers, and then Oct. 3, they will be back at home to take on the Badgers. Illinois will play Purdue at home Oct. 6, and the back and forth will commence with a match against Wisconsin in Madison on Oct. 9. 

Closing out the rest of the month, Illinois will play at home twice more against Iowa on Oct. 13 and Michigan on Oct. 23 and will be on the road four more times to face Nebraska on Oct. 16, Northwestern on Oct. 20, Rutgers on Oct. 29 and Penn State on Oct. 30. 

A two-week bout of appearances at Huff Hall sets off with Nebraska on Nov. 4, Minnesota on Nov. 6, Indiana on Nov. 12 and Ohio State on Nov. 14. The stay in Champaign is cut off with a trip to play the Hoosiers again Nov. 19.

The last home match is against Mayland on Nov. 21, and Illinois will close out its regular season on the road against Michigan on Nov. 24 and Michigan State on Nov. 26. 

 

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