Powerful B1G volleyball announces chock-full Big Ten Network/ESPN schedule

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When the USA women celebrated winning volleyball gold this past weekend at the Tokyo Olympics, it has to be noted that eight of the 12-player team were from the Big Ten, so was an assistant coach, and so were five of the six alternates.

And you can count on a few Big Ten teams being in the national-championship hunt every year and fall 2021 is no exception, with Wisconsin, Nebraska, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State, and Purdue leading the charge.

Accordingly, when the Big Ten Network announces its volleyball schedule, it’s time to mark calendars. The league should be stronger than ever, especially with most of its veteran stars taking advantage of the extra year granted by the NCAA.

This fall the Big Ten Network, no doubt hoping to benefit from the Olympics and planning some new carryover from football, will show a record 47 matches, while six more B1G matches will be shown on ESPN, primarily on ESPNU but also on ESPN2.

That includes Wisconsin, which went to the NCAA-championship match in 2019 and last spring made it to the national semifinals. The Badgers will make 12 Big Ten Network appearances this season. Nebraska and Minnesota will appear on the network 13 times and both they and Wisconsin have ESPN dates.

“The key driver of our expanded coverage has been the willingness at both a conference and university level to collaborate with us at the network on scheduling. Not only has that opened up additional broadcast windows to maximize coverage, but it has also allowed us to pair volleyball matches with other relevant programming,” said Michael Calderon, the Big Ten Network’s senior vice president of digital media and programming.

“For example, on Friday, November 26, Nebraska versus Wisconsin volleyball — two of the conference’s premier programs — will begin shortly after the Nebraska versus Iowa football game ends on BTN. Having that lead in to volleyball results in meaningful viewership increases and additional recognition for the sport. That strategy, along with elite talent in the league, a compelling lineup of doubleheaders and a pretty incredible non-conference schedule, puts us in a great position to help grow the audience for NCAA volleyball.”

What’s more, all non-televised matches will be show on Big Ten Networks+ (btnplus.com). So you can watch every B1G match this season.

“Beyond our TV commitments, we’re also continuing to increase and evolve our digital efforts,” Calderon added. “First and foremost, our goal for this season is to have every non-televised match available to stream on our Big Ten Network+ platform.

“Additionally, we are expanding our ‘At The Net’ offering, a multiplatform, storytelling project which will be available on our social platforms as well as our linear channel. Our B1G Volleyball Instagram account has accumulated about 25,000 followers in less than a year, and we’ll be using additional resources to populate that page with video content.

“With some of the returning star power in the Big Ten, and building off of the momentum created by the U.S. Olympic women’s volleyball team winning gold in Tokyo, we’re optimistic this will be our most successful year covering volleyball yet.”

At The Net includes VolleyballMag.com’s Emily Ehman, who is a regular contributor to our site.

DATE MATCHUP TV TIME (ET)
Aug. 27 (Fri.) Minnesota vs. Baylor (@Wisconsin) ESPNU 9:30 p.m.
Aug. 28 (Sat.) Kansas State at Nebraska BTN 5 p.m.
Aug. 28 (Sat.) Baylor at Wisconsin BTN 7 p.m.
Aug. 28 (Sat.) Minnesota vs. TCU (@Wisconsin) BTN 9:30 p.m.
Sept. 1 (Wed.) Texas at Minnesota BTN 8 p.m.
Sept. 3 (Fri.) Georgia at Nebraska BTN 7 p.m.
Sept. 3 (Fri.) Washington at Illinois BTN 9 p.m.
Sept. 10 (Fri.) NC State at Rutgers BTN 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 10 (Fri.) Kentucky at Wisconsin BTN 9 p.m.
Sept. 18 (Sat.) Louisville at Nebraska BTN 8 p.m.
Sept. 19 (Sun.) Notre Dame at Ohio State ESPN2 2 p.m.
Sept. 22 (Wed.) Illinois at Iowa BTN 7 p.m.
Sept. 22 (Wed.) Nebraska at Northwestern BTN 9 p.m.
Sept. 24 (Fri.) Ohio State at Purdue BTN 7 p.m.
Sept. 24 (Fri.) Michigan at Minnesota BTN 9 p.m.
Sept. 26 (Sun.) Ohio State at Penn State BTN 4 p.m.
Sept. 29 (Wed.) Indiana at Ohio State BTN 6 p.m.
Sept. 29 (Wed.) Penn State at Maryland BTN 8 p.m.
Oct. 1 (Fri.) Michigan at Nebraska BTN 7 p.m.
Oct. 1 (Fri.) Minnesota at Wisconsin BTN 9 p.m.
Oct. 3 (Sun.) Michigan State at Nebraska BTN 4 p.m.
Oct. 6 (Wed.) Iowa at Wisconsin BTN 7 p.m.
Oct. 6 (Wed.) Purdue at Illinois BTN 9 p.m.
Oct. 8 (Fri.) Nebraska at Penn State BTN 7 p.m.
Oct. 8 (Fri.) Minnesota at Michigan BTN 9 p.m.
Oct. 9 (Sat.) Illinois at Wisconsin BTN 8 p.m.
Oct. 13 (Wed.) Northwestern at Minnesota BTN 8 p.m.
Oct. 13 (Wed.) Indiana at Nebraska ESPNU 9 p.m.
Oct. 15 (Fri.) Purdue at Ohio State BTN 6 p.m.
Oct. 15 (Fri.) Wisconsin at Michigan State BTN 8 p.m.
Oct. 17 (Sun.) Penn State at Purdue ESPN2 2 p.m.
Oct. 20 (Wed.) Rutgers at Maryland BTN 6 p.m.
Oct. 20 (Wed.) Michigan State at Purdue BTN 8 p.m.
Oct. 22 (Fri.) Penn State at Minnesota BTN 7 p.m.
Oct. 22 (Fri.) Ohio State at Wisconsin BTN 9 p.m.
Oct. 23 (Sat.) Penn State at Wisconsin BTN TBD
Oct. 23 (Sat.) Purdue at Nebraska BTN TBD
Oct. 24 (Sun.) Ohio State at Minnesota ESPNU 5 p.m.
Oct. 27 (Wed.) Minnesota at Indiana BTN 7 p.m.
Oct. 27 (Wed.) Wisconsin at Nebraska BTN 9 p.m.
Oct. 29 (Fri.) Illinois at Rutgers BTN TBD
Oct. 30 (Sat.) Nebraska at Minnesota BTN 8 p.m.
Oct. 31 (Sun.) Wisconsin at Purdue ESPNU Noon
Nov. 4 (Thurs.) Minnesota at Ohio State BTN 7 p.m.
Nov. 4 (Thurs.) Nebraska at Illinois BTN 9 p.m.
*Nov. 6 (Sat.) TBD vs. TBD BTN TBD
Nov. 14 (Sun.) Purdue at Minnesota BTN 3 p.m.
Nov. 19 (Fri.) Michigan at Purdue BTN 7 p.m.
Nov. 19 (Fri.) Penn State at Nebraska BTN 9 p.m.
Nov. 21 (Sun.) Penn State at Ohio State BTN 3 p.m.
Nov. 21 (Sun.) Wisconsin at Minnesota BTN 5 p.m.
Nov. 26 (Fri.) Nebraska at Wisconsin BTN 5:30 p.m.
Nov. 26 (Fri.) Minnesota at Penn State BTN 7:30 or 8 p.m.
* – Wild card selection – matchup to be announced at later date

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