Wisconsin volleyball kicks the season off in the Big 10 - ACC Challenge. Will these matches be a “challenge” or an actual challenge? Let’s see how the Badgers’ opposition did last season.
Friday, August 30th - Florida State (0-0)
Undefeated, ehh? Well, last year the Seminoles finished 19-10, and one of those 10 was to the Badgers in the Minnesota-hosting version of the Big 10 - ACC Challenge. There is some returning experience, with Taryn Knuth and Payton Caffery in the front and Adrian Ell setting them up, but just not a lot coming back.
Last year, the Badgers took the match 3-1, with all 4 sets being close. My meaningless prediction is another 3-1 win. More importantly—proceedings get underway at 2:30 Central on Friday. It’s Labor Day weekend, Badger football starts that night. Make a fake meeting request, close up shop early, just get some good vibes going.
Saturday, August 31st - North Carolina (0-0)
The ‘undefeated, ehh?’ joke might be the best UNC does this year. They went 8-19 last year and were on the wrong side of the broom 11 times. They return a lot of talent, so it’s entirely possible they’ll put up more of a fight this season. I’m sure they will be incredibly gracious hosts to the Badgers and Gophers, but that hospitality goes beyond mustard-based BBQ and includes rolling over and being swept.
How To Follow
The season’s first serve against FSU is at 2:30 Friday. It’s broadcast on ACC Extra, which I believe is ESPN Diez. Radio is 100.9 FM for those in the Madison area, or on iHeartRadio. Live stats are available for those that can’t get away from work.
Saturday’s match against UNC is 5:30 Saturday, again on ACC Extra and 100.9 FM. Live stats again for those focused on opening weekend of college football.
Other Matches of Note
Honestly? Pretty dry around the Big 10 conference. Minnesota plays UNC Friday and FSU Saturday, so you might be able to feel transitively good if the Badgers do better in their matches. But, the NCAA says UW’s games are notable and the Gophers aren’t.
Next week we get some bangers. I promise.
Important Ladyjack Information
The Steven F Austin volleyball team is called the Ladyjacks.