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No. 1 Wisconsin volleyball vs. No. 13 Purdue: how to watch and open thread

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The defending Big Ten champion Badgers open up their season at the Field House on Friday night. Follow along with us here!

2019 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship Semifinals Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

It’s finally here!

The Big Ten volleyball season starts on Friday night after more than a year since the last time that the Badgers took the court. The No. 1 Wisconsin Badgers (27-7 overall, 18-2 B1G in 2019) welcome the No. 13 Purdue Boilermakers (24-8 overall, 14-6 Big Ten in 2019) to the UW Field House for the opening match of the 2020/21 season.

We have a whole host of season preview posts for you right here and if you’re watching the game on Big Ten Network tonight and are missing the fact that you can’t actually be at the Field House come join us here!

How to watch/listen

TV: BTN, 5:30 p.m., CT

Streaming: FOX Sports GO

Radio/Satellite: U 100.9 FM; Jon Arias, Pete Waite

Live stats: Here!

Arena: UW Field House

Last time out vs. Purdue: Sept. 29, 1019; Wisconsin won 3-0; 25-22, 29-27, 25-15

B5Q Analytics Department Wisconsin win percentage: 100%

Fun facts (according to the media guides)

  • The Badgers will play 22 matches against Big Ten opponents in this abbreviated season.
  • 11 home matches and 11 away matches facing the same opponent in back-to-back matches (for example, the Badgers and Boilermakers play again in Madison on Saturday night). The Minnesota series is the only one that is home and home.
  • Wisconsin doesn’t play Maryland or Ohio State this year.
  • Wisconsin is 32-14 all-time in season openers, including a 12-7 mark at home.
  • UW is also 22-15 in Big Ten openers, defeating Purdue, 3-0, at home in 2019.
  • The Badgers will also celebrate the 29th-annual Steve Lowe Night on Friday, in honor of the former UW head coach. Lowe led the Badgers from 1986-91, guiding Wisconsin to its first Big Ten championship, first national ranking and first NCAA tournament appearance in 1990.

Lowe passed away in August of 1991, and every year the Badgers honor Lowe at their Big Ten home opener and with the Steve Lowe Endowed Scholarship. This season’s scholarship recipient is redshirt senior Molly Haggerty.

  • UW shares the most returning All-America awards, with four, with Nebraska and Penn State.
  • UW returns 87% of kills (1458 of 1668); 94% of assists (1490 of 1589); 85% of service aces (161 of 190); 63% of digs (1084 of 1724); and 84% of blocks (253.5 of 300.5).
  • Kelly Sheffield has a seven-year mark of 187-49 (.792) at UW and a 460-161 (.741) record, entering his 20th year as a head coach.