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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

MAC, NIU volleyball announce 2024 conference slate

MAC East and West Divisions scrapped under new model
Tim Dodge
Junior defensive specialist/libero Jada Cerniglia prepares to serve in an NIU volleyball home game against the University of Akron on Oct. 27, 2023. The MAC announced a new schedule format for conference games on March 27. (Tim Dodge | Northern Star)

DeKALB – For the first time since 2009, NIU volleyball will start and finish MAC play on the road, according to the team’s 2024 conference schedule announced by the MAC on March 27.

The release also intrigued a new scheduling format that eliminates the MAC East and MAC West Divisions. Under the new model, each of the MAC’s 12 squads will play an 18-match conference schedule, with nine home matches and nine away matches. 

The Huskies finished ninth in the MAC last season after posting an 8-22, 6-12 MAC record in their first season under head coach Sondra Parys. 

The Huskies will begin MAC play on the road as they travel to the University of Toledo for a two-match series on Sept. 27 and Sept. 28. NIU went 2-10 in road matches in 2023, with both victories coming against MAC foes Bowling Green State University and Kent State University.

NIU kicks off a four-match homestand the following weekend, beginning with its MAC home opener against the University of Akron on Oct. 3 and Oct. 4 at Victor E. Court. The Huskies will remain home the following week to host Kent State on Oct. 10 and Ohio University on Oct. 11. The Huskies went 4-8 at home last season

The Huskies will spend their next three matches on the road battling through a gauntlet of Michigan-based MAC rivals, facing Eastern Michigan University on Oct. 17, Central Michigan University on Oct. 18 and Western Michigan on Oct. 22 all in the span of six days. NIU returns home on the final weekend of October for a two-match series versus Ball State University on Oct. 25 and Oct. 26.

NIU opens November with a visit to the Empire State to spar with the University at Buffalo on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2. The Huskies then return to Victor E. Court for their final home matches of the regular season, beginning with a midweek MACtion spat with Western Michigan on Nov. 5.

NIU hosts Bowling Green on Nov. 8 and Nov. 9 for its final home series of 2024. The Huskies close out the regular season with an eastward trip to Miami University on Nov. 15 and Nov. 16.

The format of the MAC Volleyball Championship remains unchanged from previous seasons, with the conference’s No. 1 seed hosting the league’s top six squads. The dates for the 2024 MAC Volleyball Championship will be announced at a later date.

NIU’s spring schedule commences at 6 p.m. Thursday as the Huskies host the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Victor E. Court for the first of three spring matches. Admission to spring home matches is free.

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