LINCOLN–(NU Athletics June 3)–Nebraska volleyball will take part in a primetime season-opening event, the AVCA First Serve Showcase, on Tuesday, Aug. 27 at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. 

Nebraska will play the first match of the season, taking on Kentucky at 6 p.m. (CT). Wisconsin will face Louisville in the second match of the doubleheader. Both AVCA First Serve matches will be broadcast on ESPN2. All four teams participating in the AVCA First Serve Showcase were ranked in the top 10 in the final 2023 AVCA Coaches Poll. 

Nebraska is coming off a 33-2 season that included a Big Ten Championship and a trip to the NCAA Championship match. The Huskers, who had no seniors on their roster last year, return 10 letterwinners, including every starter. 

Kentucky finished the 2023 season with a 21-8 record and reached the NCAA regional semifinals. The Wildcats ended the season ranked No. 10 in the AVCA Coaches Poll. 

The teams have met each of the past two seasons in non-conference play with Nebraska winning 3-0 at Kentucky on Sept. 18, 2022, and 3-1 in Lincoln on Sept. 17, 2023. 

“The AVCA is very excited to bring together four teams of this caliber to get the new season started,” AVCA CEO Dr. Jaime Gordon said. “AVCA First Serve offers another way to showcase the sport and continue the momentum from the record-setting 2023 season.”

With AVCA First Serve taking place in Louisville on Aug. 27, it means the 2024 season will both begin and end at the KFC Yum! Center, which is also the site of the 2024 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship Dec. 19 and 22. Nebraska will also make a trip to Louisville the weekend of Sept. 21-22 for a non-conference match against the Cardinals. 

Tickets for the AVCA First Serve Showcase will go on sale Friday, June 14 at 9 a.m. (CT) at the KFC Yum! Center box office and Ticketmaster.com. There will be a presale period from June 10-13.

AVCA First Serve marks the dawn of a new era for the association’s preseason event. The AVCA sponsored similar early season events from 1995 to 2011 and in 2014 and is able to restart this tradition based on its existing exemption through the NCAA for such competitions.

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