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With NCAA's plans for a spring tournament set, Texas to return to the volleyball court

Texas celebrates a point against Texas Tech at the Erwin Center on Oct. 22, 2020.

Before they head to Omaha, Neb., this spring, UT's volleyball players will make a few appearances in places like Waco, San Antonio and the Erwin Center.

Texas released its plans for a unique spring season on Thursday. The Longhorns will open a nine-match slate with a trip to UTSA on Feb. 25. Texas will host four of those contests at the Erwin Center.

For Texas, those nine matches will serve as preparation for the NCAA Tournament. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NCAA had previously moved this academic year's competition to the spring. The NCAA typically ends its volleyball season in December.

This time around, the entire Division I volleyball tournament will be held at the CHI Health Center Arena and Convention Center in Omaha. The first and second rounds are scheduled for April 13 and 14. The regional semifinals are set for April 17 and the regional finalists would then battle two days later. The national semifinals will be held on April 22. If all goes according to plan, a champion will be crowned on April 24.

Texas has already secured an automatic berth for the 48-team tournament. This fall, UT went 14-0 while only playing programs from the Big 12.

The Longhorns, though, haven't been seen since a 3-0 win at West Virginia on Nov. 13. Since its last match, Texas has added two international players to its roster and had s setter Ashley Shook leave as a graduate transfer.

2021 TEXAS SPRING VOLLEYBALL SCHEDULE

  • Feb. 25: at UTSA
  • March 3: Baylor
  • March 8: Texas State
  • March 10: A&M-Corpus Christi
  • March 16: at Texas State
  • March 23: Rice
  • March 26: at Baylor
  • April 1: at TCU
  • April 2: at TCU

Three of the teams on UT's spring schedule did not play during the fall. Texas State went 24-2 this fall and earned the Sun Belt Conference's automatic berth. Currently ranked fifth in the AVCA's poll, Baylor (13-3) is also a likely qualifier for this year's postseason.

Contact Danny Davis at 512-445-3952. Email ddavis@statesman.com or @aasdanny.