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Wisconsin volleyball adds AVCA First Serve Showcase to loaded early-season schedule

MADISON – The Wisconsin volleyball team will start the 2024 season where it hopes to finish:

The KFC Yum! Center in Louisville.

The Badgers will open the season at the American Volleyball Coaches Association First Serve Showcase on Tuesday, Aug. 27, at the 22,000-seat arena that will also be the site of the Final Four.

The event will feature two matches. Defending SEC champion Kentucky will face defending Big Ten champion Nebraska in the opener, which will be played at 6 p.m. The Badgers will face Louisville in the second game.

Both games will be broadcast on ESPN2.

Badgers coach Kelly Sheffield mentioned an upcoming addition to the team's schedule when he met with reporters in April, noting that it was part would be part of the revival of an event the coaches association used to sponsor.

“It’s just rising up from the dead,” he said. “I think we see there is an opportunity. We’ve got some of the top teams in the country that have agreed to be a part of this. I think this is a Year 1 thing that they’re hoping to make a lot bigger moving forward.”

The event is part of a loaded opening week for Wisconsin, which is coming off its fourth Final Four appearance in five seasons.

On Labor Day weekend the Badgers will participate in a four-team showcase at Fiserv Forum. On Sunday, Sept. 1, UW will face Texas in a rematch of last season’s national semifinal and Minnesota will play Stanford. The next day, Wisconsin will play Stanford and Minnesota will take on Texas. Those matches will be broadcasts on Fox or FS1. Start times have not been announced.

In April, Sheffield also noted that Baylor and TCU, opponents UW faced last season, are also part of the Badgers early-season schedule.

“I’m just excited about the competition our players are going to get and our young players are going to experience right out of the gate,” he said.

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin adds AVCA First Serve Showcase to loaded early schedule