Ever since new IU volleyball Coach Steve Aird was hired on Dec. 27, 2017, he has looked to change the culture of the Hoosiers' program, which finished 12-20 and 1-19 in Big Ten play last season.
Aird and his team took the next step of that quest Thursday when they released their schedule for the 2018 season.
IU will be mixing things up at the very beginning of the schedule.
The Hoosiers have begun each of the previous two seasons by hosting the Indiana Invitational. In 2018, however, IU will play its first 11 games on the road before returning to Bloomington.
IU’s first set of road games will include three games against UNLV, Southern Utah and Long Island-Brooklyn in Las Vegas, and two against Texas A&M and Temple in State College, Pennsylvania. The Hoosiers will come closer to home with three games in both Muncie, Indiana, and Cinnincinati, Ohio.
The first home game in Bloomington will also open up Big Ten play as Northwestern will come to Bloomington.
Northwestern joins Nebraska, Purdue, Ohio State, Minnesota, Michigan and Rutgers as part of IU’s home and away conference opponents this year.
IU will only face Illinois, Maryland and Iowa in Bloomington, while facing Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan State only on the road.
The match-up with Maryland will take place on Oct. 20, and will be the first time Aird will face his former team since coming to IU.
In total, IU will play seven teams that finished in the 2017 American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 and nine teams that played in the 2017 NCAA Championships.