Montana State Bobcats volleyball 4

Montana State's Emma Pence hits the ball during a game last season. 

BOZEMAN — Montana State fifth-year head volleyball coach Daniel Jones has announced MSU’s 2021 schedule, which features non-conference matches against 10 different leagues along with a 16-match Big Sky Conference season.

The Bobcats, who posted a 10-5 overall record and a 10-4 Big Sky mark — it’s best league ledger since 2004 — during the 2021 spring season, will open its fall schedule by hosting Big 12 member TCU in exhibition action on Aug. 19. MSU opens the regular season at the Boise State Invitational, which runs Aug. 27-28. There, the Bobcats will face BSU, Long Beach State and Dixie State.

“The 2021 schedule is shaping up nicely,” Jones said. “We’ve got a great mix of opponents lined up from all over the country. We’re playing a Final Four team on their home court. Our team is experienced and talented, we’re ready to take on anyone and excited to do it.

“Most of all, the entire program and department is ecstatic that we will once again get to ‘Shake Shroyer’ with capacity crowds,” Jones added.

For the first time since 2017, MSU will host the Bobcat Classic, featuring SEC power Arkansas, along with Utah State and Portland.

Montana State will also play in tournaments at North Texas (North Texas, Abilene Christian, Jackson State) and Washington (Washington, Fresno State). The Huskies went 20-4 overall and 17-3 in Pac-12 play, advancing to the Final Four where they dropped a 3-1 decision to eventual national champion Kentucky.

Montana State will open Big Sky play at Montana in the third installment for the Main Line Trophy on Sept. 21. The Bobcats will host the Grizzlies on Oct. 26 in Shroyer Gym.

The Big Sky will play a 16-match schedule. MSU will face UM, Eastern Washington, Idaho, Northern Colorado, Portland State and Sacramento State two times each. The Bobcats will play single matches at Northern Arizona and Southern Utah and host single matches against Idaho State and Weber State.

The Big Sky volleyball championship will also see a change this season and move off Thanksgiving weekend. Instead of being played on the last weekend in November, the tournament will take place Nov. 18-20.

Parker Cotton can be reached at pcotton@dailychronicle.com or 406-582-2670. Follow him on Twitter @ByParkerCotton.

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