Big East announces spring championship formats, DePaul releases schedules for five sports


DePaul Athletics

The DePaul women’s soccer returned to practice in August, but must wear masks during all of their workouts.

This week, the Big East announced its 2021 spring championship and regular season schedule, including for the fall sports that were rescheduled to the spring because of Covid-19 pandemic.

DePaul also released schedules for sports like men’s and women’s soccer, men’s golf, volleyball and women’s tennis, with all of those sports getting ready to start in the coming weeks. 

Each sport will have its own, abbreviated schedule this season because of the ongoing pandemic, but there will be Big East championships for each sport at the end of the season.

Sports like volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer will be split up into regional divisions — East and Midwest — to limit the amount of travel. DePaul teams will play in the Midwest division, which also features Marquette, Creighton, Butler and Xavier. 

The volleyball schedule for this season will pit two teams together at one location, but there will be no return matchup like in previous seasons. DePaul will begin its season on Feb. 12 when they travel to play Marquette for two games. 

“This group put in some important training time together this past fall that was a tremendous advantage and silver lining in preparing us for this abbreviated season,” volleyball coach Marie Zidek said in a statement. “It allowed our returning squad the ability to integrate the freshmen and transfers, so we could embark as one unit on whatever this season was going to become.”

The Blue Demons will also have back-to-back home series towards the end of February for games against Butler and Xavier before wrapping up Big East play on March 5-6 with a road series against Creighton.

DePaul has the chance to return to Omaha at the start of April for the Big East championship, but only if they finish in either first or second in the Midwest division. In the coaches’ poll, the Blue Demons were selected to finish in third this season, while junior middle hitter Donna Brown was a unanimous selection to the preseason All-Big East team. 

“We look forward to showcasing this group’s tremendous efforts at navigating these challenging times and growing together in the opportunities that present themselves this winter and spring,” Zidek said. 

DePaul’s soccer teams, on the other hand, will have a much more packed schedule before trying to qualify for the Big East championship. The men’s team will play four non-conference games this season, while the women will play two to begin its season. 

Both teams are in the Midwest division and will face each team twice, once at home and then once on the road. For the men’s team, Big East play will begin on March 3 at Butler and they will play eight conference games in one month.

For the women’s team, conference play will start March 4 and they will also face eight Big East teams in the span of one month. But the Big East tournament will look different for both teams, as the men’s tournament will take place at the home field of the highest overall seed while the women’s tournament will be held in Providence. 

The DePaul women’s tennis team will also face a packed schedule leading up to the Big East tournament from April 22-26 in Cayce, S.C. 

Unlike most DePaul teams’ schedules, the tennis team will start its season on Jan. 29 at Illinois State before traveling to face Bradley and Notre Dame. They will play a schedule that features both non-conference and conference games, including hosting Seton Hall on April 10. 

The men’s golf team has put together a schedule that will feature six events leading up to the Big East tournament in May. The season begins on Jan. 31 with the Big East Match Play that spans three days at the Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Fla. 

After hosting one event on April 2 and playing in a total of six, the schedule will conclude with the Hawkeye invitational from April 17-18 in Iowa City. 

The softball team has yet to release its schedule, but the Big East tournament will take place from May 13-15 in Connecticut after previously taking place in Illinois. The Blue Demons are looking to win their fourth-straight tournament crown after last season was canceled in March.