The Portland State Athletics Department recently released 2021–22 schedules for volleyball and football, while the men’s and women’s basketball teams released their conference schedule. These are the first full schedules since 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic. Volleyball and soccer will both be played in the fall season, unlike the 2019–20 season, when volleyball was played in the winter and soccer in the spring. Football will be played in the fall as well, as opposed to their unusual one-game season in April 2020. The men’s and women’s basketball teams have not yet released their entire season schedules.
The first day of the season for PSU women’s volleyball is Aug. 23, with an exhibition preseason game against Central Washington University. The Vikings ended the 2020 season with a record of 6–12, winning five of the last six games with a 5–5 record at the Viking Pavilion, PSU’s arena. Redshirt junior Parker Webb led the team in kills with 161 this season, with freshman outside hitter Gabby Hollins in second with 141.
Portland State Vanguard interviewed Hollins on her hopes for the upcoming season.
“The thing I am looking forward to most this season now that the pandemic is coming to an end is being able to play in front of our fans and also being able to build stronger relationships with my teammates,” Hollins said. Despite a strange season in 2020, her favorite part was being able to travel with the team and “just being able to actually have a season after months of uncertainty through the pandemic.”
“I am excited that we are able to play a preseason schedule that gives us the chance to play teams we don’t normally get to,” Hollins said.
A notable team on the Vikings’ volleyball schedule is Weber State University, which finished the 2020 season 18–2. University of California, Los Angeles ended their last season 15–7, and PSU is set to play them this year at the Long Beach State Tournament on Sept. 3. The Vikings play University of Oregon in the Oregon Invitational. Oregon finished their Pac-12 season 15–5. Grand Canyon University had a 11–4 record in 2020 with an undefeated record at home but 3–3 away; they will play at the Viking Pavilion in the upcoming season. The Big Sky Conference champion, Weber State University, ended their season 18–2, with runner-up University of Northern Colorado at 15–4.
PSU’s 2021 women’s soccer season starts Aug. 21, with the Vikings playing Seattle University at Hillsboro Stadium. The Vikings will play six more non-conference games after Seattle, including against the 7–3–1 Gonzaga University. The Vikings finished their season 0–9–1 in 2020, and look to turn their season around next year. PSU plays University of Montana on Oct. 3, in hopes of humbling the reigning conference champions. They play Sacramento State on Sept. 26 as their first conference team—seeking revenge after a tight 2–1 loss in overtime—and end the season playing Northern Arizona University on Oct. 24.
PSU’s football team starts its season on Sept. 4 against the University of Hawai’i. The Vikings football 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19, although the team played a game against University of Montana before their season was canceled. They ended their season with an 0–1 record. Prior to the pandemic, PSU finished their season 5–7 with a 4–2 record at home. After kicking off the season in Hawai’i, they’ll play the Washington State Cougars in Pullman, Washington. Their first home game is against Division-II Western Oregon University on Sept. 18. The Vikings will end the regular season hosting the annual Dam Cup, a rivalry game with Eastern Washington University. Of the 42 meetings between the two Pacific Northwest teams, Eastern leads the series 21–20–1. Eastern won the last matchup in a high-scoring 53–46 game in 2019, their fourth straight win against the Vikings. The Vikings look to end that streak this year.
In men’s basketball, the Vikings will play all of their Big Sky opponents twice, once at home and once away. They will end their conference season in Cheney, Washington, attempting to knock out Eastern Washington University, the Big Sky champions. In the 2020 season, the Vikings finished 9–13 overall and 6–8 in conference play. They swept Idaho last season, but lost close ones to the Pac-12 teams Washington State and Oregon State.
PSU women’s basketball ended their last season with a record of 12–13 and 7–11 in conference play. With six of their first seven games canceled last season, they look for a rematch against Idaho State University, the team that knocked them out of the Big Sky Conference. Even though the Vikings lost to Eastern Washington two times in a row in the regular season, they beat them by 20 in the tournament and look to beat them in the regular season.
As the start of the 2020 college sports season approaches, fans in attendance will be a major difference from last year, and the Vikings are excited to see fans in green and white once again.