Women’s Sports TV Guide: How to watch the WNBA, NWSL and more (October 2021)

2021 WNBA Finals: Diana Taurasi #3 of the Phoenix Mercury drives past Courtney Vandersloot #22 of the Chicago Sky in the first half at Footprint Center on October 10, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona
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Between the 2021 WNBA Playoffs, the conclusion of the 2021 NWSL regular season, and world championships in wrestling and gymnastics, October is a busy month in the women’s sports world.

Stay on top of it all with On Her Turf‘s viewing guide, which includes schedule and TV channel info for key games and competitions this month.


2021 WNBA Finals

The 2021 WNBA Playoffs are down to two teams: the Phoenix Mercury and Chicago Sky.

On Her Turf‘s full guide to the 2021 WNBA Playoffs (including a full schedule and TV channel details) can be found here.


2021 NWSL Season – Schedule and TV Info 

Amid allegations of abuse and a reckoning on player safety and treatment, the 2021 NWSL regular season is nearing its end.

Here is a schedule of the remaining NWSL regular season games in October 2021:

Date

NWSL Teams

Game Time

TV Network / How to Watch

Wednesday, October 6 NY/NJ Gotham FC vs. Washington Spirit 7pm ET CBS Sports Network
Wednesday, October 6 North Carolina Courage vs. Racing Louisville FC 7:30pm ET Paramount+
Wednesday, October 6 Portland Thorns FC vs. Houston Dash 10pm ET Paramount+
Saturday, October 9 Orlando Pride vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC 7pm ET Twitch
Saturday, October 9 Washington Spirit vs. Racing Louisville 7:30pm ET Paramount+
Sunday, October 10 Kansas City vs. Portland Thorns FC 5pm ET Paramount+
Sunday, October 10 OL Reign vs. Chicago Red Stars 7pm ET Paramount+
Sunday, October 10 Houston Dash vs. North Carolina Courage 7pm ET Paramount+
Wednesday, October 13 North Carolina Courage vs. Washington Spirit 7:30pm ET Paramount+
Wednesday, October 13 Chicago Red Stars vs. Orlando Pride 8pm ET Twitch
Wednesday, October 13 Kansas City vs. Houston Dash 8pm ET Paramount+
Wednesday, October 13 OL Reign vs. Portland Thorns FC 10:30pm ET Paramount+
Saturday, October 16 Racing Louisville FC vs. Orlando Pride 7:30pm ET Paramount+
Saturday, October 16 Chicago Red Stars vs. Kansas City 8pm ET Paramount+
Saturday, October 16 OL Reign vs Washington Spirit 10pm ET Paramount+
Sunday, October 17 North Carolina Courage vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC 2pm ET CBS Sports Network
Sunday, October 17 Houston Dash vs. Portland Thorns FC 7pm ET Paramount+
Friday, October 22 Kansas City vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC 8pm ET Twitch
Friday, October 29 Orlando Pride vs. Chicago Red Stars 7pm ET Twitch
Saturday, October 30 Kansas City vs. OL Reign 7pm ET Paramount+
Saturday, October 30 Portland Thorns FC vs. North Carolina Courage 10pm Twitch
Sunday, October 31 Washington Spirit vs. Houston Dash 2pm ET Paramount+
Sunday, October 31 NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. Racing Louisville FC 3pm ET CBS Sports Network

The top six teams at the end of the 2021 NWSL regular season will compete for the 2021 NWSL Championship.

ALSO FROM ON HER TURF: 2021 NWSL Timeline: Amid league failures, players reclaim control


LPGA – 2021 BMW Ladies Championship – Schedule and TV Channel Info

  • Round 1 – Thursday, October 21 at 2pm (Golf Channel)
  • Round 2 – Friday, October 22 at 6:30pm ET (Golf Channel)
  • Round 3 – Saturday, October 23 at 6:30pm ET (Golf Channel)
  • Final Round – Sunday, October 24 at 5:30pm ET (Golf Channel)

2021 World Gymnastics Championships – Schedule and TV Guide

Women’s All-Around Final

  • Thursday, October 21 at 5:15am (Live on Olympic Channel)
  • Thursday, October 21 at 7pm ET (Taped coverage on NBCSN)

Individual Apparatus Finals

  • Saturday, October 23 at 5am ET (Live on Olympic Channel)
  • Sunday, October 24 at 3:30am ET (Live on Olympic Channel)
  • Sunday, October 24 at 1:30pm ET (Taped coverage on NBC)

2021 Skate America – Schedule and TV Info

Pairs’ Short Program and Men’s Short Program

  • Friday, October 22 at 9pm ET (Live on NBCSN)

Ladies’ Short Program and Rhythm Dance

  • Saturday, October 23 at 5:30pm ET (Live on NBCSN)

Pairs’ Free and Men’s Free

  • Saturday, October 23 at 10pm ET (Live on NBCSN)

Ladies’ Free and Free Dance

  • Sunday, October 24 at 3pm ET (Live on NBC)

2021 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships – Schedule and TV Info

  • Wednesday, October 27 at 6pm ET (Olympic Channel)
  • Thursday, October 28 at 6pm ET (Olympic Channel)
  • Friday, October 29 at 6pm ET (Olympic Channel)
  • Saturday, October 30 at 6pm ET (Olympic Channel)
  • Sunday, October 30 at 6pm ET (Olympic Channel)

U.S. Olympic Curling Trials – Mixed Doubles 

While Trials for the men’s and women’s curling teams will take place in November, the U.S. mixed doubles team will be selected first. Trials will take place in Irving, California, and conclude on October 31.


EVENTS IN THE PAST

2021 World Wrestling Championships in Oslo, Norway

The U.S. women had a strong showing at the 2021 World Wrestling Championships in Oslo, Norway. A few highlights:

  • Adeline Gray became the first American wrestler (of any gender, in any style) to win six world titles (recap here)
  • Helen Maroulis won her third world title two weeks after contracting COVID-19 (recap here)
  • After missing out on the Olympics, Jenna Burkert battled back to win her first world medal (recap here)

TV Schedule – Women’s Wrestling Finals – World Championship Finals

  • Tuesday, October 5: 12pm-2pm ET (Live on Olympic Channel)
  • Wednesday, October 6: 12pm-2pm ET (Live on Olympic Channel)
  • Thursday, October 7: 12pm-2pm ET (Live on Olympic Channel)

LPGA – 2021 Cognizant Founders Cup – Schedule and TV Info

  • Round 1 – Thursday, October 7 at 2pm ET (Live on Golf Channel)
  • Round 2 – Friday, October 8 at 12pm ET (Live on Golf Channel)
  • Round 3 – Saturday, October 9 at 12pm ET (Live on Golf Channel)
  • Final Round – Sunday, October 10 at 12pm ET (Live on Golf Channel)

2021-2022 Women’s Super League (WSL) – Games on NBCSN

For a second straight season, Women’s Super League (WSL) games are airing in the United States on NBC Sports.

Here is a look at the upcoming WSL games on NBCSN this month:

  • Saturday, October 9: Manchester City vs. Manchester United (Live at 8:30am ET, NBCSN)
  • Sunday, October 10: Chelsea vs. Leicester City (11am on NBCSN)

You can find a full WSL guide and schedule (including streaming info) over on Pro Soccer Talk.


2021 Marathon Majors – How to Watch

2021 Chicago Marathon – TV Info

  • Sunday, October 10 at 8am ET (Live on NBCSN, Peacock)

2021 Boston Marathon – TV Info

  • Monday, October 11 at 7:30am ET (Live on NBCSN, Peacock)

ALSO FROM ON HER TURF: Tatyana McFadden: Two marathon podiums in 24 hours


Follow Alex Azzi on Twitter @AlexAzziNBC

Justine Wong-Orantes’ atypical path to becoming one of the best liberos in the world

Justine Wong-Orantes hits the ball in the women's semi-final volleyball match between USA and Serbia during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
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It’s been 20 years since the same nation held both the Olympic and world volleyball titles at the same time, but libero Justine Wong-Orantes is looking to help lead Team USA accomplish that very feat at the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championships in the Netherlands and Poland. Competition began on Friday and the U.S. is currently 2-0 after group play wins against Kazakhstan and Canada.

“We’re trying to win, for sure,” Wong-Orantes told On Her Turf. “I think, especially with the new turn of the program and the new year of the quad, we just have a really nice blend of veterans and also newcomers on the team.”

The 14-woman roster for Team USA, which is ranked No. 1 in the world and won its first Olympic title last summer, features six players from that gold-medal-winning team. And while Wong-Orantes is among the 2021 U.S. Olympic team veterans, she’s still a relative newcomer to international play.

The Southern California native enjoyed a notable junior career – she was 12 when she became the youngest female to ever earn an AAA rating in beach volleyball – and was a standout collegian at Nebraska, where she was a member of the 2015 NCAA championship team. But Wong-Orantes followed a different path upon graduation, initially choosing not to go overseas to play professionally.

While she was first selected for the U.S. national team in 2016 and played a handful of international tournaments in the following years, it wasn’t until she started playing professionally in Germany in 2019 that she saw the potential to elevate her position on the roster. In particular, the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics gave her an additional year of overseas experience, which she calls “a blessing in disguise.”

“I just felt like I was still in that developmental stage,” she said. “And a whole year postponement allowed me to go overseas and really get all the touches, all the repetitions, and just kind of expose myself to international volleyball another year. So I was, in hindsight, pretty thankful for that COVID season because I got an extra year under my belt, and I think that just gave me a ton of confidence.”

Ahead of the Olympics, Wong-Orantes earned “best libero” honors at the 2021 FIVB Volleyball National League in Rimini, Italy, which helped secure her spot on the Olympic roster. In Tokyo, she followed up with another standout performance and was named best libero of the Olympic tournament.

As to how the Wong-Orantes transformed into one of the world’s top liberos, she points to her background as a beach volleyball player. She began competing at age 8, and her first partner was Sara Hughes, a star on the AVP Pro Tour who also won two NCAA titles with USC.

“I think having that background and just the court awareness that beach volleyball forces you to have allowed me to really have a good read on the game,” said Wong-Orantes. “I think that’s what makes a great libero is just reading and always being reactive towards the ball.”

Wong-Orantes also credits the assistance of mental coach Sue Enquist, a former UCLA softball coach and U.S. national team coach, who now helps teams work on their culture and relationships. Enquist began working with the U.S. volleyball team during the pandemic and has continued in her role ever since.

“We just worked on a lot of stuff within ourselves, within our program, how to communicate with each other off the court, and I think that honestly propelled us into such a high, high level with how we worked with each other, and then that transferred onto the court,” explained Wong-Orantes, who noted the team has Enquist on speed dial while at the World Championship. “I really commend Sue. I just really give a lot of praise to her because I think our culture was never bad, but I think [she] just transformed into a different level.”

2022-09-26 - FIVB Volleyball Womens World Championship 2022 - Day 4
ARNHEM, NETHERLANDS – Justine Wong-Orantes (far right) poses for a photo with her U.S. teammates after defeating Canada at the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship on September 26, 2022. (Photo by Rene Nijhuis/Orange Pictures/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

Wong-Orantes said she and her U.S. teammates are on their toes for the world championships, which features twice as many teams (24) as the Olympics and a “more grueling” format.

“It’s going to be a long tournament, and I think we’re really going to need all 14 of us that are here. I’m pretty certain that, at any given moment, someone’s going to be called on and someone’s going to need to step up in big moments.”

2022 Ascendant LPGA: How to watch, who’s playing in Texas’s annual signature event

Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand hits her second shot on the 16th hole during the final round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.
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The LPGA make its annual stop in The Colony, Texas, this week for the 10th edition of the Ascendant LPGA benefiting Volunteers of America, where Thailand’s 19-year-old rookie Atthaya Thitikul comes in hot off her second career win and second playoff victory this season at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.

Leading the 132-player field at Old American Golf Club, located at Golf Clubs at The Tribute, are Texas residents and past champions Cheyenne Knight and Angela Stanford. They’ll compete for the $1.7 million prize purse alongside major champions Nelly KordaLydia Ko and Brooke Henderson. Last year’s Ascendant LPGA champion, world No. 1 Jin Young Ko, will not be defending her title after announcing earlier this month she would be missing several weeks due to a nagging wrist injury.

This past weekend in Arkansas, Thitikul took the lead with a 10-under 61 in the second round and shot 68 in the final round to finish regulation tied with Danielle Kang at 17-under 196. Thitikul, who won the JTBC Classic in March in a two-hole playoff vs. Nanna Koerstz Madsen, drained an 8-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to secure the win over Kang.


How to watch the 2022 Ascendant LPGA 

Coverage of the 2022 Ascendant LPGA from Old American Golf Club in The Colony, Texas, can be found on Golf Channel, with streaming options available any time on any mobile device and online through NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

  • Thursday, Sept. 29: 12:30-3:30 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
  • Friday, Sept. 30: 12:30-3:30 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
  • Saturday, Oct. 1: 1-4 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
  • Sunday, Oct. 2: 1-4 p.m. ET, Golf Channel

Who’s playing in the 2022 Ascendant LPGA

Six of the top 10 players in the Rolex World Rankings are among the field in Texas, including:

  • No. 2 Nelly Korda
  • No. 4 Lydia Ko
  • No. 5 Atthaya Thitikul
  • No. 6 Brooke Henderson
  • No. 7 Lexi Thompson
  • No. 10 Nasa Hataoka

A number of local Texans also are in the tournament, headlined by past champions, Angela Stanford (2020) and Cheyenne Knight (2019), and two junior champions of the Volunteers of America Classic Girls Championship, who are playing on a sponsor exemption: Yunxuan (Michelle) Zhang (2022), a freshman at SMU, and Avery Zweig (2021), a high school sophomore from McKinney, Texas.


Past five champions of The Ascendant LPGA

YEAR WINNER SCORE MARGIN RUNNERUP
2021 Jin Young Ko (South Korea) 16-under 268 1 stroke Matilda Castren
2020 Angela Stanford (USA) 7-under 277 2 strokes So Yeon Ryu, Inbee Park, Yealimi Noh
2019 Cheyenne Knight (USA) 18-under 266 2 strokes Brittany Altomare, Jaye Marie Green
2018 Sung Hyun Park (South Korea) 11-under 131 1 stroke Lindy Duncan
2017 Haru Nomura (Japan) 3-under 281 Playoff Christie Kerr

Last time at The Ascendant LPGA

South Korea’s Jin Young Ko carded a final-round 69 to maintain her 54-hole lead at Old American Golf Club and held on for a one stroke win at the 2021 Volunteers of America Classic, her eighth career LPGA tour title. Ko finished regulation at 16-under 268, edging Finland’s Matilda Castren by one stroke.

It kicked off a five-win season for Ko, who had just lost her No. 1 ranking to Nelly Korda the week prior after holding the top spot for 100 straight weeks. She regained the No. 1 ranking back in October 2021, after earning her fourth win in seven starts at the BMW Ladies Championship.


More about Old American Golf Club

Opened in 2010, the Old American Golf Club is one of two clubs at The Tribute, a lakefront resort community on Lewisville Lake in The Colony, Texas. Designed by Tripp Davis and 12-time PGA Tour winner Justin Leonard, Old American plays as a Par 71 and stretches to 6,475 yards on the tournament scorecard.