Nebraska downs Kentucky to advance to third straight Final Four
The No. 5 Nebraska volleyball team earned a third straight trip to the NCAA Semifinals with a 3-1 (25-19, 25-22, 25-27, 25-22) win on the home court of fourth-seeded Kentucky in the NCAA Lexington Regional Final on Saturday.
Playing in front of a crowd of 4,464 at Memorial Coliseum, the Huskers handed the host Wildcats (29-4) their second home loss of the season. Nebraska (30-4) improved to 5-0 against AVCA top-10 teams this season and reached 30 wins for the third straight season and 11th time in head coach John Cook’s 18 seasons at Nebraska.
The Huskers will make their third straight Final Four appearance for the first time in program history. Nebraska will play in the Final Four next Thursday at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. The Huskers will play the winner of tonight’s regional final between Penn State and Michigan State. Thursday’s NCAA Semifinals are at 6 and 8:30 p.m. The NCAA Championship is set for Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased now at NCAA.com/tickets.
Four Huskers finished in double-digit kills, led by Mikaela Foecke with 18 kills and eight digs on .375 hitting. Annika Albrecht had 14 kills and 11 digs. Briana Holman had 11 kills and six blocks, and Jazz Sweet had 11 kills and four blocks, including a key solo block late in the fourth set.
Kelly Hunter had 46 assists and 11 digs and guided the Huskers to a .271 hitting percentage. Kenzie Maloney had a team-high 13 digs and served two aces, as Nebraska won the serving battle by a significant margin with five aces and eight errors compared to one ace and 12 errors for Kentucky.
Leah Edmond led the Wildcats with 20 kills.