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Huskers Open NCAA Tournament Against New Hampshire

02-Dec-2016 /
The Nebraska volleyball team opens the 2016 NCAA Tournament against the New Hampshire Wildcats on Friday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The other first-round match in Lincoln pits the Wichita State Shockers against the TCU Horned Frogs at 4:30 p.m. Doors for Friday’s session will open at 3:30 p.m.

Friday’s winners will play in the second round match on Saturday at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. Tickets for the weekend, including standing room only, are sold out.

All Nebraska matches this weekend will be televised on NET and streamed at for those with a cable package that includes Big Ten Network. All three matches in Lincoln will be streamed for free at as well. Larry Punteney and Kathi Wieskamp will call the action for NET. The Husker matches will be on Husker Sports Network radio affiliates, including 97.7 Big Country in Grand Island/Hastings/Kearney. John Baylor and Diane Mendenhall will broadcast the match, with former Husker All-American Lauren Cook reporting from the sidelines.

As one of the top four national seeds, the Huskers are in line to host a regional next weekend should they advance. This year, regional hosts will be the top seed remaining in each section of the bracket. The other national seeds in the Huskers’ section of the bracket are No. 8 Washington, No. 9 Michigan State and No. 16 Penn State. Should the Huskers qualify for an NCAA regional for the 22nd time in the last 23 years, tickets would go on sale Monday, Dec. 5 at 10 a.m.

About the Huskers
• The defending national champion Huskers (27-2) are aiming to become the first Husker team to repeat as national champions, as the three previous NCAA title teams (1995, 2000, 2006) came up short of a repeat. This year’s NCAA Championship is set for December 15-17 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
• Nebraska (27-2) won the Big Ten Conference title this season for the first time since 2011. Its 18-2 Big Ten record marked its most wins in the conference since joining in 2011.
• Nebraska is the top seed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006. This season marks the fifth time Nebraska has been the No. 1 overall seed since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1998. The Huskers won national titles in 2000 and 2006 as the top overall seed, were runners-up in 2005 as the No. 1 seed and reached a regional final in 2004.
• The Huskers are making their 35th straight NCAA Tournament appearance and are hosting the first and second rounds for the 13th straight year and 32nd overall. Nebraska is 98-30 (.766) all-time in the NCAA Tournament, ranking second among NCAA schools in wins and winning percentage.
• The Huskers were ranked No. 1 in 12 of 15 AVCA Coaches Polls this season but enter the NCAA Tournament ranked second.
• Nebraska head coach John Cook was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year, while Kelly Hunter, Amber Rolfzen, Kadie Rolfzen and Justine Wong-Orantes were on the All-Big Ten team. Wong-Orantes was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season. Mikaela Foecke and Briana Holman received honorable mention.
• Nebraska led the Big Ten in opponent hitting percentage (.141) during the regular season and ranked fifth in the nation.
• Nebraska averaged 14.35 kills per set this season to rank first in the Big Ten and 12th in the nation.
• The Huskers hit .289 as a team, which ranked third in the Big Ten and seventh nationally.
• Nebraska’s .886 win percentage under Cook is the best by any program since Cook took over in 2000.
• Nebraska has won 27 matches this season, marking the 16th time in his 17 years that Cook’s Huskers have reached at least 25 wins.

Scouting New Hampshire
• New Hampshire (21-10) won the America East regular-season and tournament titles for the fourth straight season to earn its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament trip. Their last three trips have ended with first-round sweeps at Florida, Washington and USC.
• The Wildcats will make their seventh trip to the tournament in program history under 21st-year head coach Jill Hirschinger. Their other appearances were 1998, 2002 and 2003.
• The Wildcats ranked first in their conference in nearly every statistical category, including a .162 opponent hitting percentage that ranked 18th in the nation this season.
• New Hampshire is led by two-time America East Player of the Year Demi Muses (3.57 kills per set, 3.56 digs per set) and two-time America East Setter of the Year Keelin Severtson (10.93 assists per set), who was also named the most outstanding player at the America East Championship.
• That senior duo was joined on the all-conference first team by freshman Emily Tanski (2.74 kills per set, 2.93 digs per set).

Husker women Fall at Unbeaten Hokies

02-Dec-2016 /

Blacksburg, Va. - Jessica Shepard tied her season high with 25 points and added her third double-double of the season with 14 rebounds, but the Nebraska women's basketball team faded down the stretch in a 76-67 road loss to unbeaten Virginia Tech in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge at Cassell Coliseum on Thursday night.

The Huskers slipped to 3-4 on the season, while the Hokies improved to 7-0.

Shepard, who hit-12-of-17 shots from the field, scored 15 of Nebraska's 28 points in the second half, as the Hokies outscored Nebraska 47-28 after halftime. Regan Magarity did the most damage head-to-head against Shepard, scoring 25 points of her own on 9-of-13 shooting. Magarity also hit 4-of-5 three-pointers, while adding eight rebounds and three steals.

Sidney Cook added 14 points and 13 rebounds inside for the Hokies, who were able to overcome a 16-point first-half deficit to rally to victory.

Senior guard Vanessa Panousis also played a huge role in the Virginia Tech win by scoring 12 of her 17 points in the second half. Panousis hit a trio of three-pointers in the second half, as did Magarity. In the first half, the Hokies went just 2-for-14 from three-point range, before going 8-for-15 in the second half.

Nebraska trailed 10-6 after the first 6:30 in the game before erupting on a 23-4 surge over the next eight minutes of the game. Nicea Eliely, Emily Wood and Shepard accounted for all the Husker points during the surge, which turned a 10-6 deficit into a 29-14 NU edge with 5:30 left in the first half. Eliely had a career-high-tying nine points during the outburst, while Wood added a career-high eight points, including a career-high-matching two three-pointers. Shepard added six points.

For the half, Shepard led the Huskers with 10 points and seven rebounds, as eight different Huskers found the scoring column.

Nebraska's lead grew as large as 16 points late in the second half, before the Hokies started to chip away, narrowing the margin to 10 points at 39-29 at halftime.

At the break, the Huskers were shooting a scaulding 59.3 percent (16-27) from the floor, including 50 percent (7-14) at the three-point line. The Huskers were also 3-of-4 at the free throw line. Nebraska won the first-half rebounding battle, 24-20, despite allowing 11 first-half offensive rebounds to the Hokies. Virginia Tech was able to stay in the game thanks to 14 second-chance points and nine points off of turnovers. The Hokies only had six other points in the half, going just 12-for-41 (.293) from the field.

However, after winning the first quarter 18-14 and the second quarter 21-15, the Huskers watched the Hokies own the third quarter 26-17. Nebraska still carried a 56-55 lead into the fourth quarter. Magarity gave the Hokies the lead at 57-56, before NU senior guard Esther Ramacieri answered with a long jumper. Magarity scored again to put the Hokies back up 59-58, before Shepard answered to give the Huskers their final lead of the night at 60-59 with 7:31 remaining.

A Magarity free throw tied it at 60 with 7:09 left, before back-to-back threes by Samantha Hill and Kendyl Brooks gave the Hokies a 66-60 edge with 5:20 left. The Huskers were never able to recover.

Ramacieri finished with five points and a career-high eight assists. Eliely and Wood both were unable to score in the second half but still finished with career highs. Jasmine Cincore added nine points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals in a strong effort for the Big Red.

For the game, Nebraska hit 52.9 percent (27-51) of its shots from the field, including 8-of-17 three-pointers. The Huskers hit 5-of-8 free throws, and won the rebounding battle 41-35. However, Virginia Tech owned the offensive glass, 17-7, to produce 21 second-chance points, compared to just four for the Big Red. The Hokies also won the turnover battle 25-9, including 16-4 in the second half. Virginia Tech converted the Husker turnovers into 24 points, including 15 in the second half, outscoring the Huskers in that category 15-2 in the final 20 minutes.

As a team, Virginia Tech hit 39.2 percent (29-74) of its shots from the floor, but attempted 23 more shots than the Huskers. The Hokies went 10-for-29 from three-point range and 8-of-17 at the line.

The Huskers return home after a three-game road trip this Sunday to take on unbeaten California at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tip-off between the Big Red and the 6-0 Golden Bears is set for 3 p.m. with tickets available now at The game also will be televised nationally by the Big Ten Network.

UNK volleyball falls in 5 in national tournament

02-Dec-2016 /
Kearney, Neb. – The seventh-ranked Augustana Vikings scored the final three points in the fifth set to beat second-ranked Nebraska-Kearney (-20, 21-25, -23, 17-25, -12) in an NCAA Tournament first round match Friday afternoon in St. Paul, Minn.

Sixth-seeded Augie (27-5) advances to the Central Regional second round Friday night while third-seeded UNK ends the season at 35-2.

The fifth set featured seven of the 37 ties in the match and one of the 14 lead changes. UNK was up 6-4 but Augie countered with an 8-4 spurt.

A block from Omaha senior right side Annie Wolfe and a kill by Yutan junior outside Kaitlynn Thomas tied things up at 12. However, Elkhorn South graduate Brittany Cech recorded her 16th and final kill to give the Vikings the lead for good.

Augie reached set point after UNK was called for a ball handling error; there were seven such calls in the match (four on Kearney and three on Augie). Six-two outside hitter Lauren Waite then ended things with her team-leading 17th kill.

"Augustana has a very nice team. They fought hard and made a few plays down the stretch when they needed to. Other than coming up short, it was a fun match to a part of because the level of play was very good," said UNK head coach Rick 25513Squiers. "I'm proud of the way our team played. We had some good individual performances and our team fought all the way through."

In a very even match, Augie had one more kill, 69-68, with UNK hitting one point higher, .250 to .249. The Lopers had a 90-76 advantage in digs but the Vikings had eight more team blocks, 15-7.

Finally, in the serve game, AU had four more aces, 6-2, but also eight more errors, 10-2. The six aces were the most by a Loper opponent this fall with two coming in the fifth set.

"Again, it's very unfortunate that top 10 teams play each other in the first round of the NCAA tournament. It's unfortunate we're the sole representative of the great MIAA conference," said Squiers. "Maybe one day we won't have to come up here and play the real national tournament at a regional site."

Waite reached her kill total in 45 attempts (.245) and also provided three digs and three blocks. A 5-9 outside, Cech hit .325, dug up 13 balls and had two blocks.

Also for Augie, six-two junior Ashley Wilson had 11 kills, seven blocks and hit a team-best .435 with six-foot junior Bailey Koch having a team-best eight blocks and eight kills.

In her final match as a Loper, Wolfe had her typical all-around effort; 17 digs, nine kills, seven assists and two blocks. She appeared in 472 sets, tallying 1,214 digs, 726 kills, 252 assists, 155 blocks and 96 aces.

"I'm a little tired," said Wolfe, referring to her status as a six-rotation player. "I love playing both front and back row. When I was a freshman, I was only in the backrow. I developed those skills my first two years and then I was put in the position to hit last year. I embraced that and went back to what I did best my freshman year and put it all together."

Lincoln junior Tara Ziegelbein was a force in the middle, recording 17 kills, one off her career high, and having team-highs in attack percentage (.355) and blocks (six).

"I have to give our backrow a lot of credit. Our defense was fantastic today and the reason I was put in that (offensive) position was because we got balls up," said Ziegelbein. "(Setter Lindsey Smith) was setting great balls too. I just needed to do my job."

From the outside, Ogallala sophomore Kendall Schroer was solid again, having a team-best 21 kills and five blocks. She had a double digit kill total in seven of the last eight matches, reaching 20 three times.

Finally, playing extensively for the first time in nearly two months, Thomas started the last four sets and amassed 13 kills and three digs. Five of her kills came in a fourth set where UNK hit .471 (16-0-34).

High School Hoops Scores 12-02-16

02-Dec-2016 / Ap
Thursday's Scores
The Associated Press


Alliance 59, Chadron 33

Alma 56, Bertrand 50

Arcadia-Loup City 68, Anselmo-Merna 29

Aurora 78, Adams Central 48

Bancroft-Rosalie/Lyons-Decatur 65, Omaha Nation 52

Beatrice 78, Kearney Catholic 56

Bellevue East 69, Grand Island 61

Bennington 59, Wahoo 52

Bishop Neumann 67, St. Albert, Council Bluffs, Iowa 35

Blair 32, Schuyler 31

Boyd County 66, North Central 55

Boys Town 89, Omaha Concordia 53

Broken Bow 54, Sutherland 29

Burwell 50, Fullerton 41

Cambridge 52, Hitchcock County 29

Centennial 48, David City 27

Central City 49, Grand Island Northwest 46

Columbus Scotus 46, Hastings St. Cecilia 28

Cozad 59, Chase County 47

Crawford 60, Sioux County 21

Crete 62, Columbus Lakeview 17

Cross County 55, McCool Junction 33

Deshler 53, Exeter/Milligan 47

Douglas County West 75, Omaha Brownell-Talbot 41

East Butler 51, Cedar Bluffs 24

Elkhorn Mount Michael 56, Norfolk Catholic 27

Elkhorn South 80, Lincoln High 39

Elm Creek 78, Shelton 45

Fillmore Central 70, Milford 64

Freeman 67, Palmyra 50

Fremont 55, Omaha Westside 39

Friend 55, Lewiston 44

Giltner 62, Harvard 46

Gothenburg 76, Lexington 60

Grand Island Central Catholic 57, Lincoln Lutheran 36

Gretna 77, Parkview Christian 35

Hershey 52, Perkins County 47

Humphrey St. Francis 67, Osceola 42

Kenesaw 60, Blue Hill 40

Lincoln Pius X 65, Waverly 40

Lincoln Southeast 77, Papillion-LaVista South 55

Lincoln Southwest 62, North Platte 24

Logan View-Scribner-Snyder 71, Oakland-Craig 59

Louisville 51, Conestoga 34

Millard North 68, Lincoln East 66

Millard South 68, Omaha Benson 65

Millard West 71, Kearney 69

Minden 41, Southern Valley 39

Mullen 86, Stapleton 19

Neligh-Oakdale 77, Ewing 31

Niobrara/Verdigre 68, Stuart 42

North Bend Central 68, Twin River 48

O'Neill 55, Valentine 33

Omaha Burke 70, Omaha Bryan 46

Omaha Christian Academy 42, College View Academy 24

Omaha Creighton Prep 57, Lincoln Northeast 42

Omaha North 65, Omaha Northwest 52

Omaha Skutt Catholic 74, Omaha Gross Catholic 56

Omaha South 69, Omaha Central 65, OT

Overton 78, Arapahoe 64

Palmer 27, Central Valley 26

Pawnee City 45, Diller-Odell 37

Pierce 53, Howells/Dodge 34

Platteview 64, Fort Calhoun 38

Pleasanton 52, Axtell 25

Ravenna 64, Sandhills/Thedford 60

Republic County, Kan. 37, Thayer Central 29

Sandy Creek 66, Wood River 59

Scottsbluff 88, Mitchell 33

Seward 49, Hastings 38

Sidney 52, Greeley West, Colo. 41

South Platte 46, Arthur County 41

Southwest 64, Medicine Valley 59

Spalding Academy 31, Heartland Lutheran 30

St. Mary's 53, Clearwater/Orchard 42

St. Paul 74, Gibbon 38

Stanton 56, Tekamah-Herman 32

Sterling, Colo. 62, Gering 49

Sumner-Eddyville-Miller 49, Loomis 45

Tri County 39, Wilber-Clatonia 35

Wakefield 60, Pender 33

Wayne 52, South Sioux City 46

West Point-Beemer 44, Arlington 37

Wilcox-Hildreth 59, Elwood 16

Winnebago 101, Homer 18

Winside 59, Plainview 54

Wynot 68, Bloomfield 39

York 59, Ralston 46

Alma 54, Bertrand 45

Anselmo-Merna 46, Arcadia-Loup City 41

Arthur County 26, South Platte 23

Aurora 81, Adams Central 36

Axtell 41, Pleasanton 40

Bancroft-Rosalie/Lyons-Decatur 48, Omaha Nation 36

Blair 46, Omaha Mercy 23

Blue Hill 52, Kenesaw 38

Boyd County 35, North Central 27

Burwell 59, Fullerton 47

Cambridge 45, Hitchcock County 31

Centennial 39, David City 25

Central Valley 43, Palmer 26

Chase County 48, Cozad 37

Crawford 33, Sioux County 27

Crete 49, Columbus Lakeview 23

Crofton 77, Hartington Cedar Catholic 50

Cross County 39, McCool Junction 25

Diller-Odell 39, Pawnee City 34

Douglas County West 44, Omaha Brownell-Talbot 30

East Butler 40, Cedar Bluffs 26

Elm Creek 73, Shelton 14

Elmwood-Murdock 59, Yutan 44

Ewing 35, Neligh-Oakdale 9

Exeter/Milligan 52, Deshler 41

Freeman 33, Palmyra 22

Friend 69, Lewiston 18

Grand Island Northwest 60, Central City 46

Gretna 48, Omaha Skutt Catholic 37

Guardian Angels 66, Emerson-Hubbard 33

Harvard 46, Giltner 32

Hastings St. Cecilia 38, Columbus Scotus 36

Hershey 49, Perkins County 28

Howells/Dodge 68, Pierce 49

Lexington 31, Gothenburg 26

Lincoln Northeast 54, Omaha Marian 30

Lincoln Pius X 46, Waverly 38

Loomis 41, Sumner-Eddyville-Miller 18

Louisville 70, Conestoga 28

Milford 55, Fillmore Central 38

Millard North 58, Lincoln East 46

Millard South 77, Omaha Benson 41

Millard West 42, Kearney 39

Minden 67, Southern Valley 39

Mullen 58, Stapleton 23

Nebraska City Lourdes 59, Johnson-Brock 50

O'Neill 55, Valentine 33

Oakland-Craig 68, Logan View-Scribner-Snyder 43

Omaha Burke 55, Omaha Bryan 47

Omaha Concordia 61, Boys Town 22

Omaha Northwest 64, Omaha North 46

Omaha South 52, Omaha Central 34

Omaha Westside 57, Fremont 37

Osceola 51, Humphrey St. Francis 47

Overton 60, Arapahoe 31

Papillion-LaVista 60, Lincoln Southeast 47

Pender 49, Wakefield 27

Plainview 46, Winside 30

Platteview 53, Fort Calhoun 47

Ravenna 38, Sandhills/Thedford 26

Republic County, Kan. 43, Thayer Central 20

Seward 49, Hastings 38

Sidney 52, Greeley West, Colo. 7

South Sioux City 74, Wayne 46

Southwest 25, Medicine Valley 21

Spalding Academy 58, Heartland Lutheran 24

St. Mary's 54, Clearwater/Orchard 35

St. Paul 55, Gibbon 29

Stanton 50, Tekamah-Herman 36

Sterling, Colo. 48, Gering 43

Stuart 58, Niobrara/Verdigre 44

Superior 54, Sutton 38

Sutherland 65, Broken Bow 45

Tri County 36, Wilber-Clatonia 34, OT

Twin River 43, North Bend Central 38

Wahoo 65, Bennington 30

Wallace 60, Wauneta-Palisade 50

West Point-Beemer 54, Arlington 23

Wilcox-Hildreth 43, Elwood 35

Winnebago 70, Homer 68

Wood River 47, Sandy Creek 39

York 78, Ralston 36

Huskers Fall Just Short at Clemson

01-Dec-2016 /
Clemson, S.C. – Nebraska had a chance to send the game into overtime, but Tai Webster’s runner at the buzzer fell short, as the Huskers suffered a 60-58 loss to Clemson in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge Wednesday night.

With 2.8 seconds left, the Huskers had the ball at midcourt and got the ball to Webster, who drive to the foul line, but the ball rolled off allowing the Tigers to escape with a 2-point victory.

Webster, who finished with 12 points and four rebounds, was one of four Huskers (4-3) to finish in double figures, as sophomore Glynn Watson Jr., led all scorers with 20 points, four assists and four steals. NU also got solid play from its posts, as Ed Morrow Jr. finished with 10 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, while Michael Jacobson set season bests in both points (11) and rebounds (seven).

Nebraska trailed 58-54 with 3:16 remaining before a Webster free throw and a 3-pointer by Watson with 1:38 knotted the score at 58. On its next possession, Clemson regained the lead on a free throw by Donte Grantham with 1:22 left, but Nebraska had a trio of chances to take the lead.

On the ensuing possession, Gill missed a jumper, but the Huskers got a stop on the defensive end to get the ball back. With under 30 seconds left, Watson had his drive blocked by Jaron Blossomgame, but the Huskers kept possession before a traveling call gave Clemson the ball with 6.7 seconds left. NU fouled Avry Holmes, who split the foul shots to make it a two-point game, setting up a Huskers’ final shot.

Blossomgame led Clemson (4-2) with 15 points, but was the only Tiger to finish in double figures for the winners.

Clemson took the lead midway through the second half, using a 15-5 spurt to turn a 41-36 deficit until a 51-46 advantage after a Sidy Djitte driving basket. The Huskers would not fold, as a Jacobson putback started a 6-2 Husker run, as NU got to within 53-52 with 5:38 remaining and would remain in striking distance the rest of the way.

Nebraska used a strong defensive first half in taking a 31-27 lead at the break. The Huskers held Clemson to 32 percent shooting and out-rebounded the Tigers, 20-19 in the opening stanza.

The Huskers got 17 points from the starting backcourt of Webster and Watson Jr., and seven points from Michael Jacobson, according for 24 of the Huskers’ 31 points.

Nebraska took control with an 8-0 run, keyed by 3-pointers from Jacobson and Webster, to turn an eight-all deadlock into a 16-8 lead. Nebraska was opportunistic on defense, turning 12 Clemson turnovers into 12 Husker points in the first half. Nebraska led 24-15 after an Evan Taylor driving basket with 6:03 remaining in the half and led 31-23 before the Tigers scored the last four points of the half to cut the Huskers’ halftime lead to four.

The Huskers return to Pinnacle Bank Arena for the first time in two weeks Saturday afternoon, as the Huskers host South Dakota. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. and a limited number of tickets are available by visiting or calling 800-8-BIGRED during business hours. The game will be carried on the Husker Sports Network and available online on BTN Plus.

Wong-Orantes Leads Huskers' All-Big Ten Selections

29-Nov-2016 /
Nebraska libero Justine Wong-Orantes was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season, highlighting the Big Ten champion Nebraska volleyball team's four selections to the All-Big Ten team on Tuesday.

Nebraska Head Coach John Cook was selected the Big Ten Coach of the Year by both the coaches and media, marking his sixth career conference coach-of-the-year honor but first while leading the Huskers in the Big Ten era.

Wong-Orantes and Kadie Rolfzen were unanimous selections to the All-Big Ten team, while Amber Rolfzen and Kelly Hunter were also voted to the 18-member team by the league's head coaches. Mikaela Foecke and Briana Holman received honorable mention, and Brooke Smith was Nebraska's Sportsmanship Award winner. The Huskers' four All-Big Ten selections were the most for any Big Ten team and are Nebraska's most since 2008 in the Big 12.

Although Wong-Orantes was voted the conference's best defensive player for the second time, this marks her first career selection to the All-Big Ten team. The libero out of Cypress, California became Nebraska's all-time career digs leader this season and set a single-match school record with 35 digs against Minnesota in October. Wong-Orantes, a third-team AVCA All-American last season, averaged 4.14 digs per set this season and became the first Husker in school history to surpass 1,800 career digs.

Kadie Rolfzen earned her fourth career selection to the All-Big Ten team, becoming the third Husker all-time to garner four first-team all-conference selections (Sarah Pavan, 2004-07; Greichaly Cepero, 1999-2002). A first-team AVCA All-American last season, Rolfzen leads the Huskers with 3.14 kills per set and adds 2.51 digs per set, establishing her as one of the top six-rotation players in the conference. The Papillion, Nebraska native hit a career-best .293 in the regular season and served a career-high 22 aces. An NCAA Senior CLASS Award finalist, Rolfzen joined Jordan Larson as the only Huskers to rank in the top seven in school history in career kills and digs, as she sits seventh in both entering the postseason.

Amber Rolfzen was a repeat selection to the All-Big Ten team, making the squad in both of her seasons as a middle blocker. Rolfzen averaged 1.94 kills and a team-high 1.43 blocks per set while hitting .326 this season. She ranked third in the Big Ten in blocks and had an average of 1.51 blocks per set in conference play. The Papillion, Nebraska native has cracked the career block assists chart (No. 6) and total blocks chart (No. 9) in just two seasons as a middle blocker. A second-team AVCA All-American last season, Rolfzen was named the espnW and AVCA National Player of the Week after 16 kills in both wins over Wisconsin and Minnesota in October, and she was also named Big Ten Player of the Week and a two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week this season.

Hunter, the Huskers' junior setter and captain, earned her first All-Big Ten selection after leading the Huskers with 11.24 assists per set this season, which ranked third in the Big Ten. The Papillion, Nebraska native is the first Husker setter to receive first-team all-conference honors since Lauren Cook in 2012. Hunter led Nebraska with eight double-doubles in the regular season and was a four-time Big Ten Setter of the Week. She set a career high with 61 assists at Penn State on November 4.

Foecke, the most outstanding player of the 2015 NCAA Championship as a freshman, posted 2.89 kills per set with an impressive .306 hitting percentage as a sophomore, which ranked among the top outside hitters in the Big Ten. The West Point, Iowa product served 16 aces and chipped in 42 blocks, and she played pivotal roles in big matches, including 20 kills against Minnesota on October 23, 19 at Penn State on November 4 and 18 against Michigan in the Big Ten title-clinching win.

Holman, a junior middle blocker from DeSoto, Texas, received honorable mention (at least two votes from the 13 other Big Ten coaches) in her first season playing for the Huskers. Holman ranks eighth in the Big Ten with a .346 hitting percentage and is averaging 1.20 blocks per set and 2.41 kills per set this season. She was the espnW National Player of the Week in the first week of the season after leading the Huskers to wins over No. 10 Florida and No. 2 Texas.

In his 17th season as head coach at Nebraska, Cook led the Huskers to their second Big Ten title and the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, as the Huskers spent 12 of 15 weeks atop the AVCA Coaches Poll. Cook is a two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year, also winning the award in 1997 at Wisconsin, and was a four-time Big 12 Coach of the Year before the Huskers' move to the Big Ten in 2011. His Husker teams have won 11 conference titles in his 17 seasons, and he holds the nation's best winning percentage (.886) since 2000.

Ali Bastianelli, So., MB, ILL
Jordyn Poulter, So., S, ILL
Alyssa Garvelink, Jr., MB, MSU
Hannah Tapp, Sr., MB, MINN
Kelly Hunter, Jr., S, NEB
Amber Rolfzen, Sr., MB, NEB
Haleigh Nelson, Sr., MB WIS
Tionna Williams, So., MB, WIS

Brandi Donnelly, Jr., L, ILL
Jazzmine McDonald, Sr., MB, IND
Loxley Keala, Sr., S, IOWA
Gia Milana, Fr., OH, MD
MacKenzi Welsh, Fr., S, MICH
Autumn Bailey, Jr., OH, MSU
Rachel Minarick, Jr., S, MSU
Molly Lohman, Jr., MB, MINN
Mikaela Foecke, So., OH, NEB
Briana Holman, Jr., MB, NEB
Symone Abbott, Jr., OH, NU
Taylor Hughes, So., S, OSU
Faye Adelaja, Sr., MB, PUR
Molly Haggerty, Fr., OH, WIS

Jacqueline Quade, OH, ILL
MacKenzi Welsh, S, MICH
Alexis Hart, OH, MINN
Tori Gorrell, MB, PSU
Kendall White, L, PSU

Unanimous selections in CAPS

Sarah Wilhite, MINN

Justine Wong-Orantes, NEB

Samantha Seliger-Swenson, MINN

Molly Haggerty, WIS

John Cook, NEB

Katie Stadick, ILL
Jessica Leish, IND
Ashley Mariana, IOWA
Samantha Higginbothem, MD
Kelly Murphy, MICH
Alyssah Fitterer, MSU
Paige Tapp, MINN
Brooke Smith, NEB
Caleigh Ryan, NU
Kylie Randall, OSU
Faye Adelaja, PUR
Laura Broerman, PSU
Mikaela Matthews, RU
Tori Blake, WIS

ALL CAPS denotes unanimous selection

Huskers Awarded Top Seed in NCAA Tournament

28-Nov-2016 /
LINCOLN, Neb. - The Nebraska volleyball team was selected as the No. 1 overall seed for the NCAA Tournament on Sunday night and will have an opportunity to play four matches at the Bob Devaney Sports Center to try and advance to this year's final four in Columbus, Ohio.

The defending national champion Huskers, making their 35th straight NCAA Tournament appearance, will open the tournament on Friday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. against the New Hampshire Wildcats (21-10), champions of the America East Conference. The 4:30 p.m. match will feature the Wichita State Shockers (24-7) of the Missouri Valley Conference and the TCU Horned Frogs (14-12) of the Big 12 Conference. Friday's winners will meet on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m.

Nebraska is the No. 1 overall seed for the first time since 2006. As one of the top four national seeds, the Huskers are in line to host a regional semifinal and final the following weekend should they advance. This year, regional hosts will be the top seed remaining in each section of the bracket. The other national seeds in the Huskers' section of the bracket are No. 8 Washington, No. 9 Michigan State and No. 16 Penn State. The other top four national seeds are No. 2 Minnesota, No. 3 Wisconsin and No. 4 Texas.

Standing-room only tickets to the first and second rounds are for sale online at If tickets are still available Monday morning, they can be purchased through the Nebraska Athletics Ticket Office at 800-8-BIGRED. All-session standing-room only tickets are $20. Should the Huskers advance to a regional for the 22nd time in 23 years, tickets would go on sale to the general public on Sunday, Dec. 5 at 10 a.m.

The Huskers finished the regular season 27-2 overall and 18-2 in the Big Ten Conference to earn their second ever Big Ten championship. Nebraska is 98-30 (.766) in 34 previous NCAA Tournament appearances, ranking second among NCAA schools in wins and winning percentage.

The 2016 season marks the 32nd time that Lincoln has hosted NCAA first and second round competition. The 2016 Husker squad is looking to become the first Nebraska volleyball team to repeat as national champions, as the three previous NCAA title teams (1995, 2000, 2006) came up short of a repeat. This year's NCAA Championship is set for December 15-17 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

Eight Big Teams were selected to the 2016 field. Joining the Huskers are No. 2 Minnesota, No. 3 Wisconsin, No. 9 Michigan State, No. 12 Michigan, No. 16 Penn State, Ohio State and Purdue.

NCAA First and Second Round Schedule
First Round – Friday, Dec. 2
4:30 p.m. – TCU vs. Wichita State
7 p.m.* – New Hampshire vs. Nebraska
*or 30 minutes following the conclusion of the 4:30 p.m. match, but no sooner than 7 p.m.

Second Round – Saturday, Dec. 3
7 p.m. – First Round Winners

Busboom Kelly Named Head Coach at Louisville

28-Nov-2016 /
LINCOLN, Neb. - Nebraska volleyball assistant coach Dani Busboom Kelly was introduced as the new head coach at the University of Louisville on Sunday afternoon. She will finish the season with the Huskers before beginning her stint at Louisville. Nebraska head coach John Cook will conduct a national search to fill the open position after the season.

Busboom Kelly replaces Anne Kordes, who resigned last week for personal reasons after six seasons as Louisville's head coach. Busboom Kelly was an assistant on Kordes' staff in 2011 before joining Cook's Nebraska staff in 2012. In her one season at Louisville, Busboom Kelly helped the Cardinals to a 24-9 record and a trip to the semifinals of the Big East Tournament. She'll take over a program that finished the 2016 regular season 12-18.

"When Dani told me she wanted to be a coach after she was finished playing for the Huskers, I suggested that she go away from Nebraska to see how the real world of coaching was different from Nebraska. Louisville was one of her stops," Cook said. "I know from many conversations she loved Louisville, Tom Jurich the AD, and of course Muhammad Ali said it is the greatest city in the world. One of the proudest days of my coaching career was hiring Dani back to Nebraska to be a coach. Although I still can’t believe it, I am very proud of the coach she has become. She is ready for this job. She has been a captain of a national championship team, coached a national championship team, changed our recruiting, and has made me a better coach. We are so happy and proud of the work that she has done to get to this point in her coaching career. Louisville is getting a young rising star coach in Dani. We will miss her and Lane, and we thank her for all that she has done for Nebraska volleyball."

In the last five years, Busboom Kelly has played a vital role in the Husker program, assisting with Nebraska's setters, liberos, outside hitters and recruiting. Regarded as one of the best recruiters in the nation, Busboom Kelly helped Nebraska's resurgence to the forefront of college volleyball in her five seasons, as the Huskers captured the 2015 NCAA Championship at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, the same place Busboom Kelly won the national title as a player for the Huskers in 2006.

Behind Busboom Kelly’s recruiting efforts, the Huskers' 2015 signing class ranked fifth in the nation by, and from that group Mikaela Foecke went on to become the third freshman to be named most outstanding player of the NCAA Championship.

"I am so thankful for the last five years I spent with Nebraska volleyball,” Busboom Kelly said. “Being a part of Nebraska as a player and a coach has been incredibly rewarding and no doubt has greatly influenced my career and myself as a person. I can’t thank John Cook enough for being a mentor and a friend. He has prepared me for this next step and I’ve appreciated his support throughout the process. He has always taught us to set goals and dream big. There are still goals to be accomplished in the next three weeks, and I will cherish the time remaining with the 2016 team.”

In her five seasons at Nebraska, Busboom Kelly has helped the Huskers to a 134-30 record and NCAA regional final appearances every season. She has spent eight total seasons as an assistant coach, as she was part of the Tennessee staff from 2009 to 2011.

As a captain at Nebraska, Busboom moved from setter to libero in 2006 to help Nebraska’s defense and finished her career as one of only two players to rank among NU’s all-time leaders in both digs (1,281) and assists (2,873). She was a four-year starter for Cook, guiding NU to a 124-10 record, the best four-year mark in school history, three Big 12 titles, two NCAA finals appearances and a national title in 2006.

Busboom was considered the Big 12’s best libero in 2006, as she helped NU limit opponents to a Big 12-low .144 hitting percentage. She set Nebraska’s single-season digs record (580) in her first year as a libero, breaking the previous mark of 480 by Amanda McCormick in 2004. As a senior she reached double figures in digs in 32 of 34 matches, including 21 straight matches with at least 10 digs. She notched her best defensive performance at the NCAA semifinals against UCLA, totaling a career-high 29 digs, which ranks as the second-best postseason performance in school history.

In addition to her accomplishments on the court, Busboom excelled off the court for the Huskers. She was a 2006 second-team academic All-District VII selection, while earning six Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll accolades and becoming a three-time first-team academic All-Big 12 honoree. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Nebraska in 2007.

Following her graduation, Busboom spent time with the U.S. Women’s National Training Team before working as a sales representative for an Omaha insurance company. She also worked as a sideline reporter for radio broadcasts of Nebraska volleyball matches on the Husker Sports Network and was an assistant coach with USA Volleyball’s Select A2 Program.

Dani and her husband, former Nebraska football player Lane Kelly, were married in the summer of 2010.

Husker men drop contest to Virginia Tech

28-Nov-2016 /
Despite 23 points and eight rebounds from Tai Webster, Nebraska fell to Virginia Tech, 66-53, in the third-place game of the Wooden Legacy Sunday afternoon.

Webster led all scorers with 23 points, including 10-of-12 from the foul line, and matched his career high with eight rebounds, but the Huskers shot a season-low 29 percent, including 4-of-21 from 3-point range.

Ed Morrow was the only other Husker in double figures, finishing with 13 points and seven rebounds, but the Hokies held Glynn Watson Jr. to just two points after he averaged 23.5 points per game in NU’s first two games in Anaheim.

Nebraska, which led by as many as eight in the first half before taking a 26-23 lead into the locker room before the Hokies rallied behind the play of Zack LeDay, who finished with 19 points and nine rebounds.

LeDay keyed a 6-0 spurt for the Hokies coming out of the locker room with a pair of dunks to give Virginia Tech a 29-26 lead. NU regrouped with a 5-0 run as a 3-pointer by Jack McVeigh 3-pointer and a basket by Webster gave the Huskers a 31-29 lead.

Virginia Tech took control midway through the second stanza, using a 6-0 run as part of a 13-3 surge to build a 10-point lead with 7:47 left. The Huskers were within 41-37 after a Webster 3-pointer, but 3’s from Ty Outlaw and Justin Robinson gave the Hokies a 47-37 cushion.

The Huskers continued to battle, cutting a 12-point deficit to 52-44 after a Morrow basket and eventually whittled the deficit to 54-48 after two Webster free throws with 2:01 left, but the Hokies salted the game at the line, going 10-of-10 in the final two minutes to pull away.

Ahmed Hill scored all 12 of his point in the second half for Virginia Tech, who shot 56 percent in the second half, while Nebraska shot just 7-of-31 from the field.

In the first half, the Huskers used a strong defensive effort in taking a 26-23 lead into the locker room. Nebraska held the Hokies to 29.6 percent shooting and out-rebounded Virginia Tech, 20-19, in the opening stanza despite Morrow sitting a good portion of the half after he scored six points, but picked up a pair of fouls.

The Huskers took command with a 10-3 spurt keyed from Anton Gill. The junior hit a pair of 3-pointers as Nebraska eventually took a 20-12 advantage after a Glynn Watson putback with 5:16 left in the half.

The Hokies fought right back with 3-pointers from Justin Bibbs and Seth Allen to make it a 2-point game. Virginia Tech cut the lead to 22-21 after a free throw from Zach LeDay, who had a team-high nine first-half points, but Evan Taylor’s basket gave the Huskers a little breathing room as they took a 3-point led to the locker room.

The Huskers return home before a quick turnaround, as they travel to Clemson for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge for a Wednesday evening matchup. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. (CT) on ESPNU and on the Husker Sports Network.

Husker women fall to Virginia in Vegas

28-Nov-2016 /
Las Vegas - Jessica Shepard scored 12 points and added four rebounds and three assists to earn a spot on the South Point Shootout All-Tournament team, but the Nebraska women's basketball team suffered a 73-51 loss at the hands of Virginia on Saturday night.

With the loss, Nebraska slipped to 3-3 on the season, while Virginia improved to 5-1.

Shepard was the only Husker to manage double figures against the Cavaliers, but Shepard went just 4-for-13 from the floor. Jasmine Cincore, who finished with seven points, was the only other Husker to hit three field goals (3-8) in the game. Nebraska hit just 19-of-54 shots from the field, including just 5-of-21 three-pointers. The Huskers did hit 8-of-11 free throws.

After leading 40-26 at the half, Virginia took advantage of cold shooting by the Huskers to build its biggest lead at 71-36 with 6:11 left in the fourth quarter. Nebraska refused to quit though, as a jumper at the top of the key by freshman Grace Mitchell started a 15-2 surge to end the game. NU's final push included seven points from Maddie Simon and three-pointers by Emily Wood and Rylie Cascio Jensen. Simon finished with eight points and a team-high three steals, while Cincore finished with six points and a team-high five rebounds.

As a team, Nebraska was outrebounded 43-32, and lost the turnover battle 19-15 to the Cavaliers.

Virginia hit 30-of-63 shots from the field for the game, including 5-of-21 threes. The Cavs were also just 8-of-17 at the free throw line. Lauren Moses led four Cavaliers in double figures with 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting, while Aliyah Huland El pitched in 14 points. Jocelyn Willoughby contributed 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting for the Cavs, while J'Kyra Brown pitched in 11 points and game highs of nine rebounds and six assists off the bench.

Nebraska owned a 5-4 lead before Virginia put together a 6-0 run to take a 10-5 lead. Virginia's biggest lead of the quarter came at 23-15, before taking a seven-point lead to the second quarter. The Cavaliers' lead grew to 10 before a bucket for Allie Havers and a three-point play by Esther Ramacieri cut the Virginia margin back to five at 28-23 with five minutes left in the first half.

However, Illinois answered with a 7-0 run of its own and took its biggest lead of the half at 15 points with 30 seconds left, before the Huskers scored the final point to cut the margin to 40-26 at the half.

Shepard led the Huskers with six points, two rebounds and three assists in the first half, but hit just 2-of-8 field goals. Havers added five points on 2-of-4 shooting to go along with three rebounds and an assists, while Jasmine Cincore contributed four points, three rebounds and an assist.

As a team, Nebraska hit 10-of-25 shots from the floor, including 2-of-8 threes and 4-of-7 free throws. The Huskers were outrebounded 21-12, and lost the first-half turnover battle, 10-9.

Virginia hit 56.3 percent (18-32) of its first-half field goals, despite hitting just 1-of-10 threes. The Cavaliers also went just 3-of-8 at the line. Virginia hit 77.3 percent (17-22) of its first-half field goal attempts.

The Huskers return to Nebraska on Sunday before hitting the road again to take on Virginia Tech in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Thursday. Tip-off between the Huskers and Hokies from Blacksburg, Va., is set for 6 p.m. (CT).
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