The Nebraska women’s volleyball team, after a season of impressive performances and strategic plays, has secured its place in the NCAA Final Four. The achievement marks a significant milestone for the team, with it being its first Final Four appearance since 2021.
During the critical match that solidified their spot in the Final Four on Dec. 9, tension was high. As the ball, served by Arkansas’ Jada Lawson, veered out of bounds, middle blocker Bekka Allick experienced a moment of panic, mistaking it for a possible touch by Cornhuskers’ libero Lexi Rodriguez. Allick’s initial panicked reaction quickly transformed into relief as the realization of victory set in.
“It was a release,” Allick said, as reported via Amie Just of the Lincoln Journal Star. “Just having that ball land out of bounds, I’m like, ‘We did it.'”
The season has been filled with notable achievements for the Cornhuskers. They began ranked No. 5 and steadily climbed to the No. 2 spot. The team’s resilience and skill were showcased in key matches, including a historic game at Memorial Stadium that attracted over 92,000 spectators, a testament to their growing prominence and fan support. Additionally, the team celebrated victories against top-ranked teams, including Stanford, and triumphed in the Big Ten Conference.
“For it to actually become reality, it means a lot to us because it’s super special that we can have the opportunity to be in a program that is able to do things like that,” Harper Murray said after the Elite Eight win. “We need to soak it in, but we need to understand that we are so capable of the national championship because that’s what we want and that’s what we’ve trained for for so long.”
This string of successes reflects not just skillful play but a deep-rooted belief in their potential. The team set and achieved numerous goals throughout the season, with the ultimate aim of winning the national championship.
Coach John Cook has played a crucial role in guiding the team through the challenges of high-stakes matches. He acknowledges the intensity and pressure that come with reaching the Final Four, emphasizing the hard work and focus required at this level.
“It’s just a different ballgame when you get to this point … a different intensity … just a lot of pressure trying to get to a Final Four. It’s hard to do. Really hard,” Cook said.
The Cornhuskers’ success is a result of the effective combination of fresh talent and experienced leadership. The mix of key freshmen, transfer junior and seasoned players has been pivotal in their journey. Cook attributes the season’s magic to its beginning at the stadium match.
“This all started with the stadium match,” he said. “It’s just been a magical season in many ways. And to win it tonight — and our crowd was awesome, our student section was awesome — it’s very rewarding because our fans deserve this.”
As Nebraska prepares for the Final Four, the team remains focused on their ultimate goal – winning the national championship. With only six set wins standing between them and the title, the Cornhuskers are determined to achieve the dream they have worked tirelessly towards.
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The post Nebraska’s dream of journey to NCAA volleyball Final Four appeared first on ClutchPoints.2023-12-10T17:54:19Z dg43tfdfdgfd