in NCAA Opener
----------------------------- 1 2 3 4 Harvard 25 15 17 19 NEBRASKA 22 25 25 25 -----------------------------
The Huskers never led as Harvard burst onto the postseason scene with a 25-22 win in the opening set. Trailing a first-round NCAA Tournament opponent for only the third time in school history - and for the first time since 1986 - Nebraska trailed for a total of only three rallies over the final three sets. NU won the first 10 rallies of set two to cruise to a 25-15 win. The Huskers then pulled away from the Crimson late to take set three, 25-17, before closing out their 11th straight victory with a 25-19 victory in set four.
By winning their opening NCAA Tournament match for the 32nd straight season, the Huskers advanced to Saturday's second-round match against Wichita State, which defeated Kansas State, 3-1, in Friday's opening match. The Huskers and Shockers will meet on Saturday at 7 p.m. with a trip to the Regional Semifinals in Lexington, Ky., on the line.
Saturday's match will be televised live in the state of Nebraska on NET and the television broadcast is also available nationwide on BTN2Go. A live video feed featuring commentary from IMG Husker Sports Network announcers John Baylor and Diane Mendenhall is also available for free on Huskers.com. A limited number of tickets may become available for Saturday's match. Fans are encouraged to check Huskers.com for availability.
Kadie Rolfzen had a double-double and paced four Huskers in double-figure kills with a match-high 15 kills. Mikaela Foecke added 12 kills in her postseason debut, while middle blockers Cecilia Hall and Amber Rolfzen had 10 kills each. Amber Rolfzen added a season-high nine blocks, as Nebraska finished with 15 stuffs, one shy of its season high. Kelly Hunter had 54 assists for a Husker attack that hit .298 and Justine Wong-Orantes tallied 23 digs.
Corinne Bain produced a triple-double for Harvard, which ended its season with a 15-11 record. Bain led the Crimson with 13 kills and 14 digs, while adding 19 assists. Kathleen Wallace added 12 digs for Harvard and just missed a double-double with nine digs. Harvard hit .163 for the match and stuffed the Huskers six times.
Set One: Harvard showed no signs of nerves in its postseason debut, jumping out to a 7-3 lead in set one. Strong serving from Mikaela Foecke helped the Huskers pull even with four straight points but Harvard answered with its own 4-0 run to take a 13-9 lead and force a Husker timeout. The Crimson built their largest lead at 17-12 and answered every Nebraska spurt, winning rallies on three different occasions after the Huskers had pulled to within two. Nebraska saved one set point with a Kadie Rolfzen kill before Caroline Holte closed out the 25-22 win with her only kill of the set. Harvard had four blocks in the set, contributing to eight Husker attack errors.
Set Two: Nebraska came out firing in set two, scoring the first 10 points of the set. Harvard was able to pull within 14-7 but could get no closer. The Huskers led by as many as 13 but Harvard fought to the end, fending off three set points before Meghan Haggerty's kill wrapped up the 25-15 win. After eight attack errors held Nebraska to a .186 hitting percentage in set one, the Huskers hit .394 in the second set. Kadie Rolfzen had five kills on nine swings in set two, and the Huskers stuffed Harvard four times.
Set Three: Nebraska jumped out to an early 6-3 lead in set three, only to see Harvard rally to take a 10-9 advantage. Tied at 11, the Huskers won five of the next six rallies to take a 16-12 lead. Nebraska maintained at least a two-point advantage the rest of the set, winning six of the final seven rallies of the 25-17 win. Nebraska hit .394 for the second straight set, and it was Kadie Rolfzen leading the way again, this time with six kills on 13 swings.
Set Four: The Huskers put up a wall at the net early in set four. Nebraska had five blocks in the first 15 rallies to race to a 10-5 lead. Harvard would get no closer than four the rest of the way but continued to fight, as Nebraska was never able to expand its lead to larger than seven points. The Huskers closed out the match on their sixth block of the set and 15th of the match. The Huskers held Harvard to an .091 attack percentage, as Amber Rolfzen had a hand in all six Nebraska blocks in the final set.