----------------------------- 1 2 3 BYU (11) 24 17 23 NEBRASKA (3) 26 25 25 -----------------------------
The Huskers improved to 29-4 with the win and advanced to a regional final for the fourth straight year. Nebraska will face either fifth-seeded Washington or 12th-seeded Ohio State on Saturday at 3 p.m. (CT) in the NCAA regional final, with the winner advancing to the NCAA semifinals in Omaha next week. Saturday's regional final match will be televised on ESPNU and streamed online at ESPN3.com.
The Huskers hit .279 - including marks of .391 and .303 in the first two sets - and held BYU to .191 - including .067 and .160 in sets two and three. The Huskers posted 10.5 blocks, 9.5 of which came in sets two and three. BYU entered the match 17th nationally in blocking, but got to NU just seven times.
Nebraska was efficient and balanced offensively with three players at 12 kills. Amber Rolfzen had 12 kills and five blocks, while Kadie Rolfzen had 12 kills and 12 digs for her eighth straight postseason double-double. Kelsey Fien tallied 12 kills, with eight coming in the first set, and a .310 hitting percentage. Mikaela Foecke had eight kills and four blocks, and Cecilia Hall had five kills and five blocks.
Kelly Hunter tallied 48 assists on NU's 51 kills. Hunter also had seven digs. Justine Wong-Orantes guided the Huskers' floor defense with 23 digs. Annika Albrecht had 14 digs and two kills. Kentucky native Kenzie Maloney had four digs.
BYU (28-4) got 18 kills from two-time West Coast Conference Player of the Year Alexa Gray, but the Huskers held the BYU star to .182 hitting, well below her season average of .302. Amy Boswell had eight kills and five blocks for the Cougars.
Set 1: Nebraska jumped out to a 9-4 lead with seven kills on their first 11 attacks. A kill by BYU's Gray and a pair of Cougar blocks brought BYU within 12-11, and the Cougars drew even at 15-15 on an Alohi Robins-Hardy ace. But the Huskers reclaimed a 19-16 lead on kills by Fien and Kadie Rolfzen and a BYU error. BYU cut it to 19-18 before a Fien kill out of a Husker timeout. Boswell and Gray then tied it at 20-20 with kills, but Foecke answered to put NU in front again and Albrecht delivered a back-row kill to make it 22-20. BYU pulled within 23-22, but a Foecke kill gave NU set point at 24-22. Whitney Howard got a kill for BYU, and a Cougar block tied it 24-24. Fien restored the lead with a kill, and Hall and Hunter combined for a block for the 26-24 win. Fien had eight kills to lead NU.
Set 2: The Huskers started strong again with a 4-1 lead after a pair of Foecke kills and ace by Wong-Orantes. Later, Foecke and Amber Rolfzen combined for a block before Rolfzen posted a solo stuff. A BYU hitting error made it 8-2 Big Red. BYU regrouped but a pair of kills by Hall and a kill and block by Kadie Rolfzen pushed the lead to 14-7. Another solo stuff by Amber Rolfzen ran the lead to 17-9. The Huskers pulled ahead 20-11 before the Cougars tried to rally, getting within 22-16. But another block, this time by Hall and Foecke, made it 23-16 and the Huskers finished off the 25-17 win to take a 2-0 lead. Nebraska tallied six blocks in set two after just one in the first set. The Huskers outhit the Cougars .303 to .067.
Set 3: BYU took its first lead of the match at 3-2, which started a 4-0 run that put the Cougars up 6-2. But NU went on a 5-0 run to take an 8-7 lead. The Cougars responded to go up 12-9 with a pair of kills by Veronica Jones and two Big Red hitting errors. But Nebraska turned the tide. Kills by Fien and Hall tied it 13-13, and a block by Amber Rolfzen and Foecke started a 4-0 run after it was tied 15-15. The Rolfzen twins each put down kills to make it 20-16 Huskers. Amber Rolfzen blasted two more kills to put NU ahead 22-17. BYU did not go quietly, cutting the lead to 23-22 with four straight points. But the Huskers finished the job with another kill by Fien and a BYU error.