Nebraska and Creighton delivered in a big way — Fox Sports be damned — with a five-set Huskers victory in front of a regular-season NCAA volleyball record crowd of 15,797 in Omaha’s CHI Health Center on Wednesday night.
It was the showcase match not only of Wednesday but also, perhaps, of the the nonconference season. Yet Fox Sports switched its coverage — seriously, this really happened — late in the fourth set from FS1 to FS2 to accommodate its Major League baseball pre-game show. If you happened to be someone watching on a delayed DVR (VolleyballMag.com raises its hand) you missed the fifth set.
It was insulting to our sport and highly unprofessional by Fox Sports.
All that said, however, the Big Ten’s Nebraska came away with a 25-18, 25-23, 25-27, 18-25, 15-9 victory to improve to 6-0. And Creighton (5-2) served notice that it is, once again, more than just the best team in the Big East.
There were a handful of other matches Wednesday. Both Big 12 Kansas teams won as K-State beat Missouri in five and Kansas improved to 7-0 with a four-set win at Kansas City. Top-ranked Texas swept visiting UC Davis. The recaps follow.
THURSDAY: There is another showcase match on tap Thursday when No. 10 BYU of the WCC plays at No. 5 Georgia Tech of the ACC. That leads into a weekend schedule that includes No. 8 Ohio State against BYU in Atlanta on Friday and against Georgia Tech on Sunday.
In other matches Thursday involving Big Ten teams, Northwestern will play twice in Seattle, first against Cal Poly and then against No. 13 Washington. And Indiana will play twice in Raleigh, North Carolina, first against Western Carolina and then against the home team, NC State of the ACC.
Other ACC teams in action are Syracuse (home for Army) and Florida State (at Nebraska-Omaha). And in matches involving Big 12 teams: Kansas plays host to Wichita State after the Shockers play unbeaten UNLV; No. 15 Baylor is home for Colorado State, and TCU plays Western Carolina at NC State.
The only SEC team in action is Mississippi State, which plays Kennesaw State.
And in the Pac-12, in addition to Washington, No. 22 UCLA plays at nearby Loyola Marymount.
Also, No. 21 Western Kentucky plays Northern Kentucky, and No. 24 Pepperdine plays Cal Poly.
You can find the viewing links at the VolleyballMag.com TV & Streaming Listings.
NEBRASKA-CREIGHTON: Whitney Lauenstein went off for a career-high 25 kills — the most by a Nebraska player since 2018 — and hit .385 to go with two blocks and three digs. Lindsay Krause had 16 kills (with six errors), three blocks and two digs, and Madi Kubik had 14 kills, an assist, a block and 12 digs. Bekka Allick had nine kills, hit .318 and had an assist, four digs and three blocks, two solo. The other middle, Kaitlyn Hord, had four kills, three blocks and six digs, one solo. Nicklin Hames, the Husker who wasn’t going to set this year, had 38 assists and 17 digs. The other setter, Annie Evans, had 25 assists and 17 digs. Libero Lexi Rodriguez had 18 digs and seven assists, and DS Kenzie Knuckles had 12 digs, three kills and two assists. Nebraska hit .244 and had no aces and 10 errors. It was the first time Nebraska didn’t have an ace since 2019.
Creighton hit .202 and had three aces and five errors. Keeley Davis had 19 kills, an assist and 15 digs. Norah Sis added 15 kills (with seven errors), a block and 12 digs. Kiana Schmitt had 10 kills, three digs and three blocks, and Kiara Reinhardt had eight kills, a dig and four blocks, one solo. Kendra Wait had two kills, 45 assists, an ace, three blocks and 18 digs. Sky McCune had 22 digs and two assists, and Allison Whitten had 15 digs, five assists and two aces.
Nebraska will be back at it Saturday when Long Beach State visits. Long Beach State is coached by former Nebraska assistant Tyler Hildebrand. Creighton goes to Nebraska-Omaha on Friday and plays Florida State.
The match lasted 3 hours, 5 minutes, the longest in Creighton history and the crowd was the 16th-largest in NCAA volleyball history. All the others have been in final fours, including No. 1, 18,755 in Columbus, Ohio, last December 18 when Wisconsin beat Nebraska in the NCAA final.
AROUND THE NATION: Texas of the Big 12 (5-0) overpowered visiting UC Davis of the Big West 25-18, 25-19, 25-9. Melanie Parra led the Longhorns with 15 kills, hit .406 and had an ace, a block and five digs. Zoe Fleck had 19 digs and seven assists. Texas hit .337. UC Davis (4-3) hit .111 …
Kansas State of the Big 12 (6-1) held off visiting Missouri of the SEC (4-3) 27-25, 25-14, 24-26, 20-25, 15-10. K-State had four players with 10 or more kills, including Shaylee Myers with 23. Myers hit .419 and had an assist, two blocks and nine digs. Anne Dixon had 17 kills for Missouri to go with four blocks …
Iowa State of the Big 12 (3-4) beat in-state rival Drake of the Missouri Valley 25-13, 25-27, 25-19, 26-24. Eleanor Holthaus led the Cyclones with 14 kills, hit .333 and had two blocks and eight digs. Alexis Englebrecht had eight kills, four digs and six blocks. Setter Jaden Newsome (photo below) had nine kills, 37 assists, two blocks and 10 digs. Drake (5-2) got 18 kills from Haley Bush, who had a block and 10 digs …
Kansas of the Big 12 (7-0) crossed the state line into Missouri and won 24-26, 25-13, 25-14, 25-16 at Kansas City of the Summit League (3-4). Kansas got 11 kills from Rachel Langs, who had no errors in 17 attacks and nine blocks, four solo …
Boston College improved to 7-0 with a sweep of 0-7 Hartford … Chattanooga won in five at UNC Asheville as Halle Olson (15 digs, two blocks) and Natalie Tyson (14 digs) had 21 kills apiece … Hampton won in five at Norfolk State behind Genevieve Reynolds, who had 10 kills, hit .368 and had five blocks, three solo … Fairfield beat St. John’s in five as four players had 11 or more kills, 13 by KJ Johnson, who had 10 digs and nine blocks, one solo.
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