MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - For the second year in a row, the Nebraska volleyball team won a five-set thriller in the NCAA Semifinals, this time rallying from an 0-2 hole for a dramatic come-from-behind victory over Illinois Thursday Night at the Target Center. With the win, the Huskers advanced to Saturday's NCAA Final, where Nebraska will take on Stanford in an attempt to win back-to-back national titles.
Nebraska (29-6) lost the first two sets, 25-22 and 25-16, and set three was tied at 23 before Mikaele Foecke delivered consecutive kills to send the match to the fourth set. The Huskers then won set four, 25-20, to send it to a decisive fifth set. The fifth set was tied at 11 before Nebraska scored the final four points, with Foecke closing out the match with her 19th kill on match point.
Foecke and Lexi Sun each had 19 kills to lead Nebraska, and each player produced a double-double with Sun recording 12 digs and Foecke tallying 11 digs. Nicklin Hames also had a double-double with 46 assists and 19 digs, while running a Husker offense that hit .251 for the match. Jazz Sweet had nine kills on only 20 swings and Lauren Stivrins produced eight kills on 16 error-free swings for a match-high .500 attack percentage. Kenzie Maloney led Nebraska with 20 digs, while Megan Miller had 19 digs. Maloney also added a career-high 10 assists to post her first career double-double. The Huskers had nine more kills than Illinois and out-dug the Illini, but Illinois out-blocked Nebraska and served up nine aces.
Jacqueline Quade had a match-high 28 kills for Illinois (32-4), the most by a Husker opposing player this season. Beth Prince added 10 kills for an Illinois offense that hit .237. Morgan O'Brien had a match-high 27 digs, while Quade added 10 digs to produce a double-double.
Set 1: The Huskers had kills on their first three swings to take a 4-1 lead. Foecke had a block with Schwarzenbach and back-to-back kills to keep the Huskers up three, 7-4. But Illinois answered with a 3-0 run to tie the score at 7-7. Illinois tied the set at 9-9 and 10-10, but Hames dumped a kill after each point to not allow Illinois to go in front. Sun blasted a pair of kills and served an ace to give NU a 14-11 lead, but the Illini wouldn't go away, scoring three in a row to tie the set once again. Sweet and Schwarzenbach blocked an Illinois attack to give the Huskers a 15-14 advantage at the media timeout. Illinois took its first lead at 16-15 after a kill and ace by Quade on consecutive rallies, and Ali Bastianelli and Ashlyn Fleming added kills to take the Illini to an 18-16 lead. Foecke and Sun answered with kills for the Huskers out of a timeout, and the score was tied once again, 18-18. Hames dumped her third kill of the set, and Nebraska regained a 19-18 lead. After an Illinois timeout, Foecke served the Huskers' second ace of the set to make it 20-18. Illinois scored the next two to tie it 20-20, and the Illini went back in front, 22-21, on Quade's eighth kill. A pair of Husker hitting errors gave Illinois set point at 24-21. The Huskers fought off one point before the Illini won 25-22 on Quade's ninth kill. There were nine ties and three lead changes in the opening set.
Set 2: Illinois setter Jordyn Poulter served a 6-0 run to begin the set for the Illini, including three aces, and Nebraska used both of its timeouts during the run. The Illini led 12-4 after kills by Megan Cooney and Quade and a block by Bastianelli. Stivrins, Sun and Foecke strung together four straight kills for the Big Red to trim the deficit to 13-9, but Illinois went right back to Quade for two more kills and a 16-9 lead. Illinois led 19-12 when Sweet had three kills in a row to pull the Huskers within 19-15. The Huskers could get no closer than four, however, as Illinois scored a 6-1 run to win the set, 25-16.
Set 3: Stivrins had three early kills and Nebraska led 7-5 after an ace by Foecke. With the score tied 9-9, the Huskers scored four straight points after Illinois made its first service error of the match, and Sun added an ace that was followed by an Illinois error and a Sweet kill to make it 13-9. After Illinois pulled within one at 14-13, the Huskers put together another 4-0 run, this one with two kills by Foecke and one each by Sweet and Hames. Foecke and Sun added kills to make it a six-point lead at 20-14, but a Husker service error followed by a receiving error on Illinois' next serve made it 20-16, and the Huskers took a timeout. Nebraska led 21-16 when Illinois went on a 5-0 run to tie the score at 21-21. Foecke earned an important sideout for the Huskers with her 13th kill, but Nebraska's 10th service error knotted the score at 22-22. Illinois took a 23-22 lead, but Schwarzenbach and Foecke terminated for set point for the Huskers at 24-23. An Illinois net violation gave the Huskers the 25-23 win to extend the match.
Set 4: The Huskers trailed 5-3 before rallying to take a 7-5 lead on a 5-0 run served by Miller. A kill by Sun made it 9-6 Huskers, but Illinois scored the next three to tie it at 9-9. Illinois gained a 12-11 lead, but the Huskers clawed their way to a 15-14 lead at the media timeout, aided by kills from Sun and Schwarzenbach. An ace serve by Miller following an Illinois serve into the net put NU ahead 17-15. After Illinois tied the set at 17-17, Stivrins and Foecke blocked a Quade attack, and Stivrins and Sun took the Huskers to a 20-18 lead with back-to-back kills. The Illini hit wide after a timeout, but Poulter and Fleming had kills to cut to the Huskers' lead to 21-20. But once again an Illinois service error was followed by a Nebraska ace - this one from Hames - and NU led 23-20. After Illinois' second timeout, Sweet gained set point for the Huskers with her seventh kill, and Sun found the corner to force a fifth set after the 25-20 Husker win.
Set 5: The teams went back and forth early on with Illinois committing three service errors but siding out each time the Huskers served the next rally. Foecke blasted a kill for a 6-5 Husker lead, but Beth Prince answered for Illinois. The Illini won a joust at the net to go ahead 7-6, but Stivrins sided out for the Huskers with her eighth kill. Sun put NU up 8-7 at the crossover. Foecke struck a kill out of the back row to make it 9-7, and another kill by Sun had the Huskers up 10-8. A kill by Quade and an ace by Fleming tied the score at 10-10, and the Huskers took a timeout. Capri Davis sided out for the Huskers, but Quade answered. Sweet came right back with her ninth kill, and the Huskers won a challenge call that Foecke's shot deflected off an Illinois fingertip before going out, making the score 13-11. Maloney served an ace for match point at 14-11, and Foecke closed out match on the next rally with a kill.
Nebraska Post-Match Notes
- With the win, Nebraska (29-6) advanced to the NCAA Final for the ninth time in program history (third-most in NCAA history). The Huskers have made back-to-back NCAA Finals for only the second time in school history (2005 & 2006) and are playing for the national title for the third time in the past four seasons.
- The Huskers will go for their sixth national title and second in a row on Saturday. Nebraska has never won back-to-back national championships.
- NU rallied from an 0-2 deficit for the first time ever in an NCAA Semifinal or Final. The Huskers had been 0-4 in NCAA Semifinals when losing the first two sets and 0-3 in NCAA Finals when losing the first two sets.
- The Huskers became the first team to rally from an 0-2 deficit in an NCAA Semifinal or Final since Penn State came back to defeat Texas in the 2009 NCAA Final. The last time a team rallied from an 0-2 hole in an NCAA Semifinal match was in 2008, when Stanford defeated Texas.
- Nebraska set a school record with its 11th consecutive NCAA Tournament victory. The 11-match postseason winning streak ranks sixth in NCAA history.
- Nebraska improved its all-time NCAA Tournament record to 113-31. The Huskers’ 113 victories and .785 winning percentage in the postseason rank second in NCAA history to Stanford (124-31).
- Nebraska improved to 9-6 all-time in NCAA Semifinal matches, including a 6-3 record under John Cook. Cook moved to 72-14 overall in NCAA Tournament play as Nebraska’s head coach and 80-18 in his career, including his seven seasons at Wisconsin.
- John Cook has taken a Husker team to the NCAA Final for the sixth time in his 19 seasons at Nebraska, winning four national championships. Cook’s six finals appearances rank fifth among all coaches in NCAA history.
- Cook improved to 8-1 against Big Ten teams in the NCAA Tournament at Nebraska.
- The Huskers extended their winning streak to 13 matches with the win over third-ranked Illinois. Nebraska is 7-0 against ranked opponents during its win streak, including 3-0 vs. top-10 foes.
- Illinois won five of the final six rallies in set one to hand Nebraska its first set loss of the NCAA Tournament, 25-22. The Huskers had won all 12 sets in the postseason and 22 straight sets dating back to Nov. 16.
- Nebraska was held to 16 points in the second set, its third-fewest points in a set this season.
- NU fell behind 0-2 for just the third time this season. The previous two times both occurred in the first six matches of the year. The Huskers are 2-1 when losing the first two sets of a match, with both wins coming over top-15 opponents (Creighton and Illinois).
- Nebraska’s two seniors who have been with the program all four years – Mikaela Foecke and Kenzie Maloney – improved to 21-1 in their NCAA Tournament careers. The duo has won more postseason matches than any other players in Husker history.
- Foecke and Maloney each played their 22nd NCAA Tournament match on Thursday, setting a school record for the most postseason matches by any player in program history. The duo have also each played 77 career sets in their NCAA Tournament careers, the most by any player in Nebraska history.
- Foecke and Maloney are a combined 52-2 all-time in the months of November and December.
- Foecke had 19 kills in the match, giving her 102 career kills in the NCAA Semifinals/Finals. She became just the 10th player in NCAA history to have 100 kills in NCAA Semifinals/Finals matches.
- Foecke also had two aces, giving her eight in her career in NCAA Semifinals/Finals matches, which ties for the 10th-most in NCAA history. Her two aces also moved her up to seventh on Nebraska’s all-time list.
- Maloney had a team-high 20 digs against Illinois to give her 519 digs this season. She became just the fourth Husker to have 500 digs in a season, and her 519 digs rank fifth in school history.
- Maloney also had a career-best 10 assists to post the first double-double of her career.
- Nicklin Hames produced her 24th double-double of the season, extending her school record.
- Hames also tied her career high with five kills.
- Illinois’ Jacqueline Quade had 28 kills, the most by Husker opponent on the season. She had at least 22 kills in all three matches against Nebraska in 2018.
- Illinois had nine aces in the match, the most the Huskers allowed in 2018. Nebraska had been aced only five times in its first four NCAA Tournament matches combined.
BOYS PREP BASKETBALL
Arcadia-Loup City 53, Amherst 50
Bloomfield 42, Randolph 37
Cozad 75, Cambridge 58
Dorchester 40, Osceola 33
Grand Island Central Catholic 71, Minden 38
Humphrey St. Francis 65, Clearwater/Orchard 47
Lincoln High 72, Lincoln Northeast 49
Lusk, Wyo. 48, Sioux County 30
Maxwell 52, Sandhills/Thedford 46
Omaha Christian Academy 60, Cedar Bluffs 46
Omaha Northwest 61, Millard South 56
Ord 56, Central City 39
Palmyra 59, Weeping Water 20
Riverside 81, CWC 31
Sutherland 46, Wallace 28
Wilcox-Hildreth 49, Arapahoe 37
Wisner-Pilger 58, Oakland-Craig 50
Lakota Nations Invitational=
Omaha Nation 61, Little Wound, S.D. 57
GIRLS PREP BASKETBALL
Arcadia-Loup City 50, Amherst 32
Ashland-Greenwood 58, Omaha Brownell-Talbot 47
Bishop Neumann 59, Norris 50, OT
Blair 34, Platteview 26
Cambridge 56, Cozad 34
Clarkson/Leigh 49, Madison 22
Columbus Lakeview 41, Boone Central/Newman Grove 23
Dorchester 51, Osceola 10
Grand Island Central Catholic 63, Minden 30
Guardian Angels 53, Winnebago 40
Humphrey St. Francis 80, Clearwater/Orchard 21
Hyannis 47, Crawford 35
Lusk, Wyo. 49, Sioux County 29
Maywood-Hayes Center 56, Brady 36
Millard South 61, Omaha Northwest 55
Norfolk Catholic 49, Lutheran High Northeast 34
North Platte St. Patrick's 51, Gothenburg 37
Oakland-Craig 54, Wisner-Pilger 37
Omaha Benson 70, Omaha North 34
Ord 69, Central City 26
Ponca 36, Vermillion, S.D. 32
Randolph 49, Bloomfield 17
Sandhills/Thedford 31, Maxwell 30
Seward 44, Omaha Concordia 26
South Sioux City 70, Sioux City, West, Iowa 62
Southern 34, Falls City 19
St. Thomas More, S.D. 62, Alliance 30
Sutherland 26, Wallace 12
Weeping Water 66, Palmyra 32
Wilcox-Hildreth 31, Arapahoe 29
Lakota Nations Invitational=
Paha Sapa Bracket=
Tiospa Zina Tribal, S.D. 55, Omaha Nation 46
McCook Community College’s Ryan Maddera, has signed a national letter of intent to continue her volleyball next year at Division I Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, La.
The sophomore from Greeley West High School in Colorado first came to MCC in December of 2016 for open tryouts.
“I had a few JUCOS looking at me in high school and actually I didn’t know I was coming to MCC for a tryout, I just thought it was a camp,” Maddera recalls. As soon as she set foot in the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center, she was sold. “Of all the places I’d visited, MCC has by far the nicest gym.”
“Her journey from a tryout camp all the way to a Division I scholarship is a testament to what hard work in the off-season can help you accomplish,” MCC Coach Hayley Kobza said.
“I hope girls will look at what she did to her body and mindset in the offseason as an example of how far you can come with two years of dedication,” Kobza said.
Maddera said during her visit to SE Louisiana, she liked everything about the campus, the city, the culture – even seeing her first alligator -- but mostly that she connected with the coach and teammates and felt like this was the best chance for her to be successful at the next level.
Under new Lady Lion Coach Jeremy White, Maddera is expecting to move to a right-side setter position.
“I’ve never played setter in my life, but I’m looking forward to the challenge,” she said.
“She proved to us she can change positions starting out as an outside hitter for us and them moving to the middle,” Kobza said. “She loves the sport and will do whatever she can do for the team.”
Maddera played in 35 matches this past season for the Lady Indians and recorded 398 kills, 228 digs, 16 solo blocks, 73 total blocks and 42 service aces.
She ranked fourth among hitters in the Region IX South division in total kills, her 3.18 kills per set ranked seventh, and total blocks ranked 14th.
Maddera was part of a seven-sophomore class which posted back-to-back 20-win seasons – the first 20 win seasons in recent memory and the school’s first Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference championship since 1980.
But for Ryan, her time at MCC was more than just pumping up the win total.
“Yes we were pretty good, but I think more importantly, we worked so well together on and off the court,” she said. “I am really proud of what we accomplished.”
BOYS PREP BASKETBALL
Adams Central 80, Minden 46
Ainsworth 56, Valentine 37
Allen 54, Cedar Bluffs 43
Anselmo-Merna 57, Overton 44
Ansley-Litchfield 72, Twin Loup 30
Arlington 61, Omaha Brownell-Talbot 40
Bertrand 74, Eustis-Farnam 61
Bishop Neumann 66, Aquinas 55
Blair 78, Ralston 54
Boone Central/Newman Grove 48, Twin River 42
Boys Town 63, Douglas County West 55
Cambridge 84, Elwood 30
Centennial 50, Fairbury 32
Centura 65, Central Valley 51
Clearwater/Orchard 71, Stuart 47
Columbus 58, Grand Island Northwest 43
Crawford 43, Minatare 19
Doniphan-Trumbull 66, Deshler 49
Dundy County-Stratton 63, Rawlins County, Kan. 60
Elkhorn Mount Michael 45, Norris 41
Elkhorn Valley 44, Elgin Public/Pope John 35
Elmwood-Murdock 64, Weeping Water 28
Exeter/Milligan 65, Friend 37
Falls City Sacred Heart 72, Lewiston 27
Fort Calhoun 46, Plattsmouth 45
Gayville-Volin, S.D. 56, Wausa 52
Gibbon 57, Silver Lake 36
Giltner 45, Nebraska Lutheran 42
Gordon/Rushville 67, Hyannis 52
Grand Island Central Catholic 72, Blue Hill 49
Hampton 54, Elba 37
Hartington Cedar Catholic 65, Crofton 46
Hastings St. Cecilia 38, Ord 26
Hemingford 72, Hay Springs 26
Humphrey St. Francis 50, Hartington-Newcastle 49
Johnson-Brock 86, Diller-Odell 60
Kearney Catholic 59, Ravenna 35
Lawrence-Nelson 58, Rock Hills, Kan. 28
Leyton 67, Potter-Dix 50
Logan View-Scribner-Snyder 46, Columbus Lakeview 41
Lutheran High Northeast 51, Norfolk Catholic 47
Madison 62, Plainview 60
Maxwell 63, Creek Valley 62
Nebraska Christian 52, High Plains Community 35
Neligh-Oakdale 59, St. Mary's 45
Niobrara/Verdigre 64, Ewing 36
North Bend Central 73, Stanton 37
North Central 61, Burke, S.D. 50
Ogallala 76, North Platte St. Patrick's 48
Omaha Central 76, Omaha Burke 53
Omaha Concordia 55, Columbus Scotus 50
Omaha Skutt Catholic 76, South Sioux City 44
Osmond 70, Creighton 35
Palmyra 48, Johnson County Central 44
Pawnee City 45, Nebraska City Lourdes 44
Paxton 58, Perkins County 49
Pierce 51, O'Neill 38
Ponca 70, Laurel-Concord/Coleridge 56
Riverside 56, Fullerton 52
Sandhills/Thedford 61, Stapleton 17
Southwest 65, Alma 60
St. Edward 49, Winside 34
Sterling 58, Meridian 47
Sutton 58, Bruning-Davenport/Shickley 26
Syracuse 53, Nebraska City 40
Wakefield 44, Randolph 18
Walthill 90, Emerson-Hubbard 58
West Holt 62, CWC 37
West Point-Beemer 58, Howells/Dodge 43
Wilcox-Hildreth 60, Red Cloud 12
Winnebago 65, Oakland-Craig 63, OT
Wynot 63, Homer 44
Yutan 80, Tekamah-Herman 22
GIRLS PREP BASKETBALL
Adams Central 53, Minden 32
Ainsworth 43, Valentine 38
Alma 44, Southwest 29
Ansley-Litchfield 26, Twin Loup 9
Arlington 65, Conestoga 13
Beatrice 58, Omaha Duchesne Academy 30
Bertrand 64, Eustis-Farnam 18
Bishop Neumann 45, Aquinas 38
Blair 61, Ralston 33
Boone Central/Newman Grove 46, Twin River 34
Brady 55, Southern Valley 48
Cambridge 57, Elwood 35
Centennial 51, Fairbury 45, 2OT
Central Valley 43, Centura 29
Chase County 55, Sutherland 27
Clarkson/Leigh 64, David City 23
College View Academy 41, Parkview Christian 35, OT
Columbus Lakeview 39, Logan View-Scribner-Snyder 26
Cozad 38, McCook 35
Crawford 44, Minatare 20
Creighton 49, Osmond 26
Doniphan-Trumbull 61, Deshler 24
Dorchester 58, Harvard 47
Douglas County West 58, Boys Town 44
Dundy County-Stratton 62, Rawlins County, Kan. 47
Elkhorn Valley 58, Elgin Public/Pope John 41
Emerson-Hubbard 50, Walthill 43
Ewing 61, Niobrara/Verdigre 25
Exeter/Milligan 58, Friend 27
Falls City Sacred Heart 59, Lewiston 15
Fillmore Central 53, Thayer Central 39
Freeman 46, Humboldt/Table Rock-Steinauer 26
Fullerton 56, Riverside 24
Giltner 60, Nebraska Lutheran 25
Gordon/Rushville 50, Hyannis 27
Grand Island Central Catholic 51, Blue Hill 32
Grand Island Northwest 57, Columbus 33
Gretna 60, Omaha Bryan 25
Guardian Angels 55, Archbishop Bergan 49
Hampton 57, Elba 18
Hastings St. Cecilia 78, Ord 21
Heartland 33, Shelby/Rising City 16
Hemingford 41, Hay Springs 18
Humphrey St. Francis 59, Hartington-Newcastle 39
Johnson County Central 50, Palmyra 34
Johnson-Brock 46, Diller-Odell 38
Kearney Catholic 46, Ravenna 38
Lawrence-Nelson 58, Rock Hills, Kan. 28
Leyton 56, Potter-Dix 7
Maxwell 51, Creek Valley 32
Milford 48, Ashland-Greenwood 45
Nebraska Christian 33, High Plains Community 15
Nebraska City Lourdes 61, Pawnee City 32
Neligh-Oakdale 57, St. Mary's 32
North Central 67, Burke, S.D. 25
North Platte St. Patrick's 52, Ogallala 27
Oakland-Craig 67, Winnebago 37
Omaha Northwest 65, Bellevue East 26
Omaha Skutt Catholic 68, South Sioux City 59
Overton 47, Anselmo-Merna 24
Paxton 38, Perkins County 35
Pierce 54, O'Neill 53
Plainview 47, Madison 33
Ponca 53, Laurel-Concord/Coleridge 40
Randolph 46, Wakefield-Allen 37
Silver Lake 42, Gibbon 18
South Loup 44, Sumner-Eddyville-Miller 28
Spalding Academy 51, Palmer 46
Stanton 49, North Bend Central 35
Sterling 45, Meridian 31
Stuart 47, Clearwater/Orchard 21
Sutton 40, Bruning-Davenport/Shickley 35
Syracuse 49, Nebraska City 22
Wahoo 45, Louisville 41
Weeping Water 40, Elmwood-Murdock 31
West Holt 43, CWC 36
West Point-Beemer 63, Howells/Dodge 42
Wilcox-Hildreth 56, Red Cloud 36
Winside 34, St. Edward 31
Wynot 61, Homer 37
Yutan 52, Tekamah-Herman 20
Freshmen Contributing Early for Huskers• Nebraska has received production early and often from its 2018-19 freshman class. The four-player class, which was ranked among the top 20 recruiting classes in the nation by ESPN last season, features Sam Haiby (10.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg), Ashtyn Veerbeek (7.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg), Leigha Brown (7.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg) and Kayla Mershon (2.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg).
• Haiby, a 5-9 guard from Moorhead, Minn., leads Nebraska with 10.9 points per game off the bench. She has led the Huskers in scoring in four games, including against nationally ranked Drake (13) and Miami (14), while also scoring a career-high 20 points at Washington State and adding 17 points at Creighton. She owns five double-figure scoring efforts overall, including 12 points at No. 5 Louisville (Nov. 29).
• Haiby also ranks third among the Huskers in assists (2.4 apg).
• Ashtyn Veerbeek is tied with Leigha Brown for second among the Husker freshmen in scoring with 7.7 points per game, while leading the group and ranking second on the team with 7.0 rebounds. Veerbeek produced her first career double-double with career highs of 14 points and 14 rebounds in a win over San Jose State (Dec. 8). She also ranks second among the Huskers with 12 blocks.
• Leigha Brown set a career high with 18 points in the win over San Jose State (Dec. 8). Brown, who has led the Huskers twice in scoring early in the season, is averaging 7.7 points per game. The 6-1 wing from Auburn, Indiana leads the freshmen with seven three-pointers and has committed a total of just four turnovers over the past eight games.
• Kayla Mershon has pitched in 2.2 points and 2.0 rebounds per game for the Huskers, including a career-high seven rebounds in the win over Kansas (Dec. 5). The 6-3 forward from Chanhassen, Minn., also has dished out five assists and has committed a team-best two turnovers through nine games.
• The freshmen have combined for 37.6 percent (256-of-680) of Nebraska’s points in just 32.8 percent of the team’s total minutes (607-of-1,850) on the season. They also have accounted for just 26.5 percent (40-of-151) of Nebraska’s turnovers.
• Nebraska’s four freshmen are combining to average 28.4 points and 14.2 rebounds per game, while NU’s two sophomores (Kate Cain, Taylor Kissinger) have combined to average 18.4 points and 11.7 boards per contest. Nebraska’s six underclassmen have combined for 62.1 percent of NU’s scoring and 58.4 percent of the team’s rebounding through nine games.
LINCOLN, Neb. - Nebraska volleyball student-athletes Mikaela Foecke and Lauren Stivrins were named AVCA First-Team All-Americans, and Kenzie Maloney was selected to the AVCA All-America Third Team, the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced on Wednesday.
Foecke, a senior outside hitter from West Point, Iowa, earned her second-career All-America honor after earning second-team accolades last year. Stivrins, a sophomore middle blocker from Scottsdale, Arizona, and Maloney, a senior libero from Louisville, Kentucky, were both honored for the first time. Freshman setter Nicklin Hames received honorable mention.
It marks only the second time since 2006 that the Huskers have had two AVCA first-team All-Americans. The Huskers' three AVCA All-America selections improved their nation-leading total to 90 all-time. A nation-leading total of 45 players have combined for the Huskers' 90 awards.
Foecke leads the Huskers with 3.80 kills per set and is averaging 2.69 digs per set and has 43 service aces this season. Her current kills per set average is Nebraska’s best since 2013 (Kelsey Robinson, 4.45). The Husker co-captain was a unanimous All-Big Ten selection for the second straight season. She has 21 aces in her NCAA Tournament career, the second-highest total in Nebraska history. Only Jordan Larson (36) has more. Foecke had the third and fourth double-doubles of her NCAA Tournament career at the Minneapolis Regional last weekend, and she was named the most valuable player. She ranks third on Nebraska’s career kills list with 1,638, and her 132 career aces are eighth-most in school history. The two-time NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player also has 263 career kills all-time in the NCAA Tournament, second-most in school history behind only Sarah Pavan (304).
Stivrins was a two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week and was also the Big Ten Player of the Week once this season. The 6-4 middle blocker is averaging 2.33 kills per set on a team-best .409 hitting percentage, which ranks sixth in the nation. It is NU's highest individual hitting percentage since 2007 (Tracy Stalls, .473). An All-Big Ten selection for the first time as well this season, Stivrins added serving to her repertoire and has 25 aces. Stivrins was named to the Minneapolis All-Regional team last weekend after 11 kills on .526 hitting in the regional final win over Oregon. She had 13 kills with a career-high 10 blocks in a 3-2 win over Penn State on Nov. 2.
Maloney, the Husker co-captain, is averaging a team-best 4.06 digs per set and has played an instrumental role in leading the Huskers to a nation-leading .136 opponent hitting percentage this season. The Louisville, Kentucky native ranks fifth in NU career history in digs with 1,369. Maloney posted a career-high 25 digs twice this season, and she was named the most valuable player of the Husker Invite and the best libero at the Ameritas Players Challenge. Maloney's 36 service aces are the third-most on the team this year. She and Foecke are the only Huskers in school history to play in four NCAA Semifinals, and they will each play in their 22nd NCAA Tournament match on Thursday, the most postseason matches played by any player in program history.
Hames earned honorable mention after recording a school-record 23 double-doubles this season, averaging 10.46 assists and 3.33 digs per set. Her 39 service aces are second-most on the team. Hames was an All-Big Ten Freshman Team member and a two-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week.
The Division I TeamSnap/AVCA National Player of the Year will be announced on December 14 at the AVCA All-America/Players of the Year Banquet.
The Huskers are in Minneapolis getting set to take on No. 3 Illinois in an NCAA Semifinal match on Thursday at 8 p.m. on ESPN, WatchESPN.com and the Husker Sports Network.
Nebraska outside hitter Mikaela Foecke has been selected as the 2018 Senior CLASS Award winner in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball. The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I volleyball coaches, national volleyball media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I volleyball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: classroom, community, character and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. Foecke is the fourth Senior CLASS Award winner from Nebraska and the second Husker to win for volleyball after Gina Mancuso took home the award in 2012.
“When I came to the University of Nebraska in 2015, my goals were to not only help Nebraska volleyball win games and championships, but also to become a better student, person and teammate,” said Foecke, who led the Huskers to their fourth consecutive Final Four this season after capturing NCAA national titles as both a freshman and junior. “These past four years have gone by so quickly, and it hasn’t really set in yet that my college career is coming to an end. But when I look back, I am so proud of all that we have accomplished. To win two national championships and two Big Ten championships has been incredible, but what I will really take most from my time at Nebraska is the relationships I have built with my teammates, the coaches, the staff, and of course our amazing fans. Whichever path I take after graduation, I know that the experience of being a student-athlete at Nebraska will have prepared me well for life both on and off the volleyball court.”
Already receiving her fourth-straight first-team AVCA All-North Region honor this season, Foecke will go down as one of the greatest players in one of the top volleyball programs in the country. A two-time NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player, Foecke has earned AVCA All-America honors in each of her first three seasons with the potential for a fourth honor this week, and has earned Big Ten conference honors all four years as well, including unanimous first-team honors as both a junior and senior. Foecke currently ranks third on Nebraska’s career kills list with 1,638, and her 132 career aces are eighth-most in school history. She also has 263 career kills all-time in the NCAA Tournament, second-most in school history behind only Sarah Pavan (304).
Also a standout in the classroom, Foecke has received multiple Academic All-Big Ten honors in her career for both court volleyball and beach volleyball. Majoring in animal science, she carries a 3.649 GPA is a five-time member of the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll and has received Nebraska’s High Honors (Silver) Academic Medallion twice.
“Mikaela is part of the most decorated senior class in the history of Nebraska volleyball,” said Head Coach John Cook, a two-time AVCA Division I National Coach of the Year. “She and Kenzie Maloney are the only two Nebraska players ever who will have played at four NCAA Final Fours, and she has been the most outstanding player two of the three times we have been there, which is incredible. What separates Mikaela is her dedication to being great in everything she does. She is a phenomenal student with aspirations of being a veterinarian someday. Mikaela has also developed outstanding leadership skills during her time at Nebraska, and there’s no question that she and Kenzie are the biggest reason this young team has made it to the NCAA Semifinals for a fourth time. Mikaela will leave a huge lasting legacy on Nebraska volleyball when her career comes to an end.”
A team captain and its representative on the Nebraska Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Foecke has shown exemplary character throughout her Husker career. A three-time Tom Osborne Citizenship Team member and a Diversity & Inclusion Summit leader, Foecke has also remained committed to community outreach, helping the Husker volleyball program earn the Nebraska’s Life Skills Award through her work with events and organizations such as One Shirt One Body, Uplifting Athletes, People’s City Mission, Husker Heroes, Make-a-Wish and more.
“On behalf of everyone associated with the Senior CLASS Award, we are honored to recognize Mikaela Foecke as this year’s winner for women’s volleyball,” said Erik Miner, executive director for the Senior CLASS Award. “Not only is Mikaela one of the best players to ever wear a Husker uniform, she’s also an incredibly well-rounded student-athlete who excels in every area. We offer our sincere congratulations to Mikaela, her team and the entire university.”
For more information, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.
First-Team Senior CLASS Award All-AmericansAli Bastianelli, Illinois
Santita Ebangwese, Syracuse
Mikaela Foecke, Nebraska
Jordyn Poulter, Illinois
Samantha Seliger-Swenson, Minnesota
Second-Team Senior CLASS Award All-AmericansTami Alade, Stanford
Lauren Bruns, Dayton
Taryn Kloth, Creighton
Haley Libs, Northern Kentucky
Courtney Pence, Illinois State
• The sixth-ranked Nebraska volleyball team will make its program-record fourth straight trip to the NCAA Semifinals when they take on No. 3 Illinois on Thursday at 8 p.m. at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The match will be televised on ESPN and will be streamed online at WatchESPN.com. Paul Sunderland, Karch Kiraly and Holly Rowe will have the call.
Nebraska’s History in the NCAA Semifinals
Huskers’ Senior Class Most Decorated in School History
About the Huskers
Foecke, Maloney Captain Young Husker Squad
Stivrins, Sweet Stepping Up in Sophomore Seasons
Sun Shining for Huskers
Young Huskers Making Instant Impact
Smith Makes Return to Huskers
Huskers Played School-Record 19 Home Matches
Huskers Record 250th Consecutive Regular-Season Sellout
Huskers Ranked No. 6 in AVCA Coaches Poll
Cook Adds to Legacy; Joins AVCA Hall of Fame
Husker Fans Set Attendance Standard Once Again
Foecke Named Senior CLASS Award Finalist
The Paxton Pre-Holiday Basketball Tournament will start on December 18th in Paxton. Maywood-Hayes Center Girls will play Mullen at 5pm MT in the East Gym. The Maywood-Hayes Center Boys will also take on Mullen at approx. 6:45pm MT. View full bracket below.
Boys - Colby 64, McCook 54
Boys - McCook 47, Norton 25
Boys - McCook 59, Burlington 34