The 4th ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers are alive and well following a dramatic five set win over 5th ranked Washington to advance to the the Final Four.
The Huskers dropped the first two sets losing 25-14 and 25-23. The Huskers rallied to win the next three 25-17, 26-24, and 15-13.
Tara Mueller, who was named the regionals most outstanding player had a career high 24 kills.
The Huskers (31-2) will now advance to meet top-seeded and undefeated Penn State, a 3-0 winner of Cal, in Thursday’s second national semifinal, set for 8 p.m. Stanford and Texas will meet in Thursday’s first national semifinal, set for 6 p.m. (central).
Nebraska struggled in the opener, committing 13 hitting errors in falling 25-14. Jordan Larson and Tara Mueller had four kills apiece, but Washington held both attackers to .000 hitting in the set. Washington pulled away down the stretch, holding the Huskers to their lowest set total of the year.
In the second set, the Huskers had chances to even the match, but could not take advantage of their chances losing the second set 25-23. Mueller had nine kills and six digs, while Lindsey Licht added four kills, but the Huskers were out-hit .214-.157.
The Huskers came out of the locker room, coming back with a 25-17 victory in the third set to pull within 2-1. NU hit .324 as a team as Mueller drilled home eight kills and Larson added five kills for the Huskers, who never trailed.
In the fourth set, Washington led 9-8 before a kill sparked a 4-0 spurt for the Huskers. NU ran off four straight points taking a 12-9 lead after an Anderson kill and forcing Washington into a timeout. Washington was within 13-10, but Nebraska won four of the next five rallies, taking a 17-11 lead and never looked back from there.
The Huskers fell behind quickly in the fifth set, after Washington built a 6-1 lead. NU in an 9-3 hole at the change after a couple of unforced errors, before NU rattled off five straight points. Larson then tied the score at nine before Gates and Larson combined on a block to put the Huskers ahead for the first time in the set. NU continued the 9-0 run and led 12-9 before Washington made its final charge.
Click here game stats from Huskers.com