The Nebraska volleyball team (23-6, 15-5 Big Ten) will open the NCAA Tournament at home for the ninth straight season tonight when it hosts the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks (28-5) at the NU Coliseum. The match is set to start at 7 p.m., or 30 minutes after the first match of the day ends between Kansas State and Northern Iowa. The Huskers are making its 31st appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
UMES will be making its second appearance in the national tournament after repeating as Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Champions in 2012. The Hawks went earned the conference title after defeating Florida A&M in five sets on Nov. 18. Thursday night’s match will be the first-ever meeting between Nebraska and Maryland Eastern Shore. It will be the third time the Huskers have ever played a team from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Scouting the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks
• UMES is 28-5 on the season and has an 11-1 record in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
• The Hawks recently defeated Florida A&M in the MEAC title came to repeat as conference champions and earn their second berth in the NCAA Tournament.
• With the Hawks’ win over Florida A&M, UMES totaled the highest amount of victories they’ve had in a season since 2003 when they went 26-12.
• In the conference title match, Saitaua Iosia led the way with 25 kills and 15 digs. She was honored as the Most Outstanding Performer in the MEAC Tournament for the second straight season after posting 60 kills, 10 aces and 32 digs combined in the three matches
• Iosia leads the team on the season with 376 total kills and an average of 4.32 kills per set. She also has 219 total digs on the year and an average of 2.52 digs per set. Maline Vaitai has 349 total kills on the season and is averaging 2.77 kills per set along with 217 total digs.