The 10th ranked Nebraska volleyball team opened the 2012 NCAA Tournament with a dominating performance, never trailing in a sweep over Maryland Eastern Shore (25-14, 25-10, 25-18) on Thursday night in front of a sold-out NU Coliseum. Nebraska advances to face Northern Iowa (25-9) on Friday at 7 p.m. in second-round action in the final match at the NU Coliseum. The Panthers advanced to the second round with an upset sweep over 25th-ranked Kansas State (25-18, 25-13, 25-21) in Thursday’s other first-round match.
With a .512 hitting percentage through two sets, the Huskers were on pace to set a school record for highest hitting percentage in an NCAA Tournament match (.486) before settling for a .455 mark.
Gina Mancuso had a match-high 12 kills, while Hannah Werth added 11. Together, Nebraska’s two primary outside hitters combined for 23 kills on only 38 swings, attacking at a .526 clip. Lauren Cook dished out 34 assists while leading the Huskers to their second-best hitting percentage of the season.
The win improved the Huskers’ record to 24-6 on the season, while NU won its first-round NCAA Tournament match for the 29th consecutive season.