OTTAWA, Kan. -- McCook Community College sophomore Onyessah Rocha signed a letter of intent Monday to continue her volleyball career next year at Ottawa University in Kansas.
The defensive specialist from Topeka said when the MCC volleyball season ended, she weighed her options for next year and thought she might be done with the sport, but an email from Ottawa coach Melissa Blessington renewed her hopes. Just prior to Thanksgiving, the coach invited her to campus for a visit during the Thanksgiving break. While there, she was offered a scholarship.
Rocha said since Ottawa is about an hour from her home in Topeka, she had several friends, classmates and student athletes who went on to Ottawa, but until her visit over Thanksgiving, she had never been on campus and didn’t know that much about the volleyball program.
The Braves team went 27-13 this Fall, including a run in the NAIA National Championship which included a loss to 13-ranked Hastings College in the opening round of the tournament. Ottawa won the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Championship which earned the program its sixth trip (fourth straight appearance), at the NAIA National Tournament, and a second place finish in the KCAC with a record of 11-1.
“My goal is to compete for the starting libero position next year,” Rocha said.
“’Yessah’ is a player who makes serve receive passing look easy and that is a skill other players have to work daily on,” McCook Community College Coach Hayley Kobza said.
Her favorite memory of her time on the MCC volleyball court was winning the Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference championship. “Not only winning but going undefeated in conference was one of the highlights of a pretty good season.”
Rocha was part of a seven-sophomore group that help MCC post back-to-back 20-win seasons – the first 20 win seasons in recent memory, the school’s first NCCAC championship since 1980, and wins over a couple ranked opponents including Central Community College and Otero Junior College.
“Onyessah will do great things at the next level and I’m excited to see what she gets done at Ottawa next season,” Kobza said.
Academically, Onyessah is a science major at MCC and looks to continue her course of study in science with the goal of becoming a sonogram technician.
McCook Community College Golf Coach Tyler Loop has signed his first player for the 2019-2020 season. Dillon Wise, Kimball, signed a letter of intent at ceremonies Thursday at Kimball High School. “Dillon is a talented kid with a lot of drive and upside,” Loop said. At the Class C state tournament Wise tied for 18th place his freshman year, 15th his sophomore year, and 11th his junior year. The Longhorns finished sixth, second and fourth in each of those seasons. Loop is looking for three more players for his 2019-2020 recruiting class with a verbal commit from Australia who is going through the international application process and is expected to sign within a few weeks.
The Cambridge Girls and Boys High School Basketball Teams will travel to Grand Island for a Two Day Holiday Basketball Tournament. Cambridge will play GICC on Friday, December 28th at 6pm in the New Gym, and the Cambridge Boys will also take on GICC in the New Gym following the girls contest at about 7:45pm. Listen to the Cambridge Trojans on 102.1 True Country and online 1021kzmc.com. View Full Bracket below.
Sioux Falls, S.D. - James Palmer Jr. had a game-high 29 points to place three Huskers in double figures, while Nebraska clamped down in the second half, as the Huskers posted a 79-56 win at the Sanford Pentagon.
The Huskers (9-2) took control with a 22-4 run over an eight and half minute span, turning a seven-point deficit into a 43-32 lead with 15:07 remaining.
Isaac Copeland Jr. had 16 points and five rebounds, while Thomas Allen came off the bench for 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting, as Nebraska’s 9-2 start continued its best start since the 2003-04 campaign.
The Huskers shut down Oklahoma State (4-6) defensively, holding the Cowboys to its second-lowest output of the season. NU also limited the Cowboys to 2-of-15 from 3-point range after OSU entered the game averaging over 9.0 3-pointers per game and ranking among the national leaders in 3-point percentage at 42 percent.
Nebraska was down 28-21 before using an 11-2 run to take a two-point lead into the locker room. Isaac Copeland led the spurt, scoring five straight points to pull the Huskers within 30-26 before Palmer’s third 3-pointer of the half made it a one-point game.
On OSU’s final possession of the half, Glynn Watson Jr. drew a foul on Michael Weathers on one end before hitting a corner 3-pointer with two seconds left to give the Huskers a lead they would not relinquish. After Watson’s 3-pointer, Oklahoma State’s bench got a technical on the way to the locker room, which Watson would convert before the second half started to extend the lead to four.
OSU pulled to within 34-32 after a Yor Anei basket before a pair of Palmer free throws started a 9-0 run capped by Isaiah Roby’s 3-point play with 15:07 remaining that pushed the lead to 11.
The Cowboys only cut the Husker lead under double figures one time, at 43-35, but Allen’s 3-pointer started a 9-2 run that stretched the lead to 52-37 after Tanner Borchardt’s basket with 11:30 left.
Nebraska’s free throw shooting and defense kept OSU at bay, as the Cowboys shot just 37 percent in the second half, including 0-of-9 from 3-point range, while NU went 18-of-20 from the line in the second half as part of a season-best 91 percent effort from the line.
Nebraska kept building on the lead and led by as many as 25 before completing its first win over a Big 12 team since joining the Big Ten in 2011.
Early on, it was a dual between Palmer and Oklahoma State’s Lindy Waters as it was a one or two possession game for most of the first 20 minutes.
Palmer kept NU in the game by hitting 6-of-11 from the field, including all three of his 3-point attempts, for 16 first-half points while Waters scored all 13 of his points in the opening 20 minutes.
Leading 23-21, the Cowboys stretched the lead to seven on a drive by Weathers and a 3-pointer from Waters before the Huskers closed the half with a flourish.
Anei finished with 17 points and eight boards, while NU limited Cameron McGriff to just two points on 1-of-8 shooting after he entered the contest averaging a team-high 13.9 points per game.
The Huskers return home for its final game before Christmas, as they host Cal State Fullerton next Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. and will be televised on BTN and carried on the Husker Sports Network.
*-With the win, Nebraska improved to 9-2 on the season, matching the program’s best start since the 2010-11 season,
*-The victory marked NU’s first win over a Big 12 team since joining the Big Ten and snapped a six-game losing streak to Big 12 teams dating back to the 2010-11 season.
*-James Palmer Jr. with his 13th 20-point game, as he led all scorers with 29 points. It was his fifth 20-point game of the season. Palmer also led the Huskers with five assists.
*-Thomas Allen had 14 points off the bench and has been in double figures in each of the last two games
*-Nebraska now has four non-conference wins over power conference teams for the first time since the 1995-96 season
*-With the win, Nebraska Coach Tim Miles matched Mo Iba for third place on NU’s career wins list with 106.
*-Nebraska closes non-conference play with a 3-1 mark away from Lincoln, with the only loss coming to unbeaten Texas Tech.
*-Six of Nebraska’s nine wins have been by at least 20 points.
*-Nebraska held Oklahoma State to 2-15 from 3-point range. OSU averaged 9.1 3s per game and was among the national leaders at 41.6 percent.
*-Oklahoma State’s 56 point was its second-lowest total of the year.
BOYS PREP BASKETBALL=
Adams Central 76, Fillmore Central 22
Alliance 58, Sidney 23
Alma 63, Red Cloud 22
Anselmo-Merna 48, Burwell 43
Arlington 70, Tekamah-Herman 49
Bayard 51, Kimball 35
Bellevue West 80, Omaha Central 65
Boyd County 56, Elgin Public/Pope John 16
Bridgeport 53, Southeast, Wyo. 25
Broken Bow 42, St. Paul 35
College View Academy 50, Weeping Water 42
Colome, S.D. 59, Cody-Kilgore 18
Columbus Scotus 40, Crete 39
Cornerstone Christian 53, Whiting, Iowa 38
Cozad 58, Ainsworth 40
Creighton 46, Niobrara/Verdigre 43, OT
Cross County 56, Hampton 22
David City 51, Columbus Lakeview 43
Doniphan-Trumbull 64, Central City 43
Douglas County West 76, Omaha Christian Academy 54
Dundy County-Stratton 52, Perkins County 49
Elm Creek 75, Eustis-Farnam 43
Falls City Sacred Heart 77, St. Joseph Le Blond, Mo. 40
Gering 56, Chadron 45
Gibbon 49, Wood River 46
Hanover, Kan. 70, Diller-Odell 42
Harvard 49, Heartland Lutheran 39
Hemingford 91, Leyton 49
Howells/Dodge 71, Clarkson/Leigh 38
Humboldt/Table Rock-Steinauer 38, Southern 24
Humphrey St. Francis 67, Fullerton 57, OT
Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family 53, Nebraska Christian 39
Johnson-Brock 54, Nebraska City Lourdes 29
Kearney 41, Grand Island 25
Lawrence-Nelson 45, Shelton 42
Lincoln Christian 63, Archbishop Bergan 58
Lincoln East 60, Omaha Westside 57
Lincoln High 69, Lincoln Southeast 50
Lincoln Lutheran 39, Aquinas 24
Lincoln North Star 67, Lincoln Southwest 51
Lincoln Pius X 75, Lincoln Northeast 63
Loomis 76, Brady 50
Malcolm 73, Raymond Central 44
McCook 45, Holdrege 42
Mead 42, East Butler 33
Meskwaki Settlement School, Iowa 63, Walthill 49
Milford 61, Ashland-Greenwood 60
Millard North 59, Papillion-LaVista South 52
Millard West 50, Papillion-LaVista 30
Mitchell 62, Morrill 37
Mullen 37, Gordon/Rushville 32
Nebraska City 68, Waverly 51
Nebraska Lutheran 49, Rocky Mountain Lutheran, Colo. 47
Norfolk 62, North Platte 46
Oakland-Craig 78, Madison 58
Ogallala 72, Hershey 55
Omaha Bryan 75, Omaha Benson 65
Omaha Burke 77, Bellevue East 70
Omaha Creighton Prep 66, Elkhorn South 40
Omaha Roncalli 66, Beatrice 52
Omaha Skutt Catholic 60, Elkhorn 39
Omaha South 61, Omaha Northwest 54
Ord 54, Centura 50
Paxton 69, South Platte 24
Pender 49, Stanton 48
Plainview 57, Elkhorn Valley 45
Plattsmouth 44, Falls City 34
Ponca 64, Guardian Angels 29
Ralston 63, Omaha Concordia 52
Sandhills/Thedford 43, CWC 33
Scottsbluff 100, Casper Natrona, Wyo. 69
Seward 45, North Bend Central 35
Stuart 40, Burke, S.D. 34
Tri County 64, Superior 33
Wauneta-Palisade 59, Hyannis 53
Wayne 67, O'Neill 62
West Holt 43, Battle Creek 36
Wilber-Clatonia 47, Sandy Creek 32
York 49, Hastings 39
Gross Catholic Cougar Classic=
Blair 72, Boys Town 42
Platteview 53, Omaha Gross Catholic 47
Lakota Nation Invitational=
Red Cloud, S.D. 64, Omaha Nation 48
SEM Pre-Holiday Tournament=
Ansley-Litchfield 61, Elwood 35
Sumner-Eddyville-Miller 50, Elba 10
Tiger Jamboree at Lusk=
Lusk, Wyo. 60, Minatare 39
GIRLS PREP BASKETBALL=
Adams Central 56, Fillmore Central 53
Aquinas 58, Lincoln Lutheran 36
Arlington 60, Tekamah-Herman 28
Arthur County 68, Potter-Dix 32
Bancroft-Rosalie/Lyons-Decatur 85, Boys Town 31
Battle Creek 62, West Holt 33
Bellevue West 73, Omaha Central 32
Bennington 68, Ralston 27
Bridgeport 55, Southeast, Wyo. 44
Broken Bow 55, St. Paul 34
Burwell 58, Anselmo-Merna 29
CWC 69, Sandhills/Thedford 36
Chadron 47, Gering 37
Clarkson/Leigh 48, Howells/Dodge 46
Cody-Kilgore 35, Colome, S.D. 33
Columbus Lakeview 62, David City 28
Columbus Scotus 40, Crete 39
Cozad 43, Ainsworth 39
Cross County 41, Hampton 24
Doniphan-Trumbull 54, Central City 38
Douglas County West 76, Omaha Christian Academy 54
Dundy County-Stratton 64, Perkins County 11
East Butler 49, Mead 47
Elgin Public/Pope John 36, Boyd County 35
Elkhorn 47, Omaha Skutt Catholic 39
Elkhorn South 49, Omaha Marian 39
Elkhorn Valley 52, Plainview 12
Elm Creek 57, Eustis-Farnam 13
Falls City Sacred Heart 65, St. Joseph Le Blond, Mo. 15
Gordon/Rushville 43, Mullen 29
Guardian Angels 58, Norfolk Catholic 55
Hanover, Kan. 66, Diller-Odell 31
Hastings 51, York 31
Heartland Lutheran 42, Harvard 40
Hitchcock County 61, Medicine Valley 25
Humboldt/Table Rock-Steinauer 48, Southern 28
Humphrey St. Francis 65, Fullerton 47
Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family 51, Nebraska Christian 13
Hyannis 42, Wauneta-Palisade 40
Kearney 64, Grand Island 25
Kimball 58, Bayard 45
Lawrence-Nelson 53, Shelton 15
Leyton 50, Hemingford 34
Lincoln Christian 62, Archbishop Bergan 51
Lincoln High 54, Lincoln Southeast 37
Lincoln North Star 67, Lincoln Southwest 51
Lincoln Northeast 45, Lincoln Pius X 38
Loomis 64, Brady 34
Malcolm 73, Raymond Central 44
Maywood-Hayes Center 50, Southwest 17
McCook 44, Holdrege 38
Meskwaki Settlement School, Iowa 42, Walthill 37
Millard North 55, Papillion-LaVista South 34
Millard West 50, Papillion-LaVista 30
Morrill 55, Mitchell 8
Nebraska City Lourdes 48, Johnson-Brock 38
Nebraska Lutheran 48, Rocky Mountain Lutheran, Colo. 36
Niobrara/Verdigre 45, Creighton 36
Norfolk 46, North Platte 38
O'Neill 68, Wayne 47
Oakland-Craig 71, Madison 38
Ogallala 63, Hershey 59
Omaha Benson 68, Omaha Bryan 2
Omaha Burke 64, Bellevue East 34
Omaha Concordia 49, Omaha Mercy 33
Omaha Northwest 78, Omaha South 27
Omaha Roncalli 39, Beatrice 38
Omaha Westside 64, Lincoln East 47
Ord 69, Centura 51
Plattsmouth 50, Falls City 46
Pleasanton 71, Wilcox-Hildreth 40
Red Cloud 64, Alma 53
Sandy Creek 45, Wilber-Clatonia 32
Scottsbluff 60, Casper Natrona, Wyo. 45
Seward 58, North Bend Central 33
Sidney 50, Alliance 29
South Platte 43, Paxton 23
Stanton 59, Pender 30
Stuart 43, Burke, S.D. 36
Superior 56, Tri County 16
Waverly 55, Nebraska City 29
Whiting, Iowa 55, Cornerstone Christian 18
Wood River 67, Gibbon 29
Lakota Nation Invitational=
Crazy Horse, S.D. 53, Omaha Nation 51
Omaha Gross Cougar Classic=
Omaha Gross Catholic 34, Blair 29
Platteview 57, Omaha Duchesne Academy 43
St. Thomas More, S.D. 48, Crofton 42
SEM Pre-Holiday Tournament=
Ansley-Litchfield 30, Elwood 26
Sumner-Eddyville-Miller 64, Elba 18
Tiger Jamboree at Lusk=
Lusk, Wyo. 64, Minatare 25
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The Nebraska volleyball team fell just short of a second straight national title Saturday night, falling to No. 1 Stanford in a five-set thriller at the Target Center.
Nebraska fought off five set points before dropping the first set, 28-26. The Huskers evened the match with a 25-22 victory in set two, before Stanford grabbed a 2-1 lead with a 25-16 win in set three. But the Huskers fought back as they have done all season, handing the Cardinal its worst set loss of the season with a 25-15 victory in the fourth set. In set five, Nebraska led early and the set was tied at nine before Stanford won six of the final rallies to win its NCAA-leading eighth national title. In one of the closest final matches in NCAA history, only one point separated the two teams as Stanford outscored Nebraska 105-104 in the match.
Nebraska (29-7) finished as the NCAA runner-up for the fourth time in school history, after winning the national title in two of the last three seasons (2015 and 2017). First-team All-American Mikaela Foecke was brilliant in her final match, recording a career-high 27 kills and hitting .296. She also had 12 digs to post her fourth straight double-double. Fellow first-team All-American Lauren Stivrins was unstoppable, putting down a career-high 19 kills on only 26 swings. Stivrins hit .615 for the match, the second-highest total ever in an NCAA Final by a player with at least 20 attempts. Foecke and Stivrins were both named to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament team, with Foecke earning the honor for the third time in her career.
Jazz Sweet added 10 kills and five blocks for Nebraska, while Kenzie Maloney had a team-high 17 digs to pace five Huskers with double-digit digs. Nicklin Hames had a career-high 62 assists while running an efficient Husker offense.
Nebraska had nine more kills than Stanford and hit .271 to the Cardinal's .250, but Stanford had eight more digs and 2.5 more blocks than the Big Red. The Cardinal also served up nine aces, while Nebraska had just two aces with each team committing eight service errors.
Kathryn Plummer, the 2018 national player of the year an co-Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Championship, led the Cardinal with 19 kills. She shared most-outstanding-player honors with libero Morgan Hentz, who had 32 digs for Stanford. Holly Campbel (15 kills) and Audriana Fitzmorris (14 kills) also finished with double-figure kills for the Cardinal.
Stanford (34-1) finished the season with a 32-match winning streak.
Set 1: Sweet and Foecke each had a pair of early kills as the Huskers connected on five of their first seven swings to take a 6-3 lead. Foecke served an ace and the Huskers led 9-4 after a 3-0 run, as Stanford called timeout. Stanford scored five of the next seven points to cut the Huskers' lead to 11-9, and Nebraska used a timeout. Davis terminated a kill for sideout after the timeout, but a Plummer kill and a Stanford ace brought the Cardinal within 12-11. Foecke kept Nebraska in front with a kill, and Stivrins and Sweet blocked a Plummer shot before Foecke pounded another kill for a 15-11 lead. The Cardinal rallied to take a 19-18 lead with a 4-0 run keyed by back-to-back aces by Kate Formico. After a timeout, Schwarzenbach put down a kill on the slide to tie the score at 19-19, but Stanford responded with a kill and another ace, its fifth of the set, to go up 21-19. The Cardinal pulled ahead 23-20 before Foecke notched a kill. But Plummer grabbed sideout for Stanford on the next rally. The Huskers fought off three set points with a block by Sweet and Stivrins, a Stanford hitting error and a Stivrins joust, and the score was tied again 24-24. The teams traded kills to a 26-26 tie, but a Nebraska hitting error put Stanford up 27-26 before a Cardinal block gave them the 28-26 lead.
Set 2: Stivrins, Sun and Foecke sparked a 3-0 run with kills to give Nebraska an early 6-4 advantage. Sun and Schwarzenbach blocked a Stanford attack to keep NU up two, 8-6, and the teams sided out for five rallies before a pair of Husker hitting errors wide put Stanford up 11-10. Stivrins and Sun terminated kills to put Nebraska back up 13-12, and a Stanford hit wide gave Nebraska a 15-13 lead at the media timeout. Two Stanford kills tied the score at 15-15, but a service error and block by Sweet and Schwarzenbach restored a two-point lead at 17-15. Davis and Foecke killed back-to-back rallies for a 19-16 Husker lead, and Stanford called timeout. On the next rally, the Huskers scrambled defensively to save two Stanford shots, and Foecke came up with another kill to make it 20-16. A service error by the Big Red and a block by Stanford cut the margin to two, 21-19. After a timeout, Foecke smashed her 13th and 14th kills on back-to-back rallies to put Nebraska ahead 23-19. Stanford answered with a block and a kill to cut the deficit in half, but Foecke connected again for set point at 24-21. Fitzmorris found the floor for Stanford to make it 24-22, and a Stanford net violation gave the Huskers the 25-22 win and evened the match at 1-1.
Set 3: Stanford jumped out to a 7-2 lead, getting two blocks and five kills along the way. The Huskers chipped away with three kills by Foecke and one for Schwarzenbach, and a block by Schwarzenbach and Sweet got the Huskers within two, 9-7. After Davis got a kill to keep NU down two, 10-8, Stanford rattled off seven straight points in a row to go up 17-8. The Cardinal pulled ahead 20-9 before the Huskers gained a little momentum with a 3-0 run to make it 20-12. Nebraska would get as close as seven, but the Cardinal took the 25-16 win to go up 2-1. Nebraska hit just .027 in the set after hitting .302 and .326 in the first two sets.
Set 4: Sweet opened the set with back-to-back kills, and a blast by Foecke combined with two Stanford errors had the Huskers up 5-0. Stivrins powered down overpasses on back-to-back rallies, and a two-hit violation on Stanford made it 9-1 Huskers before the Cardinal used their second timeout of the set. A trio of breakdowns by the Huskers allowed Stanford within 13-7, and NU called timeout. After Stanford cut it to five, Sun produced a kill and an ace on consecutive rallies, and Sweet added a kill for a 17-9 Husker lead. Sweet added another kill, and a hustle play by Maloney to save a ball led to a kill by Stivrins to make it 19-11. Stivrins and Foecke then stuffed a Stanford attack, and the Cardinal hit long for a 21-11 Husker lead. Stivrins' 17th kill of the night pushed the Huskers to a 23-14 advantage, and her 18th kill gave NU set point at 24-15. A back-row blast by Foecke clinched the set at 25-15, forcing a game five. NU hit .412 in set four and held Stanford to .121.
Set 5: Foecke opened set five with a kill and Sweet and Schwarzenbach followed with a block. Foecke tied her career high in kills with 25 to put NU ahead 3-1, but Stanford scored the next four to take a 5-3 lead. Foecke and Stivrins tallied important sideout kills, and Stanford hit long to tie the score at 6-6. Nebraska served long, but Hames dumped a kill to keep it tied 7-7. However, Nebraska served long again, and Stanford led 8-7 as the teams switched sides. Campbell tipped a kill down for Stanford to make it 9-7 Cardinal, but Sun answered with back-to-back kills to knot the score at 9-9. Campbell tooled a block and Plummer drew a touch for a kill to make it 11-9 Stanford. Davis subbed in and earned sideout, but Campbell responded for Stanford, and Nebraska called timeout down 12-10. Gray dumped a kill and Wilson served an ace for match point at 14-10. Foecke kept NU alive with her 27th kill, and Plummer committed an attacking error to make it 14-12. But Stanford won 15-12 on a back-row kill by Meghan McClure.
Nebraska Post-Match Notes
- The loss snapped Nebraska’s 13-match winning streak, as the Huskers (29-7) finished as the NCAA runner-up for the fourth time in school history (1986, 1989, 2005, 2018).
- Nebraska fell to 5-4 all-time in the NCAA Final, including a 4-2 record under John Cook. The Huskers had been victorious in their last three NCAA Final appearances (2006, 2015, 2017) before Saturday’s loss.
- The Huskers’ school-record postseason winning streak was snapped at 11 straight victories, as Nebraska suffered its first postseason loss since a 2016 NCAA Semifinal defeat to Texas.
- Nebraska dropped to 113-32 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. The Huskers’ 113 postseason victories and .779 winning percentage both rank second in NCAA history behind Stanford (125 wins, .801 winning percentage).
- John Cook fell to 72-15 in the NCAA Tournament at Nebraska. Including his seven seasons at Wisconsin, Cook is 80-19 in his NCAA Tournament career.
- Nebraska lost to the No. 1-ranked team for the first time since a 3-1 loss to top-ranked Texas in the 2013 NCAA Regional Final. The Huskers had won their last three matches against the No. 1 team, including postseason wins in two of the past three seasons (Washington in the 2015 Regional Final and Penn State in the 2017 NCAA Semifinal).
- Nebraska defeated Stanford 25-15 in the fourth set, holding the Cardinal to its lowest-scoring set of the season.
- Nebraska’s two seniors who were with the program each of the last four years – Mikaela Foecke and Kenzie Maloney – finished with a 21-2 record in their NCAA Tournament careers. Foecke and Maloney played in more postseason sets and matches and won more NCAA Tournament matches than other players in Husker history.
- Foecke and Maloney finished with a 52-3 combined record in the months of November and December.
- Foecke had a career-high 27 kills in the match on a career-high 71 swings. The 27 kills tied for the second-highest total by a player in a five-set NCAA Final. Foecke also had 11 digs, posting her fourth straight double-double.
- In her three career NCAA Finals, Foecke totaled 66 kills on .301 hitting. She had at least 19 kills in all three of her NCAA Finals matches.
- Foecke has 129 kills in her career in NCAA Semifinals/Finals matches. That total ties for third in NCAA history.
- Foecke served up nine aces in her career in NCAA Semifinals/Finals matches. That total ranks in a tie for eighth in NCAA history.
- In her overall NCAA Tournament career, Foecke totaled 309 kills and 26 aces. Her 282 postseason kills and 25 aces both rank second in Nebraska postseason history.
- Foecke finished her outstanding career with 1,684 career kills. Foecke ranks third all-time at Nebraska in kills, including second in the rally-scoring era (since 2001).
- Foecke also totaled 135 service aces in her career, the seventh-most in Nebraska history and the fourth-highest total in the rally-scoring era.
- Foecke finished her senior season with 514 kills, tied for the eighth-highest total in Nebraska history and third during the rally-scoring era. Foecke joined Sarah Pavan (2006) and Kelsey Robinson (2013) as the only Huskers to have 500 kills in a season during the rally-scoring era (since 2001).
- Foecke also had 46 services aces in 2018, the fifth-highest total by a Husker in the rally-scoring era.
- Maloney finished with 86 digs in her career in NCAA Semifinals/Finals matches. That total ranks in a tie for fourth in NCAA history and is the most in the rally-scoring era.
- Maloney finished her career with 229 digs in the NCAA Tournament digs to rank third on Nebraska’s postseason career digs list.
- Maloney had 84 digs in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, the fourth-highest total in Husker postseason history.
- Maloney finished her career with 1,406 digs. That total ranks fifth all-time at Nebraska.
- Maloney had 536 digs in her senior season, the fourth-highest total in Nebraska history. Maloney averaged 4.03 digs per set – the eighth-highest total in school history – to become the fifth Husker to average 4.0 digs per set in a season.
- Lauren Stivrins hit .615 in the match. That ranks as second-highest total in NCAA Finals history (minimum 20 attempts) behind Pacific’s Elaina Oden, who hit .690 in the 1986 NCAA Final.
- Stivrins hit .421 in 2018 to become the fifth Husker to hit over .400 in a season and the first since Brooke Delano in 2010. Stivrins’ .421 attack percentage was the third-highest mark in school history and ranked second during the rally-scoring era.
- Jazz Sweet had 10 kills, her first match with double-figure kills since Oct. 24 at Ohio State.
- Nicklin Hames had a career-high 62 assists against Stanford. She finished her freshman season with 1,395 assists, which ranks as Nebraska’s third-highest season total during the rally-scoring era.
- Callie Schwarzenbach finished the season with 177 blocks, a Nebraska freshman record and the eighth-highest total by a Husker in the rally-scoring era.
- Mikaela Foecke and Lauren Stivrins were both named to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament team. Foecke made the team for the third time in her career.
Lincoln - Taylor Kissinger led five Huskers in double figures with 18 points, as Nebraska displayed a prolific offense for 40 minutes in a 96-71 women's basketball win over visiting Denver on Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Nebraska notched its third consecutive win to complete a three-game home stand and improve to 5-5 on the year, while Denver slipped to 7-4 on the season.
Kissinger, a 6-1 sophomore from Minden, Neb., knocked down four three-pointers to lead the Huskers from long range, while freshman Leigha Brown came off the bench to add 18 points and a career-high five assists.
Fellow freshman Ashtyn Veerbeek added 14 big points off the bench along with five rebounds. Sophomore center Kate Cain also contributed 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting while pitching in five rebounds and a pair of blocks. Junior wing and Colorado native Nicea Eliely scored a season-high 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting to go along with five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Nebraska also got a solid all-around effort from freshman guard Sam Haiby, who scored seven points along with career highs of six rebounds and eight assists. Haiby's eight assists came without a turnover. As a team, the Huskers put together their best passing game of the season with 27 assists on 34 made baskets while committing just 11 turnovers against the Pioneers.
The impressive team effort by the Big Red offset one of the top individual performances by an opponent in Husker history. Denver point guard Samantha Romanowski erupted for a career-high 33 points on a building record 8-for-8 three-point shooting. Overall, Romanowski went 12-for-18 from the field while playing more than 39 minutes in the game.
Romanowski, who was averaging just 8.5 points per game coming into the contest, helped Denver hit 10-of-24 threes on the day, but the rest of the Pioneers were just 2-for-16.
While Romanowski went off, the Huskers silenced DU's leading scorer Lauren Loven, who came into the game averaging 17 points per contest. Loven got just two points on a pair of free throws.
Madison Nelson also played 39 minutes for the Pioneers and produced 19 points, including a pair of threes, while Courtney Smith pitched in 10 points and seven rebounds before fouling out.
Nebraska hit 50.7 percent (34-67) of its shots for the game on the way to outscoring Denver in each of the four quarters. The Huskers hit just 28 percent (7-25) of their threes but knocked down 77.8 percent (21-27) of their free throws. Nebraska won the rebound battle 39-36 and the turnover war 16-11. Most importantly, the Huskers outscored the Pioneers 23-0 in points off turnovers, and dominated Denver 52-14 in the paint. The Big Red bench also outscored the Denver reserves 40-3.
The Huskers held Denver to 39 percent (23-59) shooting, and the Pioneers hit just 57.7 percent (15-26) of their free throws in a tightly but consistently called game that featured 43 combined fouls.
Nebraska used the highest scoring first quarter in school history to jump our to a 31-19 lead. The Husker bench played a huge role in the first-quarter outburst as Veerbeek (8), Brown (6) and Haiby combined for 16 of the 31 points in the quarter. Haiby capped the quarter with her end-to-end layup to beat the buzzer in the final four seconds.
Kissinger added six points on a pair of first-quarter threes, while Eliely pitched in five points despite early foul trouble. Cain contributed four points in the opening period.
The Huskers continued to extend the lead throughout the second quarter, building their biggest first-half margin at 52-35 on Haiby's bucket with 34 seconds left in the quarter. Denver scored in the final seconds to make the halftime margin in Nebraska's favor, 52-37.
Veerbeek led the Big Red with 12 points and three rebounds in nine first-half minutes, while Kissinger contributed 11 points on a trio of threes. Brown put three Huskers in double figures in the half with 10 points.
In the half, Nebraska hit 50 percent (16-32) of its shots, but just 4-of-13 threes. The Huskers were also a strong 16-of-19 (.842) at the line, while forcing all kinds of foul trouble on the Pioneers.
Romanowski led all scorers with 15 first-half points on 4-of-4 shooting from three-point range, but the Huskers also forced five turnovers by Romanowski in the half, outscoring the Pioneers 10-0 in points off turnovers Nelson pitched in 10 points in the half for the Pioneers, including 2-for-2 three-point shooting.
Nebraska held Denver to 12-of-30 shooting (.400) in the half, including 6-of-11 (.545) three-point shooting, but hit just 7-of-14 free throws. The Huskers outworked Denver 20-16 on the boards and won the first-half turnover battle 8-6.
The Huskers complete their non-conference season Tuesday, when they travel to Arkansas. Tip-off between Nebraska and the Razorbacks from Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville is set for 7 p.m. (CT) with live radio coverage by the Husker Sports Network. A live video stream will be available through SEC Network plus.
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.”