Huskers face Illinois in NCAA Regional Semifinals


The 10th seeded Nebraska volleyball team (23-7) will travel to the Lone Star State this weekend for their 10th consecutive appearance in the regional NCAA, Thursday, December 9 and Saturday, December 11, in Austin. , Texas. The Huskers face the Illinois Big Ten on Thursday, with the first serve scheduled for 8:30 p.m. at Gregory Gym.

With a win, Nebraska would advance to Saturday’s regional final against the winner of the Washington-Texas semi-final (6:30 p.m. Thursday). The regional final is set for 9 p.m.

Austin’s three regional games this weekend will be televised on ESPNU with Paul Sunderland handling the play-by-play duties and Salima Rockwell providing full color commentary.

This week’s action will air on Huskers Radio Network with the NU radio crew of John Baylor and Lauren Cook West. Baylor is in its 28th season handling play-by-play functions for the Husker volleyball program, and West, a former All-America passer at NU, will provide full color commentary for the sixth year in a row.

Huskers Radio Network will broadcast the games on HRN affiliate radios, including 107.3 FM in Lincoln and AM 590 in Omaha. A live audio stream will be available on and on the Huskers app.

Tournament time

• Nebraska were selected as the No. 10 seed for the NCAA Tournament, which secured their 40th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance – the second in NCAA history, behind Penn State (41) .
• Nebraska is 120-34 all-time in the NCAA tournament. The Huskers are second in NCAA history for playoff wins and winning percentage (0.779).
• Nebraska (154) and Stanford (164) are the only programs in NCAA history to play 150 NCAA tournament games.
• NU is 30-6 all-time in NCAA Regional Semifinal games.
• A win over Illinois would send Nebraska to an NCAA regional final for the 10th consecutive season and the 31st time in program history.
• John cook led Nebraska to an NCAA regional championship in 21 of its 22 seasons. The Huskers have reached a regional final 18 times in the past 21 years under the direction of the head coach John cook.
• The Huskers are 56-1 against unranked opponents in the NCAA tournament. In total, Nebraska have won 85 straight games against unranked opponents dating back to the 2017 regular season.
• Nebraska is 43-27 on the road or on neutral ground in the NCAA tournament.
• Two wins this weekend would secure NU its 16th appearance in the NCAA Final Four.
• Cook is 87-22 in his NCAA tournament career, including a 79-17 record as the Nebraska head coach.

Quick shots

• Nebraska last played in Austin at the VERT Challenge on September 4-5, 2015. The Huskers lost 3-2 to Texas and beat Oregon 3-2 that year.
• This weekend is a return to its original condition for the Houston product Ally Batenhorst. Born in Nebraska but raised in Texas, she is the 11th all-time Husker player to come from Lone Star State.
• Nebraska finished second in the Big Ten this season.
• NU is one of eight top Big Ten teams nationwide to advance to the 2021 NCAA Tournament and is one of six teams in the conference to advance to an NCAA Regional this weekend. . The Huskers won the conference’s most recent national title (2017).
• Nebraska’s game against Illinois on Thursday is his third this season. The Huskers won both during the regular season in straight sets. In the second meeting on November 4, the two teams placed in the top 25 (Nebraska at No 9, Illinois at No 25).
• Nebraska leads the country with an average attendance of 8,185 spectators this season at the Devaney Center.
• Nebraska were the last undefeated team in the Big Ten this year. His 10-0 start was their second best since joining the conference in 2011.

Illinois Scout Fighting Illini

Illinois are 22-11 on the season after beating West Virginia in the first round, 3-1, last Friday and No. 7 Kentucky in the second round, 3-1, last Saturday. Raina Terry led the Illini with 27 kills and Megan Cooney added 17 more. Diana Brown distributed 52 assists to lead Illinois to a team’s winning percentage of .331.

Illinois begin their 19th regional NCAA appearance this weekend and their third under head coach Chris Tamas. In his fifth year at the helm of the program, Tamas holds a career record of 100-51.

The Illini are second nationally for aces total (232) and 13th for aces per set (1.87). Individually, Brown is fifth nationally in assists (1,291) and Terry is 12th in aces (54). Taylor Kuper is just behind her in 17th place in aces (50) and 18th in total recoveries (567).

Noting Series: Against Illinois

Nebraska leads the all-time series with Illinois 31-8-1, including 18-3 in the John cook time. The Huskers have six straight series wins dating back to 2018, and they are looking for their fifth straight UI sweep on Thursday night. NU has a 7-0-1 advantage over Illinois on neutral ground and has a 4-2 advantage in the NCAA tournament.

The Huskers last met Illinois in the playoffs on Dec. 13, 2018, winning the national semifinals 3-2 in Minneapolis.


With a victory over Illinois on Thursday, Nebraska advance to the NCAA Regional Finals on Saturday, Dec.11 to face the winner of the Washington-Texas semi-final on Thursday. The first service is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. CT at the Gregory Gym in Austin, TX.


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