Photo Credit: Izzy Pineda/Nebraska Athletics Photo Credit: Izzy Pineda/Nebraska Athletics

Huskers Fall to Oregon in Five Sets

Photo Credit: Izzy Pineda/Nebraska Athletics Photo Credit: Izzy Pineda/Nebraska Athletics

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The No. 7 Nebraska volleyball team had its season come to an end with a five-set 25-14, 24-26, 25-22, 30-32, 11-15 loss to No. 9 Oregon in an NCAA regional semifinal on Thursday at the KFC Yum! Center.

The Huskers finished the season at 26-6 and had their nation-leading streak of 10 straight NCAA regional final appearances come to an end. Lindsay Krause led Nebraska with 16 kills and added a career-high six blocks. Ally Batenhorst (15 kills) and Whitney Lauenstein (12) produced double-figure kills, while Batenhorst, Nicklin Hames and Anni Evans each produced double-doubles. Kaitlyn Hord led the Huskers with nine blocks and Lexi Rodriguez led NU with 18 digs.

Mimi Colyer led the Ducks (26-5) with 26 kills. Brooke Nuneviller added 16 kills. 

Set 1: With the score tied 5-5, Lauenstein terminated and Oregon hit into the antenna for a 7-5 Husker lead. Hord and Kubik tacked on kills to make it 9-6. After a Colyer kill, Krause recorded two kills in a row to push the lead to four, 11-7. The Ducks cut the lead in half, but Hord added her third kill, Rodriguez served an ace and Batenhorst terminated a long rally before Oregon hit into the net to increase the Huskers' advantage to six at the media timeout, 15-9. After the timeout, Kubik posted her third kill to make it 16-9. Another kill by Krause, an ace serve by Evans and a kill by Lauenstein put the Big Red up 19-11. Hames served NU's third ace of the set for a 23-14 lead, and the Huskers closed out the set on top, 25-14. 

Set 2: The Ducks took a 7-4 lead after a 5-1 spurt sparked by three Colyer kills. A kill by Hord and a hitting error by the Ducks pulled the Huskers within one, 10-9. Nebraska went up 12-11 after three straight errors by Oregon, but Oregon went back ahead 14-12 after the Huskers struggled in serve receive. Batenhorst posted a kill - after a successful challenge by the Huskers - to cut it to 14-13, but Colyer put Oregon up 15-13 at the media break with her ninth kill. The Ducks pushed their lead to four, 18-14, after a kill by Colyer and a block by Colyer and Karson Bacon. Nebraska trailed 20-16 when Krause terminated, Kubik served an ace, and Batenhorst and Hord recorded back-to-back kills to tie the score at 20-20. Hord and Krause then stuffed an Oregon attack to make it 21-20 Huskers, and Oregon took a timeout. After the break, the Huskers continued to roll with a kill by Batenhorst off a Rodriguez bump set to make it 22-20. The Ducks answered with three kills to regain a 23-22 lead, but Oregon hit wide to even the score again. A Nuneviller kill earned Oregon set point, but the Ducks served into the net. However, Nuneviller terminated again and the Huskers hit long, as Oregon won 26-24. 

Set 3: Nebraska was playing from behind again after Oregon took a 7-4 lead. Hord had a kill and Batenhorst made a solo block to tie the score at 9-9, but the Ducks scored three in a row to go up 12-9. Another solo stuff by Batenhorst and two hitting errors by Oregon leveled the score at 13-13. Oregon went back on top, 15-13, but Lauenstein and Kubik pounded kills and Allick and Lauenstein teamed up for a block and a 16-15 Husker lead. With the score tied 18-18, Krause had a kill and a block with Hord for a 20-18 lead. The Ducks stayed within one at 22-21, but Batenhorst terminated her 10th kill and Oregon hit wide for an NU set point, 24-21. An Oregon service error ended the set in Nebraska's favor, 25-22. 

Set 4: The teams battled back and forth early in the set with neither team able to grab a lead larger than two points. Oregon led 13-12 when Batenhorst notched her 14th kill and served back-to-back aces for a 15-13 Husker advantage at the media timeout. After the timeout, Kubik tallied her seventh kill to put NU up by three, 16-13. Oregon scored three of the next four points to cut it to 17-16, but Lauenstein connected for a kill and Hord and Krause combined for NU's ninth block to make it 19-16. But the Ducks roared back with a 5-0 run to take a 22-20 lead. Oregon claimed set point at 24-22, but Lauenstein tooled a block, and then Allick set Lauenstein for a kill to the corner to draw even at 24-24. The Ducks hit long to give Nebraska match point at 25-24, but Oregon earned sideout with a kill. Allick came right back from the Huskers with a kill to make it 26-25, but an attack error tied the score again. The Ducks then earned set point on a kill by Hannah Pukis, but Lauenstein and Hord sided out for the Big Red with a block. Another match point came for the Huskers with a Hord and Kubik block, but Oregon answered with a Colyer kill. Kubik terminated for a 29-28 lead, but Pukis and Nuneviller scored for the Ducks for a 30-29 Oregon set point. Oregon served into the net to tie it 30-30, but Morgan Lewis terminated and a dig by Nuneviller fell on the Huskers' side of the net, and the Ducks won the set. The Huskers had four match points before ultimately falling, 32-30.

Set 5: Oregon bolted to an 8-4 lead as the teams changed sides. Kills by Colyer and Nuneviller made it 10-4, and the Huskers hit long to give Oregon an 11-4 advantage. The Ducks eventually went up by nine, 13-4, after a 7-0 run. Nebraska put up a fight with six straight points to get within 14-11 with Krause posting a kill and three blocks (two with Hord) along the way and Hames serving an ace, but the Ducks finally won the match at 15-11 via a kill.  

Nebraska Post-Match Notes

  • Nebraska played in its 38th NCAA Regional Semifinal match today, the most in NCAA history.
  • The loss to Oregon snapped Nebraska's 10-match winning in NCAA Regional Semifinals, which was the nation's longest active streak.
  • With the loss, the Huskers failed to advance to an NCAA Regional Final for the first time since 2011 and for just the fourth time in 23 seasons under John Cook.
  • With the loss, Nebraska dropped to 125-36 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. The Huskers rank second in NCAA history in postseason wins and winning percentage (.776).
  • Nebraska fell to 31-7 all-time in second-round NCAA Regional Semifinal matches.
  • John Cook dropped to 92-24 in his NCAA Tournament career, including an 84-19 record at Nebraska.
  • Nebraska lost a five-set match for the first time this season, finishing the year with a 3-1 record in five-set matches.
  • Oregon had 74 kills in the match, the most by a Husker opponent in 2022 and eight more than any other opponent had against Nebraska.
  • Lindsay Krause had 16 kills and a season-high six blocks. In Nebraska's three NCAA Tournament matches, Krause led Nebraska with 39 kills.
  • Kaitlyn Hord had a match-high nine blocks, and she 25 blocks in Nebraska's three NCAA Tournament matches
  • Ally Batenhorst had a double-double, tying her career high with 15 kills and recording a career-high 12 digs.
  • Madi Kubik had 17 digs, tying her career high.
  • Kubik also had nine kills in the match and finished her career in 13th place on Nebraska's all-time kills list (1,264).
  • Nicklin Hames had 24 assists and 12 digs. Hames ended her career No. 1 at Nebraska in career assists (5,084) and No. 3 in career digs (1,587). She is also 10th all-time at Nebraska in service aces (128).
  • Hames played in her 22nd NCAA Tournament match and finished ranked in the top five in Nebraska history in career postseason assists (1st, 809), aces (3rd, 21) and digs (3rd, 234).

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