OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Freshman Mikaela Foecke had 19 kills, Amber Rolfzen added 10 and Nebraska won its fourth NCAA volleyball championship with a three-set sweep of Texas on Saturday night.
Cheered on by a tournament-record crowd of 17,561 at CenturyLink Center, 50 miles from Nebraska's Lincoln campus, the Cornhuskers (32-4) ended a five-match losing streak against the Longhorns (30-3).
Kelsey Fien punctuated the fourth-seeded Huskers' big night when she slammed a set from Kelly Hunter. Fien went to her knees as her teammates swarmed the court to start celebrating the 25-23, 25-23, 25-21 victory.
Foecke was named Most Outstanding Player of the final four. Nebraska, winner of its last 16 matches, also won national titles in 1995, 2000 and 2006.
Yasmeen Bedart-Ghani and Paulina Prieto Cerame led the third-seeded Longhorns with 11 kills, and Amy Neal added 10.
Nebraska became the 15th champion in the tournament's 35 years, and second straight, to win by sweep.
The Huskers came into the final having lost nine of its last 10 matches against the Longhorns, including a five-setter in Austin in September. Three of the last four meetings between the old Big 12 rivals went to five sets, but Nebraska was in total control this time.
Foecke, the Huskers' 6-foot-3 outside hitter, had eight kills on 12 attacks in the first set and eight more on 15 attacks in the second.
The first set was tied at 23 before the Huskers wrapped it up on Kadie Rolfzen's kill and a block by Cecilia Hall and Hunter. The Longhorns' Neal, the Big 12 player of the year, hit just .154 and had two of her team's service errors in the opener.
The Huskers led the second set by three points on two occasions but Texas came back to tie each time and take a 22-21 lead. Foecke came up big, slamming two powerful kills and combining with Amber Rolfzen for a block to get it to set point. When Cerame hit too long, the Huskers went to the break up 2-0 in sets.
Texas led 13-12 in the third set when Foecke drove the ball wide, then Nebraska rattled off five straight points. Kadie Rolfzen tapped the ball to an open spot for a kill to make it 23-18 Nebraska, and her twin sister Amber's kill pushed it to match point.
The Longhorns hit .215. It was a tough night for Cerame, who had those 11 kills but hit just .114.
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