Penn State women’s volleyball lost its seventh straight match against Nebraska in Thursday’s NCAA semifinals, dropping a 3-2 thriller to the Cornhuskers in Kansas City.
The Nittany Lions traded punches with Nebraska all night long, but fell 18-25, 25-23, 26-24, 26-28, 11-15 in the Sprint Center.
How It Happened
Penn State and Nebraska were knotted up midway through the first set, but a 9-1 Husker run would give them some breathing room. Despite Simone Lee’s hot start, Penn State couldn’t pull off the comeback and went down 1-0 early.
Haleigh Washington overcame a scoreless first set with seven kills in the second to help the Nittany Lions tie the match at 1-1. Russ Rose won a huge challenge on a Nia Reed swing that deflected off Nebraska’s Kelly Hunter to even things up 20-20 late in the set. Tori Gorrell and Abby Detering stuffed Briana Holman on set point to head into the intermission with confidence.
Penn State battled back from a 20-16 deficit to take the third set, thanks in large part to a huge kill from Heidi Thelen and an attack error on the Huskers. The Nittany Lions came from behind again in the fourth, but Nebraska extended the match to a fifth set. The Huskers came through with a 5-0 run to take control of the final frame and send Penn State home.
Player Of The Match
Mikaela Foecke | Junior | Outside hitter
The West Point, Iowa, native was phenomenal on both ends of the court against the Nittany Lions, recording a match-high 19 kills and 19 digs.
The Nittany Lions (33-2) finish the season short of their ultimate goal, with 14 costly service errors proving the difference in this one.