Nebraska Cornhuskers women's volleyball
|Nebraska Cornhuskers Women's Volleyball|
|University||University of Nebraska, Lincoln|
|Head coach||John Cook (16th year)|
|Home arena||Bob Devaney Sports Center (Capacity: Approx 8,000)|
|Colors||Scarlet and Cream
|AIAW and NCAA Tournament Champions|
|1995, 2000, 2006, 2015|
|AIAW and NCAA Tournament Runner Up|
|1986, 1989, 2005|
|AIAW and NCAA Tournament Final Four|
|1986, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2015|
|AIAW and NCAA Tournament Appearances|
|1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015|
|Conference Regular Season Champions|
1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995
1996, 1998 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010
The Nebraska women's volleyball team has won four NCAA Women's Volleyball National Championships, in 1995, 2000, 2006, and 2015. The Cornhuskers have had three NCAA National Runner-Up finishes, in 1986, 1989, and 2005, as well as five other NCAA National Semifinal (Final Four) appearances in 1990, 1996, 1998, 2001 and 2008, bringing the program total to 12 NCAA Final Four appearances. Nebraska also is one of only three programs east of the west coast to have won a NCAA Women's Volleyball National Championship.
The Husker Volleyball program started in 1975. Nebraska is the most winning program since 2000 when John Cook became head coach. Since 1988, Nebraska has been in the top 16 every year in the final CBS College Sports/AVCA National Poll and been in the top 5 sixteen of those years. They are one of only two programs in the country to be ranked in every AVCA poll since its inception in 1982. The Huskers have had more combined AVCA 1st and 2nd team All-Americans than any other program with 69, and has produced 4 AVCA National Player of the Year award winners.
Nebraska volleyball is a very popular spectator sport in the state. In 2008, AVCA Kathy DeBoer described Nebraska as "the epicenter of volleyball fandom". The four largest ever NCAA volleyball crowds, and seven of the top ten largest NCAA volleyball crowds, were in the state of Nebraska. This includes the largest-ever crowd of 17,561 in the 2015 NCAA National Championship between Nebraska and Texas, and the second-most all time (17,551) in the 2015 NCAA National Semifinals between Nebraska and Kansas.
- 1 Home court advantage
- 2 History
- 3 Results by season
- 4 Records
- 5 All-Americans
- 6 NCAA tournament
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Home court advantage
The Nebraska Coliseum was one of the few collegiate arenas designed specifically for volleyball. It is noted for its classical architecture, intimate setting with fans close to the floor, perpetually sold-out crowds, and deafening acoustics. At the Coliseum, the Huskers held the NCAA record for the most consecutive sellouts in a women's sport (the streak continues at the Devaney Center). The Nebraska Coliseum has statistically proven to be one of the most difficult venues for visiting teams to win at in all of sports, has anecdotally been described as 'the arena that the volleyball gods would build', and has drawn comparisons to Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium due to its design, acoustics, and intimate atmosphere. It has also been the subject of a CBS Sports documentary.
The 4,030-seat Nebraska Coliseum provided the Nebraska volleyball program with an unmatched home-court advantage. Nebraska has had 17 undefeated seasons at home compiling an all-time record of 481-31 (.939) under the Coliseum's roof. Only three times in 33 years of regular-season Big 8/Big 12 play has a conference opponent ever won in Lincoln. In 1991, the Huskers played their games at the Bob Devaney Sports Center while the building was being renovated and tailored specifically for volleyball. The Huskers have hosted an NCAA Tournament match every season since 1984 compiling a 52-4 playoff record in the building. Nebraska fans have been rewarded by seeing eight of the Huskers’ 11 NCAA regional championships won on their home court. The all-time home record over the 34 years is 511-36. The Huskers established an NCAA record with their 88th consecutive home win against Creighton University in 2009. The streak ended soon after at win number 90 when Eighth-ranked UCLA stunned an NCAA regular season record crowd of 13,870. The record was later passed by now Big Ten rival Penn State in 2010.
In 2013, the Husker volleyball program moved into a renovated Bob Devaney Sports Center. The former basketball arena was transformed into a volleyball venue with seating for 7,907 and suites on one side of the court.
Pat Sullivan era: 1975–76
Pat Sullivan was the first volleyball coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers volleyball team. She compiled an 83-21 record over the program's first two seasons of intercollegiate competition, including a 34-8 season in 1975, and a 49-13 season in 1976.
Terry Pettit era: 1977–1999
Terry Pettit was Nebraska's second coach from 1977 to 1999 helping to build the Nebraska Cornhuskers volleyball program into a national power. Pettit led the Huskers to their first NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship in 1995, 2 NCAA National Runner-Up finishes in 1986 and 1989, 6 NCAA national semifinal (Final Four) appearances in 1986, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1996, and 1998, earned 19 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 1982–1999, and won the Big 8/Big 12 every year except 1977 and 1997, guiding the Huskers to a 694-148 record in his 23 years, averaging a 30-6 record each season as coach. Pettit became the Big 8/Big 12] Coach of the Year in 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1998 and the AVCA National Coach of the Year in 1986, and 1994. Pettit was the recipient of USA Volleyball All-Time Great Coach Award in 2004
Three talented seniors led the Huskers entering the 1995 season. After losing the second match of the season to then-No. 1 Stanford, they swept 22 consecutive opponents and the team reeled off 31 consecutive wins. The Huskers easily clinched the Big 8 conference title, and make short work of opponents in the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament. Nebraska beat a determined Michigan State team in a tough match in the NCAA semifinals (Final Four) 3-2 putting them into the NCAA championship match against Texas. Texas won the first set of the match, but the Huskers battled back to win the next 3 sets, giving Nebraska their first ever NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship by defeating the future Big 12 foe in the final, 3-1.
The Huskers were led by Allison Weston who won many awards: Morgan Trophy Award, AVCA Co-National Player of the Year, Volleyball Magazine Player of the Year, AVCA First Team All-American, First Team CoSIDA Academic All-American, All-Big Eight Player of the Year. Christy Johnson and Lisa Reitsma were both also AVCA First Team All-Americans.
John Cook era: 2000–present
John Cook succeeded Terry Pettit before the start of the 2000 season after a successful stint as the head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers. Thus far, Cook has guided the Huskers to 3 NCAA National Championships in 2000, 2006, and 2015, a NCAA National Runner-up finish in 2005, 6 NCAA National Semifinal (Final Four) appearances in 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2015 and NCAA Tournament appearances in each of his years as coach. Cook was named the AVCA Division I National Coach of the Year in 2000 and 2005, the AVCA Central Region Coach of the Year in 1997 (Wisconsin), 2000, 2005, and 2008, as well as the Big 12 Coach of the Year in 2001, 2005, and 2008. He was also awarded the USA Volleyball All-Time Great Coach Award in 2008. In his first eight years as head coach at Nebraska, he has guided the Huskers to a 250-16 overall record and a 32-6 NCAA tournament record.
Cook has coached three AVCA National Players of the Year – (Greichaly Cepero in 2000, Christina Houghtelling in 2005 and Sarah Pavan in 2006). Pavan also won the Honda-Broderick Cup in 2007 as the Collegiate Female Athlete of the Year.
In his first year as the NU head coach, Cook guided the Huskers to their second NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship. They started with a No. 11 preseason ranking. Nebraska went 20-0 in the Big 12. Nebraska defeated John Cook's former team, the Wisconsin Badgers, in five sets in the national title game, bringing home the first National Championship in the John Cook era. Capping off a 34–0 season, the Huskers became only the second team in NCAA history to finish a season undefeated since the beginning of the NCAA Tournament in 1981.
Sophomore Greichaly Cepero led the Huskers, becoming the AVCA National Player of the Year. She also won the Honda Award for Volleyball and became the Big 12 Player of the Year. Laura Pilakowski was also an AVCA First Team All-American and on the NCAA Championship All-Tournament team.
Nebraska finished 20-0 in conference play in 2001 to lock up the Big 12 conference title and finished the regular season with only one loss coming against Long Beach State. In the NCAA Tournament, the Huskers cruised through the first two rounds, obtained a NCAA regional semifinals win against Colorado St., setting up a hard fought, 3-2 win against Florida in the NCAA regional finals. Nebraska advanced to the NCAA National Semifinals (Final Four) for the second time in the under Cook, facing Stanford. The Huskers fell to Stanford 0-3 who ultimately went on to win the National Championship. The Huskers finished the season with a record of 31-2, and a ranking of No. 3 in the AVCA poll. Amber Holmquist was named as an AVCA First Team All American
Nebraska went 20-0 in conference play to wrap up the Big 12 conference title in '02. Nebraska entered the NCAA tournament as the No. 3 overall seed. The Huskers easily swept through the first two rounds of the tournament, and then swept Miami in the NCAA regional semifinals. In the NCAA regional finals, Nebraska fell 3-1 to No. 6 overall seed Hawaiʻi. Nebraska finished the season with a record of 31-2, and a final ranking of No. 5. Greichaly Cepero and Amber Holmquist were named as AVCA First Team All Americans.
In 2003 the Huskers went 17-3 in conference play to finish 2nd in conference play behind Kansas State. Nebraska was garnered the No. 9 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Nebraska easily advanced through the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament defeating Valparaiso and Dayton. In the NCAA regional semifinals, Nebraska ran into No. 8 seed UCLA and fell to the Bruins 3-1. The Huskers finished the season with a record of 28-5, and a final ranking of No. 13.
Nebraska earned the No. 1 overall seed in the 2004 NCAA tournament. The Huskers advanced to the NCAA regional finals, falling to two-time defending NCAA champion Southern California in a five-game marathon. AVCA National Freshman of the Year, Sarah Pavan, led a trio of talented freshmen to a Big 12 conference title and the team's fourth 20-0 Big 12 conference record in the last five seasons. The Huskers finished the season with a record of 30-2, and a ranking of No. 5. Sarah Pavan and Melissa Elmer were named as AVCA First Team All Americans.
In 2005, after winning the Big 12 conference title with a 19-1 record, Nebraska was the No. 1 overall seed in the 2005 NCAA tournament for the second consecutive year. After sweeping through the first two rounds, sweeping UCLA in the NCAA regional semifinals and Florida in the NCAA regional finals, Nebraska went on to sweep Santa Clara in the NCAA National Semifinals. An NCAA volleyball-record 13,252 tickets were pre-sold for the NCAA regionals at the Qwest Center in Omaha. The majority of these record ticket sales have been attributed to Nebraska volleyball fans. In the NCAA Championship match against Pacific-10 Conference champion Washington, Nebraska could not finish off with an NCAA title, despite being the overwhelming favorite. They lost to the No. 3 seeded Huskies in a somewhat stunning fashion, never finding a rhythm and losing 3-0. The season marked Nebraska's third trip to the Final Four under Cook. The Huskers ended the season the NCAA National Runner-Up with a record of 33-2, and a ranking of No. 2 in the AVCA poll. Sarah Pavan, Christina Houghtelling, and Melissa Elmer were all named as AVCA First Team All Americans. 
The Huskers once again went through the competition leading up to the NCAA tournament keeping their No. 1 ranking all season long, winning the Big 12 conference title, and losing only one match to Colorado. For the third consecutive year, Nebraska was the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament. They made it to their second consecutive Final Four, by accomplishing an amazing feat. In the NCAA regional final against Minnesota in Gainesville, Florida, Nebraska saw their opponent take a commanding 2-0 lead on them. Nebraska fought back to win the next three sets, thus making it the first time Nebraska ever won a NCAA regional title outside of the state of Nebraska, and also the first time they came from an 0-2 deficit to win the regional title. The Huskers entered the NCAA Championship match after defeating UCLA in four sets in the National Semifinals. On December 16, 2006, in the NCAA National Championship match, Nebraska played in front of a then-NCAA volleyball record crowd of 17,209 in Omaha, Nebraska at the Qwest Center against Pac-10 champion Stanford. Nebraska dropped the first set, but, like the NCAA Semifinal match, rebounded to win the next three sets to take home the second NCAA national championship in the John Cook era.
The Huskers swept 24 of their 33 opponents and only lost 14 sets all season. They led the nation in both kills (17.4) and assists (16.2) per game, the first time Nebraska has led the nation in either category. Nebraska became just the third team in NCAA history to be ranked No. 1 in the AVCA poll the entire season, joining UCLA (1992) and USC (2003), and became the first team to win a NCAA National Championship while hosting the finals since UCLA in 1991.
Junior Sarah Pavan finished the season as one of the most decorated in NCAA history, garnering numerous awards, including AVCA National Player of the Year, AVCA First Team All American, the Honda-Broderick Cup award, and the Big 12 Player of the Year & Big 12 Female Athlete of the Year, and the CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year. Jordan Larson also was named an AVCA First Team All American
In the first game of '07, the Huskers won the programs 1000th game, sweeping Tennessee in the AVCA Showcase. Nebraska won their fourth consecutive Big 12 title, (sharing it with Texas) with a 19-1 Big 12 record. In the 2007 NCAA Tournament, the Huskers were the overall No. 2 seed. After sweeping past first & second round competition, Nebraska was given a scare by unseeded Michigan State in the NCAA regional semifinals, finding themselves down 2 sets to 0 before rebounding to win the match. Their bid for consecutive NCAA titles was ended in the regional finals, losing to 10th seeded California. The Huskers finished the season with a 30-2 record, and a No. 5 ranking. Sarah Pavan became just the fourth player in NCAA history to garner AVCA First Team All-American honors all four years of her collegiate career and was also named the Big 12 Female Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row. Pavan joined Texas softball pitcher Cat Osterman as the only athlete to repeat the award. Nebraska placed a national record 5 players on AVCA All America Teams (before the record was broken in 2008 by Penn St. with 6).
Nebraska won their fifth consecutive Big 12 title in '08 sharing it with Texas for the second consecutive year with an 18-2 record. In the 2008 NCAA Tournament Nebraska was the No. 4 overall seed having a fairly easy time in the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament. After making short work of Michigan in the NCAA regional semifinals, the Huskers advanced to the NCAA regional finals facing No. 5 overall seed Washington in Seattle on their home court. After losing the first two sets, it looked as if Nebraska's season would end earlier than they wanted. That was, however, before Nebraska mounted one of the greatest comeback wins in the history of the NCAA tournament. In set 3, Nebraska rallied to easily take the set 25-17. In set 4, Nebraska looked well on its way to forcing a fifth set but it didn't turn out to be that easy as the Huskies trailed 22-21, and eventually tied the set at 23 and 24. However a Washington service error and a service ace from libero Kayla Banwarth gave the Huskers a 26-24 win in set 4, forcing a fifth set. In set 5, once again the Huskers looked doomed as they fell 9-3, but in a jaw-dropping run of epic proportions Nebraska went on to score 9 consecutive points to take the lead 12-9. Not giving up, the Huskies were able to tie the set at 13, before an attack error set up match point for the Huskers. Senior Jordan Larson ripped an ace paralyzing the Huskies and sending Nebraska into a frenzy at having completed one of the greatest comeback wins in both school and NCAA tournament history advancing the huskers to the Final Four at the Qwest Center in Omaha, the fifth Final Four appearance in the John Cook era. In the NCAA National Semifinals, Nebraska lost to No. 1 overall seed Penn State. Initially down 0-2, the Huskers rallied to deal the Nittany Lions their first 2 set losses of the season, snapping their NCAA record 111 consecutive set wins. In the 5th set, Penn State went on to win 15-11, and ultimately the National Championship over Stanford in straight sets.
The 2009 squad was one of the youngest for John Cook, with one senior on the squad. The Huskers dropped the season opener for the first time under John Cook against Michigan in the Runza/AVCA Showcase at Qwest Center. Later, UCLA came to Lincoln, winning in 5 sets to become the first team to defeat the Huskers on their home court since Florida A&M accomplished the feat in 2004. In the middle of the season, Nebraska hosted Iowa State, who defeated the Huskers for the first time in series history. The Huskers ended the regular season strong, not having dropped a set in November for the first time in program history. The Huskers hosted NCAA Tournament 1st and 2nd rounds as the number 10 seed. They swept through the opening rounds earning a berth to the Big 12 packed Omaha Regional, breaking Northern Iowa's 29 game win streak and becoming the only team to sweep them on the season. They swept a struggling Iowa State at the Quest Center and went on to play Texas in the regional final. The Huskers won the first set but could not keep the momentum. The Longhorns won the next three sets, earning their way to the national semifinals. Texas became the first team to beat the Huskers three times during a single season in the NCAA era.
Results by season
|Pat Sullivan||1975||34–8||AIAW Regional Finalist||---|
|1976||49–13||Big Eight Champion*||AIAW National participant||---|
|Terry Pettit||1977||42–12–7||Big Eight Champion*||AIAW Regional semifinalist||---|
|1978||35–25–2||Big Eight Champion*||AIAW Regional Champion||---|
|1979||41–8–3||Big Eight Champion*||AIAW Regional runner-up||---|
|1980||35–15||Big Eight Champion*||AIAW Regional runner-up||---|
|1981||29–10||Big Eight Champion*||---|
|1982||27–6||Big Eight Champion*||NCAA Mideast Regional semifinalist||15|
|1983||29–4||10–0||Big Eight Champion*||NCAA Mideast Regional first round||16|
|1984||29–4||10–0||Big Eight Champion*||NCAA Mideast Regional runner-up||7|
|1985||28–3||10–0||Big Eight Champion*||NCAA Mideast Regional runner-up||6|
|1986||29–6||10–0||Big Eight Champion*||NCAA National Runner-up||6|
|1987||30–5||12–0||Big Eight Champion||NCAA Mideast Regional runner-up||10|
|1988||28–5||11–1||Big Eight Champion*||NCAA Mideast Regional semifinalist||5|
|1989||29–4||12–0||Big Eight Champion*||NCAA National Runner-up||5|
|1990||32–3||12–0||Big Eight Champion*||NCAA National semifinalist||2|
|1991||27–5||12–0||Big Eight Champion*||NCAA Mideast Regional runner-up||7|
|1992||22–6||12–0||Big Eight Champion||NCAA Mideast Regional semifinalist||7|
|1993||25–6||10–2||NCAA Mideast Regional second round||8|
|1994||31–1||12–0||Big Eight Champion*||NCAA Mideast Regional runner-up||1|
|1995||32–1||12–0||Big Eight Champion*||NCAA Champion||1|
|1996||30–4||19–1||Big 12 Champion||NCAA National semifinalist||3|
|1997||27–7||16–4||NCAA Pacific Regional runner-up||8|
|1998||32–2||19–1||Big 12 Champion||NCAA National semifinalist||3|
|1999||27–6||17–3||Big 12 Champion||NCAA National semifinalist||11|
|John Cook||2000||34–0||20–0||Big 12 Champion||NCAA Champion||1|
|2001||31–2||20–0||Big 12 Champion||NCAA National semifinalist||3|
|2002||31–2||20–0||Big 12 Champion||NCAA Regional runner-up||5|
|2003||28–5||17–3||2nd||NCAA Regional semifinalist||13|
|2004||30–2||20–0||Big 12 Champion||NCAA Regional runner-up||5|
|2005||33–2||19–1||Big 12 Champion||NCAA National Runner-up||2|
|2006||33–1||19–1||Big 12 Champion||NCAA Champion||1|
|2007||30–2||19–1||Big 12 Champion||NCAA Regional runner-up||5|
|2008||31–3||18–2||Big 12 Champion||NCAA National semifinalist||3|
|2009||26–7||16–4||3rd||NCAA Regional runner-up||5|
|2010||29–3||19–1||Big 12 Champion||NCAA Regional semifinalist||7|
|2011||25–5||17–3||Big Ten Champion||NCAA Second round||12|
|2012||26-7||15-5||2nd||NCAA Regional runner-up||7|
|2013||26-7||16-4||2nd||NCAA Regional runner-up||7|
|2014||23-10||14-6||4th||NCAA Regional runner-up||8|
- Assists in a Five-set Match (116) Nebraska vs Texas, November 5, 1988 (109 by Lori Endicott alone, also a record)
- Total blocks per set (4.18) in 2001
- Winning Percentage (1.000) Nebraska, 2000 (34-0), shared with Long Beach State, Southern California, and Penn State (twice)
- Consecutive Winning Seasons (35), shared with Hawaii, Penn State and Stanford (all NCAA seasons)
- Consecutive Non-losing Seasons (35), shared with Hawaii, Penn State, Stanford, UCLA and UNI (all NCAA seasons)
- Lori Endicott – assists in 5 sets (109) vs Texas on November 5, 1988
- Tracy Stalls – Hitting percentage in 3 sets (1.000, 13-0-13) vs. Texas Tech on November 24, 2007
- Megan Korver – Hitting percentage in 3 sets (1.000, 10-0-10) vs. Iowa State on September 25, 1998
- Melissa Elmer
- Total blocks in a season (250) in 2005
- Blocks per set in a season (2.17) in 2005
- Block Assists in 3 sets (39) vs Kansas State on November 30, 2002
- Block Assists in 4 sets (46) vs Texas on October 22, 2000
- Total Team Blocks in 3 sets (23) vs Kansas on November 12, 2004
- Total Team Blocks in 4 sets (26) vs Texas on October 22, 2000
- Melissa Elmer – Total Blocks in 4 sets (16) vs. Kansas on October 8, 2005
- Amber Holmquist
- Block Assists and Total Blocks in 3 sets (13) vs. Kansas State on November 30, 2002
- Block Assists and Total Blocks in 4 sets (16) vs. Texas on October 22, 2000
- Megan Korver – Hitting percentage in 3 sets (1.000, 10-0-10) vs. Iowa State on September 25, 1998
- Nancy Meendering – Attempts in 3 sets (73) vs Texas November 27, 1999
- Tracy Stalls
- Hitting percentage in 3 sets (1.000, 13-0-13) vs. Texas Tech on November 24, 2007
- Solo Blocks in 4 sets (5) vs. Kansas State on November 19, 2005
- Tonia Tauke – Total Blocks in 5 sets (15) vs. Michigan State September 6, 1996
- AVCA National Player of the Year award winners.
The NCAA Volleyball Tournament started in 1981 and Nebraska has qualified for every tournament since 1982. From 1994 to 2010 the Huskers played in 17 consecutive NCAA Regionals, a streak that more than doubled any other program in the nation.
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