Nebraska Cornhuskers women's volleyball

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Nebraska Cornhuskers women's volleyball
Nebraska Cornhuskers logo.svg
UniversityUniversity of Nebraska–Lincoln
Head coachJohn Cook (19th season)
ConferenceBig 10
LocationLincoln, NE
Home arenaDevaney Center (Capacity: 7,907)
NicknameNebraska Cornhuskers
ColorsScarlet and Cream[1]
AIAW/NCAA Tournament champion
1995, 2000, 2006, 2015, 2017
AIAW/NCAA Tournament runner-up
1986, 1989, 2005, 2018
AIAW/NCAA Tournament semifinal
1986, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
AIAW/NCAA Tournament appearance
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, 2016, 2017, 2018
Conference tournament champion
Big Eight
1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995
Conference regular season champion
Big Eight
1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995

Big 12
1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010

Big Ten
2011, 2016, 2017

The Nebraska women's volleyball team was founded in 1975 and is one of the most decorated teams in all of women's volleyball, with more wins than any other program and five NCAA national championships, one of only three programs not on the west coast to have won a title.[2] Since the induction of the CBS College Sports/AVCA National Poll in 1982, the Cornhuskers are one of only two programs in the country to be ranked in every poll and have produced 73 All-Americans.[3][4] The Cornhuskers volleyball program is one of the most popular spectator attractions in Nebraska, as four of the largest crowds to ever watch a volleyball match were in the state.


Pat Sullivan era: 1975–76[edit]

Pat Sullivan was Nebraska's first coach, and to date the program's only female head coach. She compiled an 83–21 record in the program's first two seasons of intercollegiate competition. Sullivan’s first season was shortly after the passing of Title IX by Congress in 1972.[5] In her first season, she led the team to a 34–8 record and an Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women Regional Final. One year later, the team won a Big Eight championship at 49–13.[6]

Terry Pettit era: 1977–1999[edit]

Terry Pettit was Nebraska's second head coach. From 1977 to 1999 he led the Cornhuskers to an overall record of 694–148.[7] Pettit, an Indiana native, was an English teacher and volleyball coach at Louisburg College in North Carolina when a fellow coach found out about Nebraska's open job and directed Pettit to apply.[8]

In his 23 years as head coach, Pettit built the program into a national power. He led the Cornhuskers to their first national championship in 1995. Under his guidance, Nebraska appeared in 19 consecutive NCAA tournaments including six semifinals and two national runner-up finishes. His teams won conference championships in every season of his tenure except for 1992 and 1997. His list of honors includes the AVCA Hall of Fame, USA Volleyball All-Time Great Coach Award, USOC National Coach of the Year, AVCA National Coach of the Year, AVCA Mideast Region Coach of the Year, and AVCA District Coach of the Year.[9][10]

Under Pettit, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln became one of the first schools to offer scholarships to female athletes. In 1978, Terri Kanouse and Shandi Pettine were the first players to receive full scholarships for volleyball. Pettit offered Kanouse a scholarship after watching the St. Paul, Indiana native showcase her skills at a camp in nearby Crown Point. Three years later, the university allowed Pettit to offer as many as 12 scholarships to volleyball athletes.[11] Pettit coached 36 AVCA All-Americans, the highest number of any school in that time span.[7]


Three talented seniors led the Huskers entering the 1995 season. After losing the second match of the season to no. 1 Stanford, NU swept 22 consecutive opponents and reeled off 31 straight wins. The Huskers easily clinched the conference title, and made short work of opponents in the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament. Nebraska defeated Michigan State 3-2 in the national semifinals to reach the national title game for the third time. Texas won the first set of the match, but the Huskers battled back to win the next three, giving Nebraska its first national championship.

The Huskers were led by star Allison Weston who won, among other awards: the 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.[12]

John Cook era: 2000–present[edit]

John Cook succeeded the retiring Pettit before the start of the 2000 season after a seven-year stint as the head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers. Cook left Wisconsin in 1998 and spent a season under Pettit as Nebraska's associate head coach. As of 2018, Cook has guided the Huskers to four national championships (2000, 2006, 2015, 2017), a national runner-up finish (2005), three other national semifinal appearances (2001, 2008, 2016), 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 (with Wisconsin), 2000, 2005, and 2008, as well as the Big 12/Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1997, 2001, 2005, 2008, 2016, and 2017. He was awarded the USA Volleyball All-Time Great Coach Award in 2008 and in 2017 was inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame.

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.

The 2000 NCAA Champion Nebraska volleyball team is honored at the White House


In his first year as NU's head coach, Cook guided the Huskers to their second national championship. After starting the season outside the national top 10 at no. 11, Nebraska went 20–0 in the Big 12 and defeated Cook's former team, Wisconsin, in five sets in the national title game to cap a 34–0 season. It was only the second team in the NCAA tournament era to finish a season undefeated .[13]

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.[4]


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, against Long Beach State. In the NCAA Tournament, the Huskers cruised through the first two rounds, obtained an 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 national semifinals to face Stanford, where the Huskers fell 3–0 to the eventual tournament champion. The Huskers finished 2001 with a record of 31–2, and a ranking of no. 3 in the AVCA poll. Amber Holmquist was named an AVCA First Team All American

Nebraska went 20–0 in conference play to wrap up the Big 12 conference title in 2002. Nebraska entered the NCAA tournament as the no. 3 overall seed. The Huskers easily swept through the first three rounds, but in regional finals, Nebraska fell 3–1 to no. 6 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 second behind Kansas State. Nebraska earned the no. 9 seed in the tournament. After easily advancing through the first two rounds by defeating Valparaiso and Dayton, Nebraska lost to no. 8 seed UCLA 3–1. The Cornhuskers finished the season 28–5 and ranked no. 13.

Nebraska at Texas at Gregory Gymnasium on October 20, 2004

Nebraska earned the no. 1 overall seed in the 2004 NCAA tournament. The Huskers advanced to the regional finals, falling to two-time defending champion USC 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 conference record in the last five seasons. The Huskers finished with a record of 30–2, and a ranking of no. 5. Sarah Pavan and Melissa Elmer were 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 NCAA tournament for the second consecutive year. After sweeping through the first four rounds, including sweeps of UCLA in the regional semifinals and Florida in the regional finals, Nebraska swept Santa Clara in the national semifinals. An NCAA volleyball-record 13,252 tickets were pre-sold for the national championship game at the Qwest Center in Omaha, the vast majority of which can be attributed to Nebraska locals flocking to see their home team.[14] In the NCAA Championship match, Pac-10 champion Washington stunned heavy favorite Nebraska 3–0. This marked Nebraska's third trip to the national semifinals under John Cook, and their second title game appearance. The Huskers ended the season at 33–2, and ranked no. 2 in the AVCA poll. Sarah Pavan, Christina Houghtelling, and Melissa Elmer were AVCA First-Team All Americans. [15]


The 2006 NCAA Champion Nebraska volleyball team is honored at the White House

For the second straight season, Nebraska was the wire-to-wire no. 1 team in the country. The Cornhuskers won the Big 12 and lost only one match, to conference rival Colorado. For the third consecutive year, Nebraska was the no. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament. In the NCAA regional final, Minnesota took a shocking 2–0 lead on the Cornhuskers, only for Nebraska to win the next three sets, marking the first time Nebraska won a regional title outside of the state of Nebraska.[16] The Huskers beat UCLA in four sets in the national semifinals. On December 16, in the national championship match, Nebraska played in front of a then-NCAA volleyball record crowd of 17,209, once again in Omaha, Nebraska at the Qwest Center, against Pac-10 champion Stanford. Nebraska dropped the first set, but, won the next three to take home the school's third championship, and John Cook's second.[17]

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 national championship while "hosting" the finals since UCLA in 1991.[4]

Junior Sarah Pavan finished the season as one of the most decorated players in NCAA history, garnering numerous awards, including AVCA National Player of the Year, AVCA First-Team All American, the Honda-Broderick Cup award, 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[18][19]


Nebraska's season opener in 2007 marked the program's 1,000th game, a sweep of Tennessee in the AVCA Showcase.[20] Nebraska won their fourth consecutive Big 12 title, (sharing it with Texas) with a 19–1 conference record. In the tournament, the Huskers were the overall no. 2 seed. After sweeping past first- and second-round competition, Nebraska was given a scare by unseeded Michigan State in the regional semifinals, finding themselves down 2–0 before rebounding to win the match in five sets. Their bid for consecutive NCAA titles was ended in the regional finals, losing to no. 10 seed California. The Huskers finished the season 30–2 and ranked no. 5.[21] Sarah Pavan became just the fourth player in NCAA history to garner AVCA First-Team All-American honors four times and was 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).[22]

Nebraska won their fifth consecutive Big 12 title in 2008 at 18–2, again sharing it with Texas.[23] In the 2008 NCAA tournament Nebraska was the no. 4 seed, and easily advanced through the first and second rounds.[24] After making short work of Michigan in the regional semifinals, the Huskers advanced to the regional finals to face no. 5 seed Washington in Seattle on their home court.[25] After losing the first two sets, Nebraska's season was on the brink of ending, but the Cornhuskers soon mounted one of the greatest comeback wins in tournament history. Nebraska took set 3 25–17 and, despite blowing an enormous lead, won set 4 after a Washington service error and a Nebraska service ace gave the Huskers a 26–24 win. In set 5, the Cornhuskers fell behind 9–3, but in a stunning run scored nine consecutive points to take a 12–9 lead. Washington tied the score at 13 before consecutive Nebraska kills gave the Cornhuskers the win and the school its fifth national semifinal appearance under John Cook.[26] In one of the most memorable matches in recent volleyball history, Nebraska lost to no. 1 seed Penn State in five sets. After going down 2–0, the Huskers rallied to deal the Nittany Lions their first set loss of the season, snapping their NCAA-record 111 consecutive set wins, and then demolished Penn State in set 4. In the fifth set, Penn State used a well-timed timeout from head coach Russ Rose to reel off six straight points and win 15–11. The Nittanny Lions swept Stanford to win the national title two days later.[27]

The 2009 team was one of John Cook's youngest, with only one senior on the squad. The Huskers dropped the season opener for the first time under Cook, against Michigan in the Runza/AVCA Showcase at the Qwest Center.[28] Later, UCLA came to Lincoln, winning in five sets to become the first team to defeat the Huskers on their home court since Florida A&M accomplished the feat in 2004.[29] In the middle of the season, Nebraska hosted Iowa State, who defeated the Huskers for the first time in series history.[30] The Huskers ended the regular season strong, not having dropped a set in November for the first time in program history.[31][32] Nebraska swept through the opening rounds, including a sweep to end Northern Iowa's 29 game win streak, making Nebraska the only team to sweep them on the season. The Cornhuskers swept a struggling Iowa State at the Qwest Center and went on to play Texas in the regional final. The Huskers won the first set but the Longhorns won the next three as Texas became the first team ever to beat Nebraska three times during a single season.[33]


The 2010 season marked Cook's twelfth at Nebraska. The Huskers' first loss came at the hands of no. 13 Florida on August 29. Their second loss came much later, to no. 10 Texas on October 27. Their final, season-ending loss came against no. 11 seed Washington on December 10, finishing the 2010 season at 30–3 overall with a conference-leading record of 19–1.

The Huskers opened the 2011 season by defeating New Mexico State 3–2. The Huskers lost their first match of the season on September 2, a 3–2 defeat against Colorado State, before going on a lengthy win stream until losing to Penn State 3–1 on October 29. After wins against Michigan, Michigan State, and Indiana, the Huskers were swept by Purdue on November 12. The Huskers would go another two weeks until losing again, this time at the hands of Northwestern 3–1. The final loss of the Huskers' season came on December 2, with a second-round five-set loss to Kansas State. This marked the first time Nebraska was eliminated before the regional semifinals since 1993.[34]

The 2012 season began on August 24, when the Huskers defeated St. Louis 3–0. In mid-September, Nebraska lost back-to-back games to Iowa State and Penn State, both 3–1. It would be over a month before another loss, this one to Ohio State and also a 3–1 match. Nebraska would struggle after this loss to the Buckeyes, losing on November 2, 3, and 16th to Michigan, Michigan State, and Minnesota. Nebraska did not lose again until a regional final loss to Oregon ended their season.[35]

The 2013 season began on August 30, with a Nebraska sweep of Louisiana–Monroe. The Huskers suffered their first defeat of the season a day later, a 3–1 loss to Auburn, followed by a six-game win streak that was ended in the form of a five-set loss to Texas on September 22. Nebraska finished the regular season at 23–6, with their other three losses against Michigan State, Purdue twice, and Penn State, before falling to Texas in the regional finals of the tournament.[36]

Nebraska limped off the starter's line in 2014, losing the first two games of the season and needing a sweep of lowly Dayton to get into the win column. Things did not get easier for the Cornhuskers, who lost to Texas, Ohio State, Illinois and Wisconsin before November. Nebraska reached the regional final for the third straight year, but lost again, this time to BYU. Ten overall losses were the most for the program since 1981, and six conference losses were the most in program history.[37]


Nebraska's 2015 championship team finished 32–4 overall and 17–3 in the Big Ten. In the national championship game, no. 4 seed Nebraska swept no. 2 seed Texas in front of an NCAA-record crowd in Omaha, mostly in red. Mikaela Foecke's 19 title-game kills helped her earn the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player award, making her just the third freshman to win it. Junior Amber Rolfzen contributed 10 kills and four blocks. Sophomore setter Kelly Hunter had 42 assists, while junior libero Justine Wong-Orantes had a match-high 17 digs. Kadie Rolfzen had 14 kills, five digs, and four blocks.

Nebraska's 2016 conference title was the school's first since 2011. Nebraska nearly ran the table as the country's no. 1 team, but an October loss to Ohio State knocked the Cornhuskers from the top spot for a mere week.[38] After sweeping New Hampshire and TCU, no. 1 seed Nebraska won a memorable five-set thriller over rival and no. 16 seed Penn State, a game in which the Cornhuskers staved off two Penn State match points. This was Nebraska's third win of the year over the Nittany Lions.[39] Nebraska swept Washington in the regional finals to advance to the national semifinals again, but the Cornhuskers lost a rematch with Texas.[40]

Nebraska's 2017 season opened with consecutive losses to Florida and Oregon in Gainesville, though the Huskers were shorthanded due to injury for both games. At 19–1 in conference play, Nebraska shared the Big Ten title with Penn State, and earned the no. 5 seed in the NCAA tournament. The Cornhuskers swept through the first three rounds before traveling to Lexington and beating no. 4 seed Kentucky 3–1 to advance to the national semifinals for the third straight year. Nebraska then beat top-seeded Penn State in five sets, and defeated no. 2 seed Florida 3–1 to win the school's fifth national title. The championship match took place in front of an NCAA-record crowd of 18,516.[41]

Home court advantage[edit]

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 did a conference opponent win 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 nine of the Huskers’ 14 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 by beating Creighton in 2009.[42] The streak ended after 90 consecutive wins when eighth-ranked UCLA stunned an NCAA regular season-record crowd of 13,870 at the Devaney Center.[43] The record was later passed by rival Penn State in 2010.[44]

Nebraska volleyball is one of most popular spectator sports in the state. In 2008, the AVCA's Kathy DeBoer described Nebraska as "the epicenter of volleyball fandom".[45] The six largest-ever crowds to watch a college volleyball match saw the Cornhuskers, including the largest crowd ever (18,516) in the 2017 NCAA National Championship between Nebraska and Florida, and the second-largest, two days earlier in the national semifinals between Nebraska and Penn State.

The Coliseum[edit]

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, a streak that continues at the Devaney Center.[46] The Coliseum proved 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 was the subject of a CBS Sports documentary.[47]

The Bob Devaney Sports Center[edit]

In 2013, the Husker volleyball program moved to the main arena of the Bob Devaney Sports Center. It had previously housed the basketball teams before they moved to Pinnacle Bank Arena in downtown Lincoln. The Devaney Center arena was downsized from 13,596 seats to 7,907, with suites on one side of the court.[48] The move to the new arena did not threaten the Huskers' sellout streak, as it continues to be the longest in the history of NCAA women's sports.[49] The Cornhuskers have led all of NCAA volleyball in attendance every year since moving to the Devaney Center, with an average of 8,206 people per match.[50]


Nebraska's volleyball program has been profitable every year since moving to the Devaney Center, a rarity in college athletics outside of football and men's basketball. Overall profit was $577,601 for the 2013 season and $451,065 in 2014, numbers that greatly exceeded those of previous seasons due to the increase in seating availability at the Devaney Center. The move roughly doubled the seating availability for the program, which sells tickets between $10 – $17.[51] A good portion of those profits came from 100 courtside seats and five luxury boxes at the Devaney Center.[52] With no financial support from tax dollars, tuition, or student fees, the team is entirely self-sufficient.[53] In 2014 season, NU volleyball spent $2.39 million, the third-highest total in the nation. Other major programs, such as Penn State, Texas, and Stanford, spent comparable amounts but all reported losses of well over $1 million in 2014.[53]

Results by season[edit]

National champion Conference champion Conference and tournament champion
Year Coach Overall Conference Conf.
Tournament Finish
Big Eight Conference (1976–1995)
1975 Pat Sullivan 34–8 Regional finalist ---
1976 Pat Sullivan 49–13 1st National finalist ---
1977 Terry Pettit 42–12–7 1st Regional semifinalist ---
1978 Terry Pettit 35–25–2 1st National finalist ---
1979 Terry Pettit 41–8–3 1st Regional runner-up ---
1980 Terry Pettit 35–15 1st Regional runner-up ---
1981 Terry Pettit 29–10 1st ---
1982 Terry Pettit 27–6 1st Regional semifinalist 15
1983 Terry Pettit 29–4 10–0 1st First round 16
1984 Terry Pettit 29–4 10–0 1st Regional runner-up 7
1985 Terry Pettit 28–3 10–0 1st Regional runner-up 6
1986 Terry Pettit 29–6 10–0 1st National runner-up 6
1987 Terry Pettit 30–5 12–0 1st Regional runner-up 10
1988 Terry Pettit 28–5 11–1 1st Regional semifinalist 5
1989 Terry Pettit 29–4 12–0 1st National runner-up 5
1990 Terry Pettit 32–3 12–0 1st National semifinalist 2
1991 Terry Pettit 27–5 12–0 1st Regional runner-up 7
1992 Terry Pettit 22–6 12–0 1st Regional semifinalist 7
1993 Terry Pettit 25–6 10–2 2nd Second round 8
1994 Terry Pettit 31–1 12–0 1st Regional runner-up 1
1995 Terry Pettit 32–1 12–0 1st NCAA champion 1
Big 12 Conference (1996–2010)
1996 Terry Pettit 30–4 19–1 1st National semifinalist 3
1997 Terry Pettit 27–7 16–4 T–2nd Regional runner-up 8
1998 Terry Pettit 32–2 19–1 1st National semifinalist 3
1999 Terry Pettit 27–6 17–3 1st National semifinalist 11
2000 John Cook 34–0 20–0 1st NCAA champion 1
2001 John Cook 31–2 20–0 1st National semifinalist 3
2002 John Cook 31–2 20–0 1st Regional runner-up 5
2003 John Cook 28–5 17–3 2nd Regional semifinalist 13
2004 John Cook 30–2 20–0 1st Regional runner-up 5
2005 John Cook 33–2 19–1 1st National runner-up 2
2006 John Cook 33–1 19–1 1st NCAA champion 1
2007 John Cook 30–2 19–1 T–1st Regional runner-up 5
2008 John Cook 31–3 18–2 T–1st National semifinalist 3
2009 John Cook 26–7 16–4 3rd Regional runner-up 5
2010 John Cook 29–3 19–1 1st Regional semifinalist 7
Big Ten Conference (2011–Present)
2011 John Cook 25–5 17–3 1st Second round 12
2012 John Cook 26–7 15–5 T–2nd Regional runner-up 7
2013 John Cook 26–7 16–4 2nd Regional runner-up 7
2014 John Cook 23–10 14–6 4th Regional runner-up 8
2015 John Cook 32–4 17–3 2nd NCAA champion 1
2016 John Cook 31–3 18–2 1st National semifinalist 4
2017 John Cook 32–4 19–1 T–1st NCAA champion 1
2018 John Cook 29-7 15–5 T–3rd National runner-up 2
Total: 1,337–245–12 552–54

Neither the Big 12 nor the Big Ten play conference tournaments.




  • Assists in a five-set match: 116 vs. Texas (November 5, 1988)
  • Total blocks per set: 4.18 (2001)
  • Winning percentage: 1.000 (2000, shared with four other teams)
  • Consecutive winning seasons: 36 (1975–2017, shared three other teams)
  • Consecutive non-losing seasons: 36 (1975–2017, shared with five other teams)


  • Assists in a five-set match: Lori Endicott, 109 vs. Texas (November 5, 1988)
  • Hitting percentage in a three-set match: Tracy Stalls, 1.000 (13 kills) vs. Texas Tech (November 24, 2007)[55]; Megan Korver, 1.000 (10 kills) vs. Iowa State (September 25, 1998)
  • Blocks in a season: Melissa Elmer, 250 (2005)
  • Blocks per set in a season: Melissa Elmer, 2.17 (2005)

Big 12[edit]


  • Block assists in a three-set match: 39 vs. Kansas State (November 30, 2002)
  • Block assists in a four-set match: 46 vs. Texas (October 22, 2000)
  • Blocks in a three-set match: 23 vs. Kansas (November 12, 2004)
  • Blocks in a four-set match: 26 vs. Texas (October 22, 2000)


  • Blocks in a three-set match: Amber Holmquist, 13 vs. Kansas State (November 30, 2002)
  • Blocks in a four-set match: Amber Holmquist, 16 vs. Texas (October 22, 2000); Melissa Elmer, 16 vs. Kansas (October 8, 2005)
  • Solo blocks in a four-set match: Tracy Stalls, 5 vs. Kansas State (November 19, 2005)
  • Blocks in a five-set match: Tonia Tauke, 15 vs. Michigan State (September 6, 1996)
  • Attacks in a three-set match: Nancy Meendering, 73 vs. Texas (November 27, 1999)


Nebraska has had 47 AVCA First-Team All-American selections and 89 overall All-Americans.[4][57]

  • AVCA National Player of the Year award winners are in bold.

First Team[edit]

  • Cathy Noth – 1983
  • Annie Adamczak – 1985
  • Karen Dahlgren – 1986
  • Lori Endicott – 1988
  • Virginia Stahr – 1988
  • Val Novak – 1989, 1990
  • Janet Kruse – 1989, 1990
  • Stephanie Thater – 1991, 1992
  • Allison Weston – 1993, 1994, 1995
  • Christy Johnson – 1994, 1995
  • Lisa Reitsma – 1995, 1996
  • Fiona Nepo – 1996, 1998
  • Nancy Metcalf – 1998, 1999, 2001
  • Laura Pilakowski – 2000
  • Greichaly Cepero2000, 2002
  • Amber Holmquist – 2001, 2002
  • Melissa Elmer – 2004, 2005
  • Sarah Pavan – 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
  • Christina Houghtelling2005
  • Jordan Larson – 2006, 2008
  • Brooke Delano – 2010
  • Gina Mancuso – 2011
  • Lauren Cook – 2012
  • Kelsey Robinson – 2013
  • Kadie Rolfzen – 2015, 2016
  • Justine Wong-Orantes – 2016
  • Kelly Hunter – 2017
  • Mikaela Foecke - 2018
  • Lauren Stivrins - 2018

Second Team[edit]

  • Cathy Noth – 1984
  • Karen Dahlgren – 1985
  • Enid Schonewise – 1986
  • Tisha Delaney – 1986
  • Lori Endicott – 1987
  • Virginia Stahr – 1989
  • Stephanie Thater – 1990
  • Chris Hall – 1991
  • Janet Kruse – 1991
  • Kelly Aspegren – 1994
  • Fiona Nepo – 1997
  • Lisa Reitsma – 1997
  • Megan Korver – 1998
  • Amber Holmquist – 2000
  • Jenny Kropp – 2001
  • Greichaly Cepero – 2001
  • Melissa Elmer – 2003
  • Jennifer Saleaumua – 2004
  • Tracy Stalls – 2006, 2007
  • Christina Houghtelling – 2007
  • Rachel Holloway – 2007
  • Sydney Anderson – 2008
  • Tara Mueller – 2008
  • Brooke Delano – 2009
  • Lindsey Licht – 2010
  • Hannah Werth – 2010, 2012
  • Gina Mancuso – 2012
  • Amber Rolfzen – 2015
  • Kelly Hunter – 2016
  • Annika Albrecht – 2017
  • Mikaela Foecke – 2017

Third Team[edit]

  • Jennifer Saleaumua – 2005
  • Rachel Holloway – 2006
  • Jordan Larson – 2007
  • Sydney Anderson – 2009
  • Kadie Rolfzen – 2013, 2014
  • Justine Wong-Orantes – 2015
  • Amber Rolfzen – 2016
  • Kenzie Maloney - 2018

All-time leaderboard[edit]

NCAA tournament[edit]

The NCAA Volleyball Tournament started in 1981 and Nebraska has qualified for every tournament since 1982.[4] From 1994 to 2010 the Huskers played in 17 consecutive NCAA Regionals, a streak that more than doubled any other program in the nation.[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "University of Nebraska Athletics Brand Guide" (PDF). Retrieved December 24, 2017.
  2. ^ "Nebraska volleyball history". NU Athletics. August 22, 2007. Retrieved August 1, 2008.
  3. ^ "Huskers Finish Fifth in Final AVCA Coaches Poll". 2009-12-22. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c d e "2009 Media Guide" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-05-12.
  5. ^ "Title IX and Sex Discrimination". U.S. Department of Education. U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  6. ^ Babcock, Mike. "NU Volleyball: A Championship Tradition" (PDF). Nebraska Huskers. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  7. ^ a b Williams, Pat; Babcock, Mike (26 November 2016). Tom Osborne On Leadership: Life Lessons from a Three-Time National Championship Coach. Advantage Media Group. ISBN 1599323796.
  8. ^ Babcock, Mike. "NU Volleyball: A Championship Tradition" (PDF). Nebraska Huskers. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  9. ^ Babcock, Mike. "NU Volleyball: A Championship Tradition" (PDF). Nebraska Huskers. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  10. ^ Voepel, Michelle. "Huskers attract die-hard following". ESPN. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
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