Oregon heads to first national semifinal after beating Nebraska 3-1
OMAHA, Neb. -- Oregon (29-4) extended its greatest season in school history with a 3-1 win against host Nebraska (26-7) to earn its first-ever semifinal invitation in school history.
After losing the first set 25-15, the fifth-seeded Ducks came back to win the next three sets 25-22, 25-18, 25-17 against the fourth-seeded Huskers to earn a bid to Thursday's semifinal against top-seeded Penn State.
In UO's first quarterfinal appearance, Pac-12 Player of the Year Alaina Bergsma rang up a match-high 23 kills to lead the team for the 22nd time this season.
She also hit .429 -- her 11th +.400 total of the campaign -- and her 11 digs marked her seventh double-double and 15th career-wise for the Ducks.
UO featured two more hitters with double-digit kill figures and +.300 marks -- junior middle blocker Ariana Williams (13K, .500) and senior outside hitter Katherine Fischer (12K, .367).
Leading UO to a .291 team hitting mark, Lauren Plum logged 52 assists and 14 digs for her eighth double-double of 2012 and 27th career-wise.
On defense, senior libero Haley Jacob led UO in digs (21) for the 26th time this year, thanks to her ninth +20-dig match of the year and 23rd in her career.
Team-wise, UO held edges in hitting (.291-.245), kills (58-57), aces (5-2), fewest service errors (5-6) and blocks (8.5-8.0). The teams tied in assists (54-54).
Nebraska category leaders included Gina Mancuso (16 kills, 15 digs), Morgan Broekkhuis (16K, .406), Lara Dykstra (15 digs, 1 ace), and Hayley Thramer (5 blocks).