Dec. 17, 2008

Courtesy of Nebraska Athletics

The Nebraska volleyball team looks for its fourth national title in school history, as the Huskers travel to Qwest Center Omaha for the 2008 NCAA Championship. The fourth-ranked Huskers are making their 11th trip to the National Semifinals and third in the last four seasons. One of the largest crowds in NCAA history is expected, as nearly 17,000 tickets have been sold for this weekend’s matches.

Thursday’s first semifinal features No. 2 Stanford (30-3) and third-ranked Texas (29-3) with first serve coming at 6 p.m. The Huskers (31-2) will be in the evening’s second semifinal match, as they take on top-ranked and undefeated Penn State (36-0). That match will begin at 8 p.m. or 30 minutes following the first semifinal.  Thursday’s winners will square off Saturday night at 7 p.m. in the  national title match. All three matches this weekend will be televised by either ESPN2 or ESPNU with Beth Mowins and Karch Kiraly calling all the action.

All of Nebraska’s matches this weekend in Omaha will be carried across the state on the IMG Husker Sports Network with John Baylor, Diane Mendenhall and Dani Busboom calling all of the action. Fans can listen on flagship stations B107.3 FM in Lincoln, Twister 93.3 FM in Omaha and KRVN 880 AM in Lexington.

The Huskers have followed a similar script to their most recent national title two years ago. NU went four sets in its opener, swept its next two matches and then fell behind 2-0 in the regional title match, only to see the Huskers regroup and win the last three sets. Regional Most Outstanding Player Tara Mueller led the Huskers against fifth-ranked Washington with a career-high 24 kills and 16 digs, while Jordan Larson added 21 kills, 18 digs, four blocks and a pair of aces, including a service ace on match point to return Nebraska to Omaha.

Nebraska leads the all-time series with Penn State, 11-5, with seven of the meetings coming in the NCAA Tournament. NU has won the last two matchups, including a 3-0 sweep of Penn State in 2007. The Huskers will be looking to knock off a No. 1 team for the first time since defeating UCLA on Sept. 6, 1990.

2008 NCAA Championships
NCAA National Semifinals:
No. 3 Texas (29-3) vs. No. 2 Stanford (30-3)
Thursday, Dec. 18 • Qwest Center Omaha • 6 p.m.
TV: ESPNU (Ch. 614; DISH Network Ch. 148; Time Warner Cable Ch. 235; Cox Cable Ch. 220)
Live Stats:

NCAA Regional Semifinals: 
No. 4 Nebraska (31-2) at No. 1 Penn State (36-0)
Thursday, Dec. 18 • Qwest Center Omaha • 8 p.m.
Radio: Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and Twister 93.3 FM in Omaha, and on
Live Stats:
TV: Live on ESPN2, ESPNU (Ch. 614; DISH Network Ch. 148; TW Cable Ch. 235; Cox Cable Ch. 220) and

NCAA Championship:  Thursday’s Winners
Saturday, Dec. 20 • Qwest Center Omaha • 7 p.m.
Live Stats:
TV: Live on ESPN2 and