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Jacob Myers | NCAA.com | February 24, 2019

2018 NCAA volleyball championship: Stanford defeats Nebraska to win national championship

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MINNEAPOLIS ‚ÄĒ¬†The Stanford Cardinal is the 2018 NCAA Division I national champion.

This is the Cardinal's Division I-high eighth national title. Meghan McClure delivered the decisive point in a thrilling five-set match (28-26, 22-25, 25-16, 15-25, 15-12) against the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

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The national championship match was nothing short of an instant classic between two of the most storied programs in the sport's history. After Stanford dominated the third set, it looked like it was clearly headed for a championship. But the Huskers countered by winning nine of the first 10 points of the fourth set and hitting .412 in the set to extend the match.

Nebraska had the momentum, but to think that the fifth set would be anything but a back-and-forth nail-biter was to deny the fact that these were clearly the best two teams on the court. Nebraska outside hitter Lexi Sun had back-to-back kills to tie the match at nine. Stanford then countered with a huge 5-1 run, punctuated by a ace from defensive specialist Sidney Wilson. Nebraska coach John Cook challenged that the ball was out, but the call stood.

Three points later, McClure broke through the Stanford block and dove to the floor as the Cardinal celebrated its second championship in three years.

Stanford's two-time AVCA player of the year Kathryn Plummer was named co-Most Outstanding Player with libero Morgan Hentz, who had a career-high 32 digs. Plummer had a double-double with 19 kills and 10 digs. The difference-maker for Stanford on Saturday night had to be freshman middle Holly Campbell who had a career-high 15 kills and hit .483.

 Mikaela Foecke was outstanding once again for Nebraska. She had 27 kills and hit just less than .300 with 71 swings. She will be remembered as an all-time great at Nebraska. Lauren Stivrins was tremendous for the Huskers as well, with 19 kills and a .615 hitting percentage.

Lastly, the All-tournament team was named as follows: Jacqueline Quade (Illinois), Lauren Stivrins (Nebraska), Mikaela Foecke (Nebraska), Audriana Fitzmorris (Stanford), Jenna Gray (Stanford), Morgan Hentz (Stanford), Kathryn Plummer (Stanford).

That match will be a tough one to top at the 2019 national semifinals and championship in Pittsburgh. Thanks for tuning into another spectacular volleyball season. Be sure to look at the blog below with all the highlights from the 2018 national championship match.

NCAA volleyball championship: Nebraska-Stanford highlights


NCAA volleyball championship: Schedule

Game Site Date Time (ET) Network
Stanford 3, Nebraska 2 Minneapolis, Minn. Saturday, Dec. 15 9 p.m. ESPN2
Game Site Date Time (ET) Network
No. 1 Stanford 3, No. 4 BYU 0 Minneapolis, Minn. Thursday, Dec. 13 7 p.m. ESPN
No. 7 Nebraska 3, No. 3 Illinois 2 Minneapolis, Minn. Thursday, Dec. 13 9 p.m. ESPN

How they got here

No. 1 Stanford (22nd appearance):

  • First round: Alabama State, 3-0
  • Second round: Loyola Marymount, 3-0
  • Regional semifinal: No. 16 Washington, 3-1
  • Regional final: No. 8 Penn State, 3-1

No. 4 BYU (3rd appearance):

  • First round: Stony Brook, 3-0
  • Second round: Utah, 3-0
  • Regional semifinal: Florida, 3-1
  • Regional final: No. 5 Texas, 3-0

No. 3 Illinois (4th appearance):

  • First round: Eastern Michigan, 3-0
  • Second round: Louisville, 3-1
  • Regional semifinal: No. 14 Marquette, 3-0
  • Regional final: No. 6 Wisconsin, 3-1

No. 7 Nebraska (15th appearance):

  • First round: Hofstra, 3-0
  • Second round: Missouri, 3-0
  • Regional semifinal: No. 10 Kentucky, 3-0
  • Regional final: No. 15 Oregon, 3-0

Championship History

2018 Stanford (34-1) Kevin Hambly 3-2 Nebraska Minneapolis
2017 Nebraska (32-4) John Cook 3-1 Florida Kansas City
2016 Stanford (26-7) John Dunning 3-1 Texas Columbus
2015 Nebraska (32-4) John Cook 3-0 Texas Omaha
2014 Penn State (36-3) Russ Rose 3-0 BYU Oklahoma City
2013 Penn State (34-2) Russ Rose 3-1 Wisconsin Seattle
2012 Texas (29-4) Jerritt Elliott 3-0 Oregon Louisville
2011 UCLA (29-6) Michael Sealy 3-1 Illinois San Antonio, Texas
2010 Penn State (32-5) Russ Rose 3-0 California UMKC
2009 Penn State (38-0) Russ Rose 3-2 Texas South Florida
2008 Penn State (38-0) Russ Rose 3-0 Stanford Nebraska
2007 Penn State (34-2) Russ Rose 3-2 Stanford Sacramento State
2006 Nebraska (33-1) John Cook 3-1 Stanford Nebraska
2005 Washington (32-1) Jim McLaughlin 3-0 Nebraska UTSA
2004 Stanford (30-6) John Dunning 3-0 Minnesota Long Beach State
2003 Southern California (35-0) Mick Haley 3-1 Florida Dallas
2002 Southern California (31-1) Mick Haley 3-1 Stanford New Orleans
2001 Stanford (33-2) John Dunning 3-0 Long Beach State San Diego State
2000 Nebraska (34-0) John Cook 3-2 Wisconsin VCU
1999 Penn State (36-1) Russ Rose 3-0 Stanford Hawaii
1998 Long Beach State (36-0) Brian Gimmillaro 3-2 Penn State Wisconsin
1997 Stanford (33-2) Don Shaw 3-2 Penn State Washington State
1996 Stanford (31-2) Don Shaw 3-0 Hawaii Cleveland State
1995 Nebraska (32-1) Terry Pettit 3-1 Texas Massachusetts
1994 Stanford (31-2) Don Shaw 3-1 UCLA Texas
1993 Long Beach State (32-2) Brian Gimmillaro 3-1 Penn State Wisconsin
1992 Stanford (31-2) Don Shaw 3-1 UCLA New Mexico
1991 UCLA (31-5) Andy Banachowski 3-2 Long Beach State UCLA
1990 UCLA (36-1) Andy Banachowski 3-0 Pacific Maryland
1989 Long Beach State (32-5) Brian Gimmillaro 3-0 Nebraska Hawaii
1988 Texas (34-5) Mick Haley 3-0 Hawaii Minnesota
1987 Hawaii (37-2) Dave Shoji 3-1 Stanford Indianapolis
1986 Pacific (39-3) John Dunning 3-0 Nebraska Pacific
1985 Pacific (36-3) John Dunning 3-1 Stanford Western Michigan
1984 UCLA (33-6) Andy Banachowski 3-2 Stanford UCLA
1983 Hawaii (34-2) Dave Shoji 3-0 UCLA Kentucky
1982 Hawaii (33-1) Dave Shoji 3-2 Southern California Pacific
1981 Southern California (27-10) Chuck Erbe 3-2 UCLA UCLA
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