The No. 2 Nebraska volleyball team opens its season against No. 18 Creighton on Friday, Aug. 30. Below, check out a match preview and how to watch the top-20 showdown.
The Huskers have yet to lose to Creighton, though the Bluejays and Huskers played a full five sets a year ago.
Nebraska-Creighton volleyball: Preview
Nebraska comes in with the No. 2 national ranking, returning First Team All-American middle blocker Lauren Stivrins and an 18-0 series record against Creighton. And the Huskers made it to the national championship match last season.
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But Creighton went 29-5 in 2018, reaching the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Bluejays also bring back senior setter Madelyn Cole, an Honorable Mention All-American, and middle blocker Megan Ballenger.
The teams have two of the best setters in the country. While Creighton has Cole, Nebraska counters with Nicklin Hames. An Honorable Mention All-American as a freshman, Hames averaged 10.49 assists and 3.32 digs per set. She also was second on the team with 40 service aces.
|Tale of the Tape||Creighton
|No. 2||Preseason ranking||No. 18|
20th season at Nebraska
560-76 at Nebraska
|Coach||Kirsten Bernthal Booth,
17th season at Creighton
346-165 at Creighton
|29-7 (15-5 Big Ten)||2018 record||29-5 (18-0 Big East)|
|Runner-up||2018 NCAA tournament||Second Round|
|37||NCAA tournament appearances||Eight|
|Lexi Sun, 327||Returning kills leader||Megan Ballenger, 299|
|Nicklin Hames, 1,395||Returning assists leader||Madelyn Cole, 1,289|
|Callie Schwarzenbach, 177||Returning blocks leader||Naomi Hickman, 109|
|Hames, 441||Returning digs leader||Brittany Witt, 510|
|vs. UCLA, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 31
|Next match||vs. No. 20 Baylor (Lincoln, Neb.), 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 31
Nebraska is unbeaten against the Bluejays, however Creighton took the first two sets in last year's meeting before the Huskers stormed back to avoid the upset. It was the first time the two programs reached a fifth set in their series history.
Lexi Sun is Nebraska's leading kills returner from 2018. She totaled 327 on the year despite missing the start of the season because of a back injury. In the NCAA tournament semifinal against Illinois, she had 19 kills and 12 digs in the five-set win.
Also, while the Huskers are No. 2 in the AVCA poll behind defending national champion Stanford, they weren't voted by the Big Ten coaches as the league favorite. Wisconsin received the most votes instead. Nebraska, Minnesota, Penn State and Illinois finished in the top 5.
Nebraska is also celebrating a piece of its historic past on Friday. Between the second and third sets, 2000 AVCA National Player of the Year setter Greichaly Cepero will be honored. Cepero helped lead the Huskers to a 123-10 record during her career.
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Creighton will look to its three senior preseason All-Big East players to lead: Ballenger, Cole and libero Brittany Witt.
The Bluejays are looking to pull off a top-5 upset to start the season for the second consecutive year. Creighton stunned then-No. 5 Kentucky, 3-2.
Nebraska-Creighton volleyball: How to watch, TV channel
Those in Nebraska can watch the 8 p.m. ET match on NET on Friday, Aug. 30. But the match can also be watched online through BTN+ here. It's also available to listen to on HSN, Huskers.com and the Huskers app.
Nebraska-Creighton volleyball history
The Huskers have dominated the in-state foe, going 18-0 all-time in a series that started in 1980. But last year's meeting was the closest the Bluejays have come to beating the Huskers. Creighton jumped out to a two-set lead before Nebraska took the last three, including 15-10 in the fifth set.
|Sept. 16, 1980||Nebraska, 2-0||15-11, 15-4|
|Oct. 7, 1980||Nebraska, 2-0||15-4, 15-0|
|Sept. 1, 1998||Nebraska, 3-0||15-2, 15-1, 15-3|
|Oct. 3, 2000||Nebraska, 3-0||15-5, 15-1, 15-0|
|Sept. 25, 2001||Nebraska, 3-0||30-15, 30-21, 30-22|
|Sept. 29, 2002||Nebraska, 3-0||30-11, 30-15, 30-14|
|Oct. 14, 2004||Nebraska, 3-0||30-22, 30-15, 30-24|
|Oct. 11, 2005||Nebraska, 3-0||30-11, 30-24, 30-18|
|Sept. 24, 2006||Nebraska, 3-1||27-30, 30-24, 30-13, 30-18|
|Aug. 31, 2007||Nebraska, 3-0||30-23, 30-18, 30-26|
|Oct. 5, 2008||Nebraska, 3-0||25-19, 25-18, 25-19|
|Sept. 1, 2009||Nebraska, 3-0||25-19, 25-23, 25-16|
|Aug. 31, 2010||Nebraska, 3-0||26-24, 25-18, 25-15|
|Sept. 8, 2011||Nebraska, 3-0||25-14, 26-24, 25-16|
|Sept. 17, 2014||Nebraska, 3-1||21-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-20|
|Sept. 15, 2015||Nebraska, 3-1||25-17, 25-19, 25-22|
|Sept. 17, 2016||Nebraska, 3-1||23-25, 25-13, 27-25, 25-18|
|Sept. 6, 2018||Nebraska, 3-2||22-25, 19-25, 25-18, 25-22, 15-10|