• After a six-month wait, Volleyball Day in Nebraska is finally here. The fourth-ranked Nebraska volleyball team will play in front of one of the largest crowds all-time for a women’s sporting event when it hosts Omaha on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.
• To begin the day, UNK will play Wayne State in an exhibition at 4:30 p.m. Memorial Stadium gates will open at 3:30 p.m.
• Fans are encouraged to visit Huskers.com/VolleyballDay for all the latest information leading up to the historic event.
HOW TO WATCH AND LISTEN
• Wednesday’s Nebraska-UNO match will be televised nationally on Big Ten Network and streamed on FoxSports.com. The UNK and Wayne State exhibition will be televised on Nebraska Public Media and will be best of three sets.
• The Huskers Radio Network will broadcast all the action on their radio affiliates, including 107.3 FM in Lincoln and AM 590 in Omaha. A live audio stream will be provided at Huskers.com and on the Huskers app.
• John Baylor is in his 30th season doing play-by-play for the Husker volleyball program. Lauren (Cook) West, a former All-America setter for the Huskers, will provide color commentary.
FREE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Welcome to the Big Red Volleyball Express and thank you for taking part in Volleyball Day in Nebraska. As part of the Nebraska Athletics parking plan, fans will have access to a free bus service from satellite lots within the city of Lincoln. There will be 40-50 buses running routes to and from Memorial Stadium. Lot pickup areas are listed below. Please look for Arrow Stage Line buses after you’ve parked. It is important that you read our updated Volleyball Day in Nebraska Game Day page to understand what prohibited items exist so you can leave non-compliant items in your vehicle or at home. Please pay special attention to the Clear Bag Policy. Visit www.huskers.com/operations to review important game day information.
The Nebraska Athletics Big Red Volleyball Express public transportation begins at 4:00 p.m. with the last pregame trip at 6:30 p.m. Drop-off and pick-up will be on R St. near the Lied Center. Return trips will begin at 8:15 p.m. and run continuously until approximately 11:30 p.m.
Northwest High School - 4901 W Holdrege St. Lincoln NE
North Star High School – 5801 N. 33rd St. Lincoln, NE
Gateway Mall – 6100 O St. Lincoln, NE (largest capacity area)
SouthPointe Pavilions - 2910 Pine Lake Rd. Lincoln, NE
HUSKERS AIM TO SHATTER ATTENDANCE RECORD
• The largest NCAA volleyball regular-season attendance is 16,833 when Wisconsin hosted Florida at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis., on Sept. 16, 2022.
• The largest-ever crowd for any NCAA volleyball match is 18,755 when Nebraska played Wisconsin on Dec. 18, 2021 in the NCAA Final at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
• The American record attendance for a women’s sporting event is 90,185 for the USA vs. China FIFA World Cup final on July 10, 1999 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
• The world record attendance for a women’s sporting event is 91,648 for the Barcelona vs. Wolfsburg UEFA Champions League match on April 22, 2022 at Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain.
• The Husker volleyball program has sold out 306 consecutive regular-season matches, though the Memorial Stadium match would not count toward the streak as it is being played outside the Huskers’ main home facility, the Devaney Center. Nebraska’s sellout streak is an NCAA women’s record. The Huskers have led the nation in attendance every season since moving into the Bob Devaney Sports Center in 2013.
• Eight of the top nine crowds in NCAA volleyball history are matches that have involved the Huskers.
• Of the 14 largest NCAA volleyball regular-season crowds, 13 have been Nebraska matches.
• When Nebraska played at Creighton on Sept. 7, 2022 at the CHI Health Center, a then-regular-season NCAA record crowd of 15,797 turned out to watch the Huskers defeat the Bluejays, 3-2. It shattered the previous regular-season record of 14,022 (set by Nebraska and Creighton in 2018). The record lasted nine days, however, as Wisconsin and Florida drew a crowd of 16,833 to the Kohl Center on Sept. 16.
ABOUT THE HUSKERS
• Nebraska is coming off a successful opening weekend, going 3-0 with three sweeps at the Ameritas Players Challenge. Harper Murray (most outstanding player), Lexi Rodriguez and Laney Choboy were all named to the All-Tournament Team.
• Murray was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week after averaging 3.67 kills per set with a .343 hitting percentage. She also posted 2.33 digs per set and totaled six blocks, five aces and four set assists.
• Merritt Beason contributed 3.11 kills per set and 2.00 digs per set.
• Andi Jackson averaged 2.17 kills per set with a team-best .526 hitting percentage and put up 11 blocks in two matches played. Bekka Allick had 2.00 kills per set and a .304 hitting percentage and also had 11 blocks in two matches as the Huskers rotated their middle blockers all weekend.
• Freshman setter Bergen Reilly became just the second true freshman setter to be a day one starter under John Cook (Nicklin Hames). Reilly had 9.33 assists per set and 2.78 digs per set in the three wins.
• Libero Lexi Rodriguez led the NU back row with 3.67 digs per set.
• The Huskers, who led the nation in defense in 2022, held their three opponents to a combined .064 hitting percentage, which ranks fifth in the nation.
• The Big Red averaged 3.11 blocks per set on opening weekend, good for a tie for 18th nationally.
• Nebraska is 17-1 all-time against Omaha. The lone UNO win was on Sept. 2, 1986.
• The teams last played on Sept. 3, 2021, a 3-2 Husker win at the Devaney Center after the Huskers trailed 2-1.
• Nebraska is 2-0 against Omaha both in the John Cook era and in UNO’s Division I era.
SCOUTING REPORT: OMAHA
• Omaha went 0-2 on the first weekend of the season. The Mavericks hosted a four-team tournament at Baxter Arena, falling 3-1 to Texas A&M and 3-0 to Kansas.
• Kali Jurgensmeier and Shayla McCormick led the Mavs with 2.86 kills per set in the two matches. McCormick hit a team-best .237 and added 2.00 digs per set.
• McKenna Ruch had eight blocks to lead the Mavericks defensively.
• Omaha is coming off a 20-11 season and 14-4 record in the Summit League last year. That came one year after the Mavericks won the Summit League regular-season title with a 16-2 conference record. Head Coach Matt Buttermore took over the program in 2019 and has led the Mavs to back-to-back 20-win seasons, their first since making the transition to Division I in 2011.
HUSKERS RANKED NO. 4 IN AVCA COACHES POLL
• Nebraska is ranked fourth in the AVCA Coaches Poll this week.
• The Huskers have been ranked in the top 10 a total of 544 times, which is also the most in NCAA history.
• Nebraska has appeared in all 605 AVCA Coaches Polls it has been eligible for since it was established in 1982. Nebraska is the only program to be ranked in every eligible poll all-time.
• Nebraska’s 605 consecutive weeks of being ranked is the longest active streak in Division I for any sport, leading Connecticut women’s basketball and North Carolina women’s soccer.
• Nebraska has been ranked No. 1 in 102 all-time polls, the most in NCAA history.
AVCA HALL OF FAMER JOHN COOK IN 24TH SEASON AT NEBRASKA
• Nebraska head coach John Cook is in his 24th season as the Nebraska volleyball head coach in 2023. He has led the Huskers to four national championships, 10 final fours, 12 conference championships and 21 top-10 final rankings since 2000.
• Cook has 820 career wins and is one of the all-time winningest coaches in NCAA history. Since taking over the program in 2000, Cook has led the Huskers to a nation-leading .871 win percentage (659-98).
• Under Cook, the Huskers have achieved 64 AVCA All-Americans and 20 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, both among the best in the nation. He is a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year, earning the prestigious honor in 2000 and 2005, and a seven-time conference coach of the year, including Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2016 and 2017, his first and second Big Ten honors with the Huskers in their Big Ten era (2011-present).
• Cook is one of only two active coaches - and one of six all-time - to be a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year and was honored in 2008 by USA Volleyball, receiving its All-Time Great Coach Award.
• Cook was inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame in 2017, joining former Husker volleyball coach Terry Pettit in the hall.
MURRAY NAMED BIG TEN FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
• Nebraska freshman outside hitter Harper Murray was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Monday by the conference office.
• In her first collegiate matches, Murray led the Huskers to a 3-0 record at the Ameritas Players Challenge. The Ann Arbor, Mich., native averaged 3.67 kills per set with a .343 hitting percentage. She also posted 2.33 digs per set and totaled six blocks, five aces and four set assists.
• Murray had nine kills on .350 hitting with five blocks and four digs in her collegiate debut against Utah State. She followed with 10 kills on .389 hitting with seven digs and three aces. Murray finished the weekend with 14 kills on .310 hitting with 10 digs for her first collegiate double-double.
• Nebraska is coming off a 26-6 (16-4 Big Ten) season and second-place finish in the Big Ten. The Huskers advanced to an NCAA regional semifinal, where they lost to Oregon in five sets. NU ended the year at No. 9 in the AVCA Coaches Poll, its 11th straight year finishing in the top 10 of the AVCA poll.
• Nebraska had a nation-leading opponent hitting percentage of .128 this season. Junior libero and co-captain Lexi Rodriguez is back to lead the Huskers defensively once again. Rodriguez is a two-time AVCA All-American and is 12 digs away from reaching 1,000 for her career.
• Sophomore middle blocker Bekka Allick was named to the AVCA All-Region Team in 2022 after finishing her first season as a Husker with 1.89 kills per set, 1.01 blocks per set and a team-high .326 hitting percentage. Allick was an All-Big Ten Second Team and a unanimous All-Big Ten Freshman Team member.
• Junior opposite hitter Merritt Beason was an All-SEC and AVCA All-Region selection as a sophomore at Florida in 2022 before transferring to Nebraska and being named a team captain for the 2023 season. In her sophomore season at Florida, Beason helped the Gators win a share of the SEC Championship by averaging 3.35 kills per set with a .261 hitting percentage.
• Junior outside hitter Lindsay Krause averaged 2.25 kills per set with a .269 hitting percentage and totaled 44 blocks and 45 digs last season. Over the final 12 matches of the season, Krause averaged 2.72 kills per set with a .359 hitting percentage.
• Ally Batenhorst posted 2.33 kills per set to go with 1.06 digs per set in 2022. The junior outside hitter was named to the Louisville Regional All-Tournament Team after 15 kills and 12 digs against No. 9 Oregon in the NCAA regional semifinal.