Tuesday, 23 January, 2018

Foecke Leads #5 Nebraska to Championship Match, 5-Set Win Over PSU

Nebraska’s Hunter Foecke & Maloney Have Never Lost To Penn State Huskers believe they have come a long way since first meeting against Florida
Lucia Summers | 15 December, 2017, 14:38

Penn State women's volleyball lost its seventh straight match against Nebraska in Thursday's NCAA semifinals, dropping a 3-2 thriller to the Cornhuskers in Kansas City.

"Penn State Nebraska bring out the best in each other", Cook said afterward.

The Huskers won the first set 25-18. Ali Frantti and Heidi Thelen added nine kills apiece, with seven blocks for Thelen.

Libero Kenzie Maloney had four ace serves while Hunter Atherton and Albrecht had two each.

"I think it's a shift of momentum", said senior middle blocker Haleigh Washington, second on the team in kills with 13. She also had 19 digs, and took the most swings - 54 - of anyone on either side of this high-drama, back-and-forth battle that showcased the best attributes of college volleyball. The teams traded points until Hunter's kill ended the match. Two PSU miscues and kills by Holman and Albrecht aided the rally. And for the second consecutive tournament, the Nittany Lions can blame the Huskers for that. However, Nebraska rebounded once again to take the lead at 14-13. They also advanced to their eighth title match, where they will try to secure their fifth national championship. That point proved to be the difference in the set as the Nittany Lions closed out the third on an 8-2 run and took the frame 26-24.

Penn State's previous season low was.227 against Nebraska in a 3-0 NU win September 22, and again Saturday Nebraska's serving dealt Penn State problems.

Nebraska regained the lead with a 9-1 run where the Huskers claimed a 17-12 lead. But the Huskers had a run in them.

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Sweet scored to make it 10-8, and on the ensuing rally, Penn State again tried to find Lee, throwing her a tricky bump set in the back row.

Buoyed by its emotional third set win, Penn State started the fourth set with a objective, and it was clear the Nittany Lions had all of the momentum. The Huskers rallied with an 11-5 run, capped by three straight blocks, to grab a 20-18 lead. She looked at Albrecht and Foecke for help. "She's beaten Penn State seven straight times". Unlike the first set, however, the Nittany Lions held their nerve and held off multiple runs from Nebraska to see off the set and even the match at one set apiece.

Annika Albrecht and Briana Holman added 13 kills each, while Jazz Sweet finished with 12 kills. A block by Gorrell and Thelen and a Washington putdown gave PSU a 13-12 advantage.

She responded by leading the Huskers with 402 kills and also compiling 262 digs and 58 blocks coming into Thursday's match. The next two went to Penn State, 25-23 and 26-24. Kills by Sweet and Stivrins sealed the 28-26 win and sent the match to a decisive fifth set.

Holman came up big for the Huskers in the first set with five kills on six attempts and no errors. A service error and Lee putaway thwarted two efforts and another Lee putdown stopped a third at 25-24.

BC-VOL-NCAA-Nebraska-Penn St, 1st Ld-Writethru, 144Nebraska rallies past Penn State in NCAA volleyball semisAP Photo MOCR119, MOCR118, MOCR116, MOCR113, MOCR121, MOCR114, MOCR112, MOCR110, MOCR111, MOCR105, MOCR102Eds: APNewsNow.

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