Thursday, 23 May 2024

Nebraska Defeats Pitt for a Spot in 2023 NCAA Final

The Nebraska Cornhuskers have secured their place in the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship match after a commanding 3-0 victory over Pitt. The game took place at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., with a record-breaking crowd in attendance.

Nebraska, having reached the final in 2021 before losing to Wisconsin, will now wait to face the winner of the Texas versus Wisconsin match. Pitt, on the other hand, finished their season with a commendable 29-4 record. The attendance at the game, a staggering 19,598 fans, was the highest in the history of NCAA women’s indoor volleyball.

The Cornhuskers’ victory was fueled by their formidable defense, which included an impressive 15 total team blocks. Notably, they achieved a school-record of 17 total team blocks in the previous match against Arkansas.

Head coach John Cook expressed his satisfaction with the team’s performance, acknowledging the strength of the Pittsburgh team. He highlighted the importance of winning critical points and praised the serving, blocking, and defense of his players.

Freshman outside hitter Harper Murray, who had 13 kills and a .273 hitting percentage, made a significant contribution to the team’s success. With her prior experience as a member of the U.S. Girls U19 National Team, Murray’s skills were on full display.

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Sophomore middle blocker Bekka Allick was another standout player, recording three solo blocks and seven block assists, along with four kills. Allick had previously represented the U.S. Women’s U21 National Team, winning gold at the U21 Pan American Cup.

Merritt Beason and Ally Batenhorst, both juniors, also made significant contributions to the Cornhuskers’ victory with their eight kills each. Beason, in particular, displayed her prowess with four aces, four digs, and five block assists.

The team’s offense was led by freshman setter Bergen Reilly, who delivered 31 assists and even managed to secure a kill herself. Reilly’s exceptional performance earned her the titles of MVP and Best Setter at the 2022 U19 Pan American Cup.

With a well-balanced lineup that included several talented freshmen, the Cornhuskers demonstrated their competitive spirit and ability to perform under pressure. Coach Cook praised the strong competitive nature of the team’s freshman players, emphasizing their growth and potential.

Pitt, too, showcased their talent with freshman outside hitter Olivia Babcock leading their offense with 12 kills. Despite falling short in this match, Babcock expressed her optimism for the future, looking forward to the team’s continued growth and improvement.

To summarize, Nebraska’s victory over Pitt has secured them a spot in the 2023 NCAA Final. With a stellar performance from their defensive line and contributions from key players, the Cornhuskers displayed their dominance on the court. As they await their next opponent, the team is eager to continue their journey towards the championship title.

## FAQs

**Q: Who are the top players in the Nebraska Cornhuskers' lineup?**
A: Some of the notable players in the Nebraska Cornhuskers' lineup include freshman outside hitter Harper Murray and sophomore middle blocker Bekka Allick.

**Q: How did Pitt perform in the match against Nebraska?**
A: Although Pitt was defeated by Nebraska, they put up a strong fight, led by their freshman outside hitter Olivia Babcock with 12 kills.

**Q: What was the attendance like at the match between Nebraska and Pitt?**
A: The match between Nebraska and Pitt drew a record-breaking crowd of 19,598 fans, making it the most attended NCAA women's indoor volleyball match in history.

## Summary

The Nebraska Cornhuskers have secured a spot in the 2023 NCAA Final with a convincing victory over Pitt. Demonstrating their defensive prowess and strong offensive lineup, the Cornhuskers dominated the match and showcased their determination to claim the championship title. As they await their next opponent, the team continues to grow and improve, fueled by the competitive spirit of their talented freshman players. With a record-breaking crowd in attendance, the atmosphere was electric, highlighting the immense popularity and support for NCAA women's indoor volleyball.

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