Lincoln, NE - In front of a huge crowd at the Nebraska Coliseum, John Cook's Nebraska Cornhuskers volleyball squad took down the top ranked team in the nation, the UCLA Bruins (25-20, 25-23, 23-25, 19-25, 15-13) on Saturday night. This win was not only significant because UCLA is No. 1, but they are also the defending National Champions.
"What I think is special about this is forget the rankings. They are the defending national champions. They ended their season on a win last year," said Cook. "That's a meaningful win for us..rankings don't mean much right now."
The Huskers were dominant in their first two sets, but were countered with a huge comeback by the Bruins. It looked like Nebraska was going to let the game slip out of their hands deep into the fifth set, but a double block by the Huskers gave them a 14-13 lead, their first lead since the fourth set. A Morgan Broekhuis kill would give the Huskers the win, which had the fans erupting.
"You have to give the Coliseum some credit. The kids stayed in the moment and didn't worry about the scoreboard," said Cook. "Those kids just believed."
This is the second straight season that the Huskers have beaten the top ranked team in the country, last year they knocked off conference opponent Illinois in five sets. This is also the third time in history that the Huskers have beaten the UCLA Bruins while they were ranked number one.
Four Huskers tallied double digit kills: Hannah Werth, Gina Mancuso, Broekhuis and freshman Megan Haggerty. The first year player, playing in her second collegiate game, had 17 kills Saturday night with a .600 hitting percentage.
"I was a little surprised after seeing her play last night," said Coook. "She wants to be great. I think she decided she was going to start tonight."
Nebraska is now 2-0 on the season and will take on Notre Dame, tomorrow in Omaha at the CenturyLink Center at 1:30 P.M. The game can been seen on BTN.com with a subscription.
- Josh Harvey -