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Here’s a can’t-miss early Christmas present idea – first-round and second-round tickets to the 2015 NCAA Volleyball Tournament. Big Ten Conference runner-up Nebraska (26-4), the NCAA Tournament’s No. 4 overall seed, will host both rounds at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The Huskers will face Harvard (15-10) Friday at 7 p.m., following a 4:30 p.m. match between Wichita State (26-8) and Kansas State (17-11).
Plenty of tickets are available for Nebraska’s opening run in the 2015 NCAA Tournament that will conclude with four NCAA Regional winners from Des Moines, Lexington, Austin and San Diego meeting at Omaha’s CenturyLink Center for two semifinals on Thursday, Dec. 17, and the NCAA Championship match on Saturday, Dec. 19.
The Omaha tickets have sold briskly, but opening-round tickets for Friday’s two first-round Lincoln matches and Saturday’s second-round match to make the Sweet 16 present perfect opportunities for fans who don’t have a chance to see the Huskers during the regular season.
All-session first and second-round tickets went on sale at 8 a.m. Monday on Huskers.com. Fans also can purchase tickets by calling Nebraska Athletics and Development Ticketing at 800-8-BIGRED. Another option is visiting Nebraska Athletics and Development Ticketing after 8 a.m. All-session ticket prices are $34 for reserved A and B levels and $30 for C level. All-session tickets include the two first-round matches on Friday, plus the second-round match on Saturday.
Nebraska Ranks Second in NCAA Tourney Wins, Third in Winning Percentage
Making its 34th straight NCAA Tournament appearance, Nebraska is 92-30 (.754) in its previous 33 appearances, ranking second among NCAA schools in wins and third in winning percentage.
Pac-12 champion USC was the NCAA’s No. 1 seed, followed by Big Ten champion Minnesota at No. 2, Big 12 champion Texas No. 3 and Big Ten runner-up Nebraska at No. 4. Having claimed nine of the 64 teams selected to compete in the NCAA Tournament, the Big Ten Conference led all leagues. Joining Minnesota and Nebraska are No. 6 Wisconsin, No. 7 Penn State, No. 12 Ohio State, plus Purdue, Illinois, Michigan and Michigan State.
Tickets in Lincoln should sell fast because Nebraska has won 10 straight matches after sweeping Illinois and Penn State last week, enabling the Huskers to reach their most wins in five seasons. Their NCAA Tournament bid at home also marks a 12th consecutive season that Nebraska will be one of the 16 first- and second-round host sites.
If this weekend’s NCAA launch matches last Saturday's annual Senior Night regular-season finale celebration against Penn State, Nebraska will be well equipped to advance to Lexington, Ky. That Regional also could include No. 5 overall seed Washington, No. 12 seed Ohio State or No. 13 seed BYU. If those schools sound familiar, there’s a reason. Nebraska, Washington and BYU were three of the four teams that competed in the 2014 Seattle Regional.
Four 6-foot-3 seniors were honored after Saturday night’s sweep of Penn State, and Cook considers all four as crucial leaders in their bid to finish the season in Omaha. They include:
Cecilia Hall, 6-3 Middle Blocker, Linkoping, Sweden
“Cecilia (above) has come a long way in five years,” Cook said. “When we were recruiting her, I remember asking CC if she could see herself coming here and she said ‘nope’...she’s amazing (with a laugh). She’s had some big matches for us. I’ve never seen a player work as hard as CC works, in the weight room, in practice…I mean, she’s right there in the top five all-time.”
Kelsey Fien, 6-3 Outside Hitter, Bakersfield, California
“Kelsey (above) was just buzzing against Penn State…it was 8:30 Saturday night...nothing else going on…those kids had to wait a day for this match,” Cook said. “Kelsey was an all-Big Ten performer as a junior and an honorable mention All-American, but she’s saved her best for her last year. When you play the big boys like Penn State and face physical teams, your left side has to do a good job and try to find kills. Kelsey just seems to get kills when we need ‘em. You can feel the momentum changing and then, all of a sudden, she just gets a kill.”
Meghan Haggerty, 6-3 Middle Blocker, Glen Ellyn, Illinois
“I was looking for an opportunity to get Meghan (above) in against Penn State Saturday night because she’s been on fire in practice,” Cook said, “but CC (Hall) was doing a really good job. During the senior ceremony, I told Meghan the story about the Kansas City Royals guy (Christian Colon) that hadn’t played for a month, yet comes in and gets the game-winning hit in the last World Series game. I told Meghan she has that story and she has to be ready because we’re going to need her in the NCAA Tournament.”
Alicia Ostrander, 6-3 Outside Hitter, Gordon, Nebraska
“It’s been difficult for Alicia (above) to find a spot, but she’s contributing in so many ways, and I’m really proud of her and the career she’s had here. She’s a great story, and I said it in her senior video: ‘We’re going to be talking about Alicia for years here. She’s one of those great, small-town Nebraska stories. She’s a girl who’s done everything. She still works her tail off in practice. She goes wherever we need her. She’s a great captain for this team, and we’re probably going to need her down the stretch, too. I would have no problem putting Alicia in a match.”
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