Nebraska beats Texas State, advances to round of 16 for 9th straight year

OMAHA, Neb. – In a season that’s been anything but normal, Nebraska looked like its usual dominant self in its opening match of the NCAA Volleyball Tournament Thursday.

The No. 5-seeded Huskers, coming off a bye in the first round, scored a dominant 25-18, 25-17, 25-20 sweep over Texas State. Nebraska had not played a match since March 26 after the the Huskers’ season-ending series against Penn State was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

Texas State, meanwhile, was playing its second match in as many days after beating Utah Valley on Wednesday. It was just the second NCAA Tournament win for the Bobcats. Texas State, having played both in the fall and spring, closed its season with a 31-9 record.

Nebraska improves to 15-2 and advances to the round of 16 for the ninth straight season. The Huskers will meet 12th-seeded Baylor on Sunday.

"Their last match was against Texas State, so we've seen them," Nebraska head coach John Cook told the Husker Sports Network after the match. "They've got (Yossiana) Pressley. That's all you need to know."

Madi Kubik had a team-high 13 kills, while Lauren Stivrins and Kayla Caffey had a combined 19 kills on just 26 swings. Nebraska hit a blistering .500 in set two to pull away from the Bobcats.

Texas State wouldn’t go away quietly, however, as the Bobcats forced a 20-20 draw late in the third set, but the Huskers rattled off the final five points of the match, including a pair of kills by Jazz Sweet, who has stepped in as a senior in place of injured sophomore Riley Zuhn.

Nebraska has now reached the Sweet 16 in all but two seasons since 1982.