NCAA volleyball: Nebraska beats Creighton in record-setting match; Texas, K-State, Iowa St., KU win

Nebraska and Creighton delivered in a big way — Fox Sports be damned — with a five-set Huskers victory before a regular-season NCAA volleyball record crowd of 15,797 in Omaha’s CHI Health Center on Wednesday night.

It was the showcase match not only of Wednesday, but perhaps the NCAA pre-conference season, despite Fox Sports switching the match — seriously, this really happened — late in the fourth set from FS1 to FS2 to accommodate its Major League baseball pre-game show. If you happened to be someone who was watching on a delayed DVR ( raises its hand) you missed the fifth set. 

It was insulting to our sport and highly unprofessional by Fox Sports.

All that being said, however, the Big Ten’s Nebraska came away with a 25-18, 25-23, 25-27, 18-25, 15-9 victory that left it 6-0. And Creighton (5-2) served notice that it is, once again, more than just the best team in the Big East.

There were a handful of other matches Wednesday. Both Big 12 Kansas teams won as K-State beat Missouri in five and Kansas improved to 7-0 with a four-set win at Kansas City. Top-ranked Texas swept visiting UC Davis. The recaps follow.

THURSDAY: There is another showcase matches on tap when No. 10 BYU of the WCC plays at No. 5 Georgia Tech of the ACC. It’s part of a big weekend because No. 8 Ohio State plays BYU in Atlanta on Friday and then Sunday the Buckeyes play Georgia Tech.

Speaking of Ohio State, there are four matches involving two Big Ten teams, Northwestern playing twice in Seattle, first against Cal Poly and then No. 13 Washington. Indiana plays twice in Raleigh, North Carolina, first against Western Carolina and then the home team, the ACC’s NC State.

Two other ACC teams are in action Syracuse plays host to Army and Florida State goes to Nebraska-Omaha.

There are three matches involving Big 12 teams. Kansas plays host to Wichita State after the Shocker play unbeaten UNLV. Baylor, ranked No. 15, is home for Colorado State, and TCU plays Western Carolina at NC State.

The only SEC team in action is Mississippi State, which plays Kennesaw State.

And in the Pac-12, in addition to Washington, No. 22 UCLA plays at nearby Loyola Marymount.

Also, No. 21 Western Kentucky plays Northern Kentucky and No. 24 Pepperdine plays Cal Poly.

You can find the viewing links at the TV & Streaming Listings.

NEBRASKA-CREIGHTON: Whitney Lauenstein went off for a career-high 25 kills — the most by a Nebraska player since 2018 — and hit .385 to go with ttwo blocks and three digs. Lindsay Krause had 16 kills (with six errors), three blocks and two digs and Madi Kubik had 14 kills, an assist, a block and 12 digs. Bekka Allick had nine kills, hit .318, and had an assist, four digs and three blocks, two solo. The other middle, Kaitlyn Hord, had four kills, three blocks and six digs, one solo. Nicklin Hames, the Husker who wasn’t going to set this year, had 38 assists and 17 digs. The other setter, Annie Evans, had 25 assists and 17 digs. Libero Lexi Rodriguez had 18 digs and seven assists, and DS Kenzie Knuckles had 12 digs, three kills and two assists. Nebraska hit .244 and had no aces and 10 errors. It was the first time Nebraska didn’t have an ace since 2019.

Kiana Schmitt of Creighton pushes the ball over against Nebraska/Creighton photo

Creighton hit .202 and had three aces and five errors. Keeley Davis led with 19 kills, an assist and 15 digs. Norah Sis had 15 kills but seven errors and had a block and 12 digs. Kiana Schmitt had 10 kills, three digs and three blocks and Kiara Reinhardt had eight kills, a dig and four blocks, one solo. Kendra Wait had two kills, 45 assists, an ace, three blocks and 18 digs. Sky McCune had 22 digs and two assist and Allison Whitten had 15 digs, five assists and two aces.

Nebraska is back at it Saturday when Long Beach State visits. Long Beach State is coached by former Nebraska assistant Tyler Hildebrand. Creighton goes to Nebraska-Omaha on Friday and plays Florida State.

Creighton’s Kiara Reinhardt goes up as Nebraska’s Nicklin Hames tries to set/Creighton photo

The match lasted 3 hours, 5 minutes, the longest in Creighton history and the crowd was the 16th-largest in NCAA volleyball history. All the others have been in final fours, including No. 1, 18,755 in Columbus, Ohio, last December 18 when Wisconsin beat Nebraska in the NCAA final.

AROUND THE NATION: Texas of the Big 12 (5-0) overpowered visiting UC Davis of the Big West (4-3) 25-18, 25-19, 25-9. Melanie Parra led the Longhorns with 15 kills, hit .406, and had an ace, a block and five digs. Zoe Fleck had 19 digs and seven assists. Texas hit .337. UC Davis hit .111 … 

Kansas State of the Big 12 (6-1) held off visiting Missouri of the SEC (4-3) 27-25, 25-14, 24-26, 20-25, 15-10. K-State had four players with 10 or more kills, 23 by Shaylee Myers. She hit .419 and had an assist, two blocks and nine digs. Anne Dixon had 17 kills for Missouri to go with four blocks … 

Iowa State of the Big 12 (3-4 beat in-state rival Drake of the Missouri Valley (5-2) 25-13, 25-27, 25-19, 26-24. Eleanor Holthaus led the Cyclones with 14 kills as she hit .333 and had two blocks and eight digs. Alexis Englebrecht had eight kills, four digs and six blocks. Setter Jaden Newsome (photo below) had nine kills, 37 assists, two blocks and 10 digs. Drake got 18 kills from Haley Bush, who had a block and 10 digs … 

Kansas of the Big 12 (7-0) crossed the state line into Missouri and won 24-26, 25-13, 25-14, 25-16 at Kansas City of the Summit League (3-4). Kansas got 11 kills from Rachel Langs, who had no errors in 17 attacks and had nine blocks, four solo … 

Boston College improved to 7-0 with a sweep of 0-7 HartfordChattanooga won in five at UNC Asheville as Halle Olson (15 digs, two blocks) and Natalie Tyson (14 digs) had 21 kills apiece … Hampton won in five at Norfolk State behind Genevieve Reynolds, who had 10 kills, hit .368, and had five blocks, three solo … Fairfield beat St. John’s in five as four players had 11 or more kills, 13 by KJ Johnson, who had 10 digs and nine blocks, one solo.

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Iowa State’s Jaden Newsome tries to make the save against Drake/Luke Lu @KL6PHOTO

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