The largest crowd to ever see a regular-season NCAA volleyball match got its money’s worth Thursday night.
The 14,022 in Omaha saw visiting No. 7 Nebraska rally from 0-2 to beat No. 14 Creighton 22-25, 19-25, 25-18, 25-22, 15-10.
“What an awesome night of volleyball, to have the largest crowd in NCAA history,” Creighton coach Kirsten Bernthal-Booth said. “Pretty amazing. A five-set thriller where obviously we’re disappointed with how things finished, but what incredible fans we have in this state.”
Nebraska has Friday off, but Creighton continues with a home match against Iowa State on Friday.
Conversely, there were 1,051 fans in attendance in San Luis Obispo, Calif., when No. 22 Cal Poly scored one of its biggest regular-season victories ever as the Mustangs beat previously unbeaten No. 9 UCLA 25-21, 17-25, 25-11, 25-18. It was Cal Poly’s first win over a top-10 team since 2007. The same teams play again Friday.
Also Thursday, No. 6 Texas swept visiting Texas State with no time to rest, since the Longhorns play host to No. 16 Kentucky on Friday.
The recaps follow, but first a look at Friday’s busy schedule as non-conference play continues around the nation.
Top-ranked Minnesota goes to Stanford for the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge, where it plays No. 18 Oregon Friday night and then No. 4 Stanford on Sunday. Later Friday, Stanford plays No. 5 Penn State. Oregon and Penn State play Saturday.
Second-ranked Wisconsin goes to No. 15 Baylor.
No. 3 BYU is in Milwaukee where it plays No. 10 USC on Friday morning and then Syracuse on Friday afternoon. Host No. 25 Marquette plays USC on Friday night.
Eighth-ranked Florida is at Northern Arizona where it plays CSUN and then NAU on Friday before facing Southern Illinois on Saturday.
Cleveland State has an interesting gathering, where No. 11 Illinois plays Bowling Green and then the home team Friday and UC Irvine on Saturday.
The 11th-ranked Washington Huskies go cross country to play at No. 13 Pittsburgh. They face Dayton on Friday and Pittsburgh and Kennesaw State on Saturday. Pittsburgh plays KSU and Dayton Friday.
No. 16 San Diego plays host to Tennessee Friday and Saturday.
Purdue, ranked No. 19, is home for Xavier and Lipscomb, which also play Louisville on Friday.
No. 20 Michigan is also home for Oakland and LSU on Friday and plays Colorado State on Saturday. CSU also plays LSU and Oakland Friday.
The 22nd-ranked Utah Utes go to Philadelphia where they play host Villanova on Friday and Temple and High Point on Saturday.
No. 23 Washington State is home for McNeese and Illinois State, who both play Stony Brook.
Colorado, at No. 24, is at home and plays Georgia. Also at CU, Oklahoma faces North Carolina.
There are 20 total matches Friday involving ACC schools, including Florida State home for VCU, Miami at Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Duke at home for Cincinnati and Coastal Carolina. The complete ACC schedule is here.
In the Big Ten, action includes Michigan State going to Connecticut, where it plays Northeastern and Fairfield, and Ohio State at Towson, where it faces Princeton before taking on Missouri and the home team Saturday. The complete B1G schedule is here.
The Pac-12 slate includes Arizona at New Mexico, where the Wildcats play Montana and UTEP, and Cal at Portland State, where the Bears play Gonzaga and the home team. The complete Pac-12 schedule is here.
As always, VolleyballMag.com has our TV and streaming listings for every match that is being shown either on TV or the internet.
Big rally for Nebraska: The record crowd at CHI Health Center Omaha saw the Huskers improve to 5-1 after regrouping after being down 0-2.
Two Huskers had career nights as Mikaela Foecke led with 25 kills while hitting .351 to go with five blocks — one solo — 13 digs, an assist and four aces. Freshman Capri Davis exploded for 18 kills and had five digs, and Jazz Sweet added 12 kills while hitting .323 to go with a dig and two blocks. Another freshman, setter Nicklin Hames, had 56 assists, two kills, 11 digs and a block. And Megan Miller had three aces and seven digs. Kenzie Maloney had a career-high 25 digs.
Nebraska won 3-2 over a top-15 opponent on the road after trailing 0-2 for the first time since being down 0-2 at No. 1 Penn State on Oct. 2, 2015.
Creighton (4-3), which has yet to beat Nebraska, got a a monster night out of Taryn Kloth, who had a career-high 26 kills and just two errors in 60 attacks to hit .400. She had an assist, an ace, five digs and four blocks, one solo. Jaali Winters had 18 kills, an assist, an ace and 18 digs, and Jaela Zimmerman had 10 kills, hit .400 and two blocks.
The previous largest volleyball-only regular-season crowd in NCAA history had been 13,870 when UCLA faced Nebraska on Sept. 13, 2009. This one took 2 hours, 24 minutes.
While Creighton goes right into battle Friday with Iowa State, has Saturday off and plays Wichita State on Sunday, Nebraska has two days off before Iowa State goes to Lincoln.
Cal Poly takes down UCLA: There were a lot of story lines. Cal Poly’s Torrey Van Winden transferred from UCLA. UCLA beat Cal Poly in the second round of last year’s NCAA Tournament. So Cal Poly (6-1) was extra excited to win its home opener.
Van Winden led with 18 kills. She added an assist, two aces, 13 digs and two blocks. Sister Adlee Van Winden had 12 kills, an ace and 14 digs. And Meredith Phillips had 10 kills and didn’t make an error in 20 attacks to hit .500 and added two blocks.
UCLA (4-1) got 13 kills from Jenny Mosser, who had 16 digs and two blocks. Hawley Harrer had seven kills and Kyra Rogers and Mac May six each.
Texas sweeps Texas State: The Longhorns (4-1) dominated their visitors from the Sun Belt Conference 25-18, 25-19, 25-19 Micaya White led with 10 kills, an assist, an ace and 10 digs. Yaazie Bedart-Ghani and Logan Eggleston had nine kills each and both hit .500. Bedart-Ghani had three aces and Eggleston had two aces, five digs and three blocks, one solo.
Texas State (4-4) got 15 kills from Amy Pflughaupt, who hit .379 to go with four digs.
Texas A&M sweeps Pepperdine: The Aggies (5-2) won 25-20, 25-18, 25-22 as Hollann Hans led a balanced attack with nine kills. She had three aces, four digs, an assist and a block. Camile Conor had eight kills with no errors in 12 swings, three aces, seven digs and a block.
Pepperdine (4-3) hit .069. Both teams play Missouri State and Nicholls State on Friday.
Also in College Station on Thursday, Missouri State (4-4) swept Nicholls State (2-6). Three Bears led with six kills.
TCU wins Metroplex battle: The Horned Frogs (5-3) beat visiting SMU (1-5) 25-23, 25-21, 25-27, 25-21 as Anna Walsh had 19 kills, hit .44, and had three digs and seven blocks, one solo. élan McCall added 16 kills, 11 digs, an ace and three blocks, and Sarah Swanson had 11 kills, two digs and five blocks.
SMU got 10 kills from Kelly Brunstein, who had five blocks, and eight kills from Lexi Nordmann, who added six blocks.
Hawai’i, Long Beach State get wins: Hawai’i (3-2) of the Big West beating visiting Idaho (4-3) 25-21, 23-25, 25-18, 25-22 the 24th Annual Outrigger Volleyball Challenge. McKenna Granato (.410) led with 19 kills, an ace and seven digs. Sarah Liva (.563) and Natasha Burns (.667) added nine kills each. Liva had an ace, three blocks and two digs, and Burns a dig and four blocks, two solo.
Kaela Straw continued to lead Idaho as she had 20 kills while hitting .357 to go with two digs and a block. Sarah Sharp added 13 kills, two blocks and two digs.
Also at Hawai’i, Portand is 7-0 after it swept San Diego State (1-6). Reghan Pukis led with 12 kills, hitting .417.
The other Big West team in action, Long Beach State, beat Princeton at Towson, Md., 15-25, 25-19, 26-24, 14-25, 15-8. The Beach (5-4) was led by Tyler Spriggs, who had 18 kills while hitting .366. She added an assist, an ace, two blocks and 16 digs. Kashauna Williams had 13 kills, and Hailey Harward had 10, 14 digs, an ace and four blocks, one solo. Emma Kirst had 10 blocks, one solo. Long Beach won despite hitting .149.
Princeton (3-1) got 18 kills from Devon Peterkin, who hit .389 and had an assist, an ace and 14 digs. Clare Lenihan added 13 kills while hitting .400.
Boise State improves to 6-0: The Broncos won at Santa Clara 25-21, 26-24, 25-16 to get to 6-0 for the first time. Sabryn Roberts led with 13 kills while hitting .462. She had one error in 26 swings and aded six digs and two blocks. Four other Broncos had five or more kills, including Morgan Hughes, who had six in 10 errorless swings, three digs and four blocks.
Santa Clara (4-4) hit .097.
Also Thursday: Air Force (6-2) swept visiting CSU Bakersfield (2-5) as Denise Ssozi had 14 kills and hit .462 … Central Arkansas (6-2) beat Little Rock (5-3 in five as Haley Tippett had 24 kills, 19 digs, two assists, an ace and a block …
Utah Valley (6-3) had to go five to beat Campbell (2-6). Kazna Tarawhiti continued to light it up, leading with 18 kills, four digs and two blocks. Jessica Stocking had 15 kills, three aces, 10 digs and two blocks, one solo, for the Fighting Camels …
Charlotte swept Gardner-Webb, East Carolina swept Eastern Washington and UMKC beat visiting Arkansas State in five. UMKC (4-3) got 16 kills from Tyrecia Lukes, who hit .429 and had five blocks, two solo, and 15 kills from Alicia Harrington. Arkansas State’s Macey Putt had 11 kills, two aces, an assist, 11 digs and four blocks, one solo.