Pitt, Louisville, Wisconsin, and Nebraska — which upset Texas — advance to NCAA volleyball national semis

Pittsburgh, Louisville, and Wisconsin were already in the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship by the time Texas played host to Nebraska in the last match Saturday. And then the 10th-seeded Huskers scored the only upset of the four regional finals by knocking out second-seeded Texas on its home court.

Third-seeded Pitt (30-3) opened Saturday’s NCAA Tournament regional final play by knocking out sixth-seeded Purdue (26-7) 25-20, 28-30, 25-20, 25-15 and became the first ACC team to make it to the national semifinals in 10 years.

A few hours later the Panthers were joined by ACC-champion, top-seeded and unbeaten  Louisville (32-0), which beat another ACC team, Georgia Tech (26-6) 25-18, 21-25, 25-21, 25-20. Florida State, which made it in 2011, was the only previous ACC team to make it that far.

Louisville will play Thursday in Columbus, Ohio, against fourth-seeded Wisconsin (29-3), which swept 12th-seeded Minnesota (22-9) 25-16, 26-24, 25-22 in a battle of Big Ten powers.

And then Nebraska (25-7) of the Big Ten beat Texas (27-2) of the Big 12 25-19, 25-23, 23-25, 25-21 and will play Pitt on Thursday.

We will have a full recap of the four regional finals on Sunday.

Last spring, Kentucky beat Texas in four to win the SEC’s first volleyball title.

Kentucky also won the first NCAA championship match since 1989 that didn’t include a PAC-12 or Big Ten team. In ’89, Long Beach State beat Nebraska, which was then in the Big Eight.

Since the NCAA began holding the women’s tournament in 1981 only 11 teams have won it all. Stanford has nine titles; Penn State seven; Nebraska five; UCLA four; Hawai’i, Long Beach State, and USC three each; Pacific and Texas two each; and Kentucky and Washington one each.

This will be the first time since 1998 that a PAC-12 team won’t be in the final four.

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