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Longhorns Punch Ticket to NCAA Championship National Semifinal
December 14, 2013

With a 3-0 win (25-18, 25-22, 25-23) over eighth-seeded Nebraska (26-7), the Texas Longhorns (27-2) earned a spot in the NCAA Volleyball National Semifinals. UT won its 10th straight postseason match over the Huskers on their home court in Lincoln as the Big 12 improves to 8-3 in postseason play.

Texas will face 12th-seeded Wisconsin (27-9) on Thursday, Dec. 18, in one of two national semifinal matches in Seattle, Wash. First serve from KeyArena will be at 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2/ESPN3.

The other semifinal match will feature No. 2 national seed Penn State against No. 3 Washington/No. 6 Southern California at 8:30 p.m. CT.

This is the 12th time a Big 12 squad has advanced to the national semifinals, including the fifth time for Texas as a member of the league and ninth time in program history. In addition to last season when the Longhorns claimed their second national championship, UT also made “Final Four” appearances from 2008-10, in 1995 and from 1986-88. The Longhorns have played in four national championship matches.

Overall, the league has advanced five teams to the championship match (2000, ‘05, ‘06, ‘09, '12, ‘13), with Texas earning the crown last season and Nebraska claiming the title as members of the Conference in 2000 and ‘06.

Nebraska was swept in Lincoln for the first time in 24 years, dating back to a loss to No. 1 Hawaii on Oct. 2, 1989. Texas also became the first No. 1 team to win in Lincoln since Penn State in 1999.

Leading the way in the Longhorns' second regional final victory over Nebraska in five seasons was a strong block and an efficient night from All-Americans Haley Eckerman and Bailey Webster. Eckerman had 14 kills, while Webster produced 12 kills and hit .500. Together, the duo combined for 26 kills and only three errors on 73 swings, while Eckerman added a double-double with a team-high 15 digs. Khat Bell and Chiaka Ogbogu added seven kills eac and Hannah Allison recorded 37 assists to help Texas hit .266 in the match.

The Longhorns won their 75th NCAA Tournament match in school history on Saturday, becoming just the fifth team in NCAA history to reach that mark. Overall, Texas improved to 75-27 all-time in 30 NCAA Tournament appearances.

The No. 1 overall national seed, Texas is on a 23-match winning streak. The Longhorns posted a perfect 16-0 mark in league play this year to claim their third straight Big 12 title. Texas is led by 2012 AVCA Coach of the Year Jerritt Elliott, who is one of two coaches with 200 or more conference wins in Big 12 history, along with two-time Big 12 Player of the Year Haley Eckerman.


BIG 12 IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP

FIRST ROUND
Thursday, Dec. 5
No. 1 Texas 3, Texas State 0
Oklahoma 3, Alabama 1

Friday, Dec. 6
Colorado 3, Iowa State 1
No. 14 Kansas 3, Wichita State 1

SECOND ROUND
Friday, Dec. 6
No. 1 Texas 3, Texas A&M 1
No. 7 Stanford 3, Oklahoma 0

Saturday, Dec. 7
No. 14 Kansas 3, Creighton 1

REGIONAL SEMIFINALS
Friday, Dec. 13
No. 1 Texas 3, American 1 - Lincoln Regional
No. 3 Washington 3, No. 14 Kansas 0 - Los Angeles Regional

REGIONAL FINALS
Saturday, Dec. 14
No. 1 Texas 3, No. 8 Nebraska 0 - Lincoln Regional

NATIONAL SEMIFINALS
Thursday, Dec. 18
No. 1 Texas vs. No. 12 Wisconsin - 6:30 p.m. CT - ESPN2 - Seattle, Wash.

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