Big 12 champion Nebraska improved to 14-0 at home with a 3-0 victory over Sacred Heart in the first round of the NCAA Volleyball Championship. The second-seeded Huskers have opened the national tournament with a win the last 27 seasons while earning 81 victories.
All-Big 12 First Team selection Lindsey Licht led NU (28-2) with nine kills on 17 swings (.471) while Morgan Broekhuis posted a career-best .615 hitting percentage (8-0-13) in her NCAA debut. Three other Huskers notched at least five kills, including seven from Tara Mueller as well as five each from Hannah Werth and Gina Mancuso.
Lauren Cook, the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, and Sydney Anderson combined for 38 assists to help the Huskers hit .429 as a team, as four NU attackers hit .400 or better, including a .800 night from Jordan Wilberger (4-0-5).
Defensively the Huskers put up 12 blocks and held Sacred Heart to .125 hitting on the night. Wilberger, Broekhuis and Brooke Delano each totaled four block assists, while Kayla Banwarth dug a match-high 14 attacks and chipped in two aces.
Nebraska will play the Auburn Tigers at 7 p.m. CST on Friday. The winner of that match will advance to the Seattle Regional, which starts on Dec. 10. NET will provide live coverage of Friday's match and a live stream will also be available on Huskers.com.
The Big 12's four other teams that earned NCAA Championship bids -- Iowa State, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas -- will also be in action on Friday. ISU will face Creighton at 4:30 p.m., while MU plays at UNI in the nightcap at 8. The ninth-seeded Longhorns and the Sooners will host UTSA (6:30 p.m.) and Wichita State (7:30 p.m.), respectively, in first-round matches.