Missouri recorded the biggest first-round upset in NCAA Volleyball Championship history while Nebraska will make its 27th straight appearance in the regional round after sweeping Auburn in Lincoln. The Big 12 is 5-1 in the national tournament through matches of Dec. 3.
The Tigers outlasted fifth-seeded UNI on its home court, 3-2, to eliminate the highest national seed in the opening round since the NCAA begin seeding teams in 2000. MU also handed the Panthers their first home loss of the season. Paola Ampudia was one of four players with 12 or more kills as she posted a team-high 22 kills. Senior libero Caitlyn Vann also pulled in 35 digs, her second straight match with at least 35 digs. The Tiger offense was in sync all night long and in the three sets that they won, the Tigers had just two attack errors in each. MU will face Northwestern at 4 p.m. in the second round on Saturday.
No. 3 Nebraska reeled off its 10th straight sweep with a 3-0 win over the Auburn Tigers on Friday night at the NU Coliseum to punch its ticket to the Seattle Regional next weekend. Hannah Werth and Kayla Banwarth anchored the NU defense with 11 and 10 digs, respectively, while Jordan Wilberger had eight block assists against the Tiger attack. The Huskers out-dug the Tigers 43-25 and out-blocked them 11-2 to hold them to -.011 hitting, the lowest hitting percentage by Husker opponent in the NCAA Tournament since Alabama A&M hit -.072 in the first round of the 2005 tournament. NU finished the 2010 campaign with a 15-0 home record.
Oklahoma opened NCAA play with a 3-0 win over Wichita State. It marked OU's first win over the Shockers since 1999. The Sooners (22-10) move on to play in-state school Tulsa at 2 p.m. Saturday with the winner advancing to the Sweet 16 in University Park, Pa. Caitlin Higgins led the Sooners with her ninth double-double of the season. Higgins had a team-best 10 kills and 13 digs, while adding one service ace and two total blocks, including one block solo.
Sixth-ranked Texas extended its winning streak to 16 matches as it swept UTSA in first-round action in Austin on Friday night. The 25-11, 25-18, 25-15 victory improved the Longhorns' all-time NCAA opening round record to a perfect 24-0. The Longhorns moved to 24-5 on the season with the victory. Junior middle blocker Rachael Adams highlighted the Texas attack with 12 kills on .588 hitting as the Horns posted a .395 team hitting percentage. Senior All-America outside hitter Juliann Faucette connected for 11 kills in the win and added five digs and five blocks. The win advances UT to the second round where it will meet ninth-ranked UCLA which beat American, 3-2 in first round action. First serve of the match is set for 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The Cyclones (20-9) were defeated by Creighton on Friday night in five sets, 25-27, 25-16, 23-25, 25-19, 11-15, at the Sports Pavilion on the University of Minnesota campus. It is Iowa State's first-ever loss in the first round of the tournament. Seniors Ashley Mass and Victoria Henson played in their final match for the Cyclones. Mass played in her 129th contest and finished her career tied was the most active player in Cyclone history. She recorded a season-high 35 digs against Creighton to leave her with 2,294 career digs, more than 250 digs ahead of any other Big 12 player in league history. Henson posted her fourth straight double-double on the night and her third consecutive match with 20 or more kills. She ended with season-highs in both kills (26) and digs (21). With 1,726 kills in her four years as a Cyclone starter, Henson leaves ISU as the only Cyclone to ever reach the 1,700-kill milestone.