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Huskers down Gators for fifth national title as a program




John Cook said on Aug. 7 that he wanted his team to be good at the beginning of the season, great by the start of conference play and unstoppable in the NCAA Tournament.

Check off all of those.

Nebraska (32-4) ended its season on a 19-match winning streak, and are national champions in volleyball for the fifth time as a program after topping Florida (31-1) in four sets at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO on Saturday night in front of a mostly red-clad crowd of 18,516.

The Huskers won the first set 25-22, dominated the second 25-17, lost the third 25-18 and closed it out in the fourth 25-16.

This marks Nebraska’s second national title in three years and four for Coach Cook.

Junior outside hitter Mikaela Foecke led the charge for the Big Red with a match-high 20 kills on a .250 hitting percentage.

Freshman middle blocker Lauren Stivrins added nine kills. Senior middle blocker Briana Holman and junior outside hitter Annika Albrecht each contributed seven kills.

The Huskers outhit the Gators .234 – .141, and out dug them 65-49.

Foecke, senior setter Kelly Hunter and junior libero Kenzie Maloney all made the NCAA Championship All-Tournament team, while Foecke and Hunter were named co-Most Outstanding Player.

Foecke was named the Most Outsanding Player in the NCAA Championship for the second time in her career, becoming just the fourth player in history to receive that honor more than once.

Hunter finished her career with a remarkable 16-1 record in the NCAA tournament as Nebraska’s starting setter. She finished Saturday’s match with 37 assists and a season-high six kills.

There will be a championship celebration event held at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. The event is open to the public, as coaches and players will talk to the fans about their 2017 season.

Doors for the event will open at 11 a.m. Admission is free, and free parking will be available in Lot 58.

Check back later for updates on this story.

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