10:01 pm, December 17, 2023
🤘🏼 Texas is... BACK-TO-BACK NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
Sweeping the top-seeded Nebraska Cornhuskers, the Texas Longhorns earned their second consecutive national title, 3-0 (25-22, 25-14, 25-11). This is the program's fourth NCAA title, and third under head coach Jerritt Elliott.
📈 CATCH UP: See the final stats of the 2023 championship here
The most glaring statistic from this match was the Longhorn serve — Texas set a new NCAA championship record with 12 service aces, the last of which sealed its national title feat. Asjia O'Neal notched five of these aces — four in a row in the second set — which is a career-best for the senior.
Hitter Madisen Skinner was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament. She knocked down a match-high 16 kills and five digs. This title was her third between two different schools — Kentucky and Texas — which is extremely rare. Setter Ella Swindle fired five kills of her own on top of 21 assists, two aces and seven digs.
Along with serve-receive trouble, the Huskers also committed an enormous amount of unforced errors, limiting their production to .013 hitting and a 20-19 kills-errors ratio. The last time that Nebraska lost a set by a 25-11 margin (or worse) was in November 2019 against Minnesota.
In its title run, Texas won its final five sets of the tournament by 12, 9, 3, 11 and 14 against Wisconsin in the semifinals and Nebraska in the final.
9:58 pm, December 17, 2023
INDOOR ATTENDANCE RECORD BROKEN AGAIN
With 19,727 fans in Amalie Arena this afternoon, the previous women's volleyball indoor attendance record of19,598 from the 2023 semifinals has been shattered yet again.
9:48 pm, December 17, 2023
1️⃣1️⃣ Texas aces
Madi Skinner's service ace — her second of today — notched the Longhorns' 11th service ace this afternoon, tying their season-high production with their semifinal outing against Wisconsin.
9:23 pm, December 17, 2023
🔥 11-point streak for Texas to take Set 2
Nebraska was back in the saddle, but that was until Asjia O'Neal took the service line. The Huskers struggled so badly in the serve-receive that they gave up 11 consecutive points — the first four resulting in back-to-back-to-back-to-back aces for O'Neal. Three kills by Madi Skinner and Jenna Wenaas combined, as well as a couple of Nebraska errors kept this run going, as the Huskers could not manage to stay in-system.
Two MORE service aces by Ella Swindle down the stretch put Nebraska at an even worse disadvantage as Texas rolled on by,25-14.This marked Nebraska's largest margin of defeat in a set this season.
Reminiscent of Texas' 10-point run against Wisconsin in the semifinals, the top-ranked Cornhuskers are stupefied by Texas' strength at the service line and ongoing attack.
9:15 pm, December 17, 2023
🃏 4X ACES for Asjia
Four consecutive service aces by Asjia O'Neal grant the Longhorns the advantage, as Texas has put up eight so far and leads16-10. This ties O'Neal's career high of four and is a season-best.
9:10 pm, December 17, 2023
9:00 pm, December 17, 2023
🟥 Red card info
There was confusion mounting around Jerritt Elliott's red card — here are the official rules regarding red card penalties and how that led to Nebraska getting a point.
8:34 pm, December 17, 2023
💼 Horns handle business in Set 1
The first set granted fans exactly what they were anticipating: A SHOW.
Texas shot out on a 4-0 run on two Madisen Skinner daggers — she notched a match-high six in the frame. The Huskers got their nerves out of the way and quickly got to work, tying the Longhorns up seven times before Texas pulled away on another four-point streak. This was capped off by Skinner's 14th service ace of the tournament for Texas' 17th point, leading into Nebraska's first timeout of the set.
Nebraska stayed close, and a red card on Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott knotted the score again at 22-all. But an Asjia O'Neal block, Skinner kill and Keonilei Akana ace sunk the Huskers in the end,25-22.
The Texas block shut down Nebraska's hitters in the first, holding Ally Batenhorst and Merritt Beason to hitting in the negatives. Though Texas only hit .176, it stopped Nebraska at .065.
8:20 pm, December 17, 2023
🥊 WHACK by Wenaas
It didn't take long for Jenna Wenaas to muster up some firepower in this match, delivering this dagger cleanly to the back line. She's killed two so far, and the teams are knotted at 11.
8:01 pm, December 17, 2023
🔄 Starting rotations
Here are the starters for the 2023 national championship:
- Merritt Beason
- Bergen Reilly
- Harper Murray
- Laney Choboy
- Andi Jackson
- Bekka Allick
- Lexi Rodriguez
- Asjia O'Neal
- Madisen Skinner
- Ella Swindle
- Bella Bergmark
- Molly Phillips
- Carissa Barnes
- Emma Halter
7:46 pm, December 17, 2023
First serve 🔜
The crowd is showing out for today's championship as the teams finish their on-court warmups. Tune in for a 3 p.m. start.
5:09 am, December 15, 2023
How to watch Nebraska and Texas battle for the title
This year's DI women's volleyball championship will see the Huskers and Longhorns meet for the crown. Here's how to watch:
- Time: 3 p.m. ET
- Date: Sunday, Dec. 17
- TV channel: ABC
- Location: Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida
- Live stats: Click or tap here
2:30 pm, December 17, 2023
🍿 National championship, previewed
It'll be the Longhorns versus the Huskers in this year's historic championship, today at 3 p.m. on ABC. Check out the link below for six storylines to follow in today's matchup, including Madi Skinner's third title quest, the age gaps between the teams' starting lineups and more.
The top-ranked Cornhuskers have been the majority favorite to go all the way this year, and its no secret as to why: they're a complete team. Almost flawless in-system, it's difficult to give the Huskers a ball they can't handle. Their middles are efficient — Bekka Allick even notched the best three-set performance of her collegiate career with 10 total blocks and hit .571 in the semifinals — and their hitters are even more dangerous. Harper Murray and Merritt Beason have combined for 836 kills this season, both earning All America honors. They wouldn't be getting the hits they are without All-American setter Bergen Reilly, who butters up the balls just right to average 10.64 assists per set. And of course, All-American libero Lexi Rodriguez mops up the backcourt with her massive saves.
Texas — although having a shaky start to the 2023 campaign — is about as complete as Nebraska. Madi Skinner is one of the most powerful hitters in the nation, with an insane 4.78 K/S ratio. And what a game she had against Wisconsin at the service line, serving up sixaces... That's a career stat line for the junior. Combine that with Asjia O'Neals block (1.59 B/S) and Emma Halter's backcourt rescues, the Longhorn effort is just as hard to extinguish.
The difference? Whose hitters can penetrate the massive block that both teams bring to the table. Finding open lanes to thread the ball and shutting down the production of the middles will be key for both of these teams.
They're very evenly-matched. If these squads play like they have been in this tournament — Nebraska near-perfect, Texas refusing to go down — then this game will go down to the wire. The Huskers and Longhorns will find ways to trick each other out-of-system with their power hitting; this game will also depend on who can capitalize on those odd balls and out-last the other in long rallies. We're in for a doozy today... So get your popcorn ready, this match will be the ultimate showcase of just how good the college volleyball circuit is.
4:46 am, December 15, 2023
Championship set! Nebraska to face Texas
We have our final!
After Nebraska swept Pitt in the first semifinal, Texas dominated Wisconsin in the last two sets to secure a 3-1 win. The Huskers and Longhorns will now face off at 3 p.m. ET this Sunday, Dec. 17 on ABC for the national title.
Texas (27-4) will be going for its second consecutive title and fourth NCAA crown. Nebraska (33-1) is hunting for its sixth title — and first since 2017.
The two programs previously met in the championship in 2015 (3-0 Nebraska win) and 1995 (3-1 Nebraska win).
10:45 pm, December 14, 2023
What happened in the national semifinals 👉🏼
Exclusive NCAA Digital coverage of the Nebraska vs. Pitt and Wisconsin vs. Texas women's volleyball matches can be found on the pages below:
Nebraska 3, Pitt 0| Texas 3, Wisconsin 1
Greetings, enthusiasts and fans of NCAA women's volleyball! As someone deeply entrenched in the world of collegiate volleyball, allow me to provide an expert analysis of the recent 2023 NCAA volleyball championship between Texas and Nebraska.
The headline itself speaks volumes: "Texas is BACK-TO-BACK NATIONAL CHAMPIONS." This signifies a remarkable achievement by the Texas Longhorns, securing their second consecutive national title by sweeping the top-seeded Nebraska Cornhuskers in a 3-0 victory (25-22, 25-14, 25-11). Notably, this marks the program's fourth NCAA title, with three of them under the guidance of head coach Jerritt Elliott.
Now, let's delve into the key highlights and statistics that shaped this championship match:
Record-Breaking Serve by Texas:
- The most glaring statistic was the Longhorn serve, setting a new NCAA championship record with 12 service aces. Asjia O'Neal, a senior, stood out with a career-best performance, notching five aces, four of which came consecutively in the second set.
Outstanding Players and Performances:
- Hitter Madisen Skinner earned the Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament, showcasing her prowess with a match-high 16 kills and five digs. Setter Ella Swindle contributed significantly with five kills, 21 assists, two aces, and seven digs.
Unforced Errors and Struggles for Nebraska:
- Nebraska faced challenges with serve-receive and committed a substantial number of unforced errors. This led to a limited hitting production (.013 hitting and a 20-19 kills-errors ratio), contributing to their defeat.
Texas' Dominance in Sets:
- Texas displayed dominance throughout the tournament, winning its final five sets against Wisconsin in the semifinals and Nebraska in the final, with margins of 12, 9, 3, 11, and 14 points.
Indoor Attendance Record:
- The championship match witnessed a record-breaking indoor attendance with 19,727 fans in Amalie Arena, surpassing the previous record from the 2023 semifinals.
Critical Moments in the Match:
- Asjia O'Neal's four consecutive service aces and an 11-point streak in Set 2 were pivotal moments that showcased Texas' strength at the service line and its impact on Nebraska's performance.
Red Card Controversy:
- There was confusion surrounding a red card issued to Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott. The article promises to provide official rules regarding red card penalties and how it influenced Nebraska gaining a point.
In essence, this championship match was a display of Texas' exceptional skills, highlighted by record-breaking serves, outstanding individual performances, and strategic dominance. The article captures the intensity and drama of the game, providing fans with a comprehensive overview of the key moments that defined this historic event.