Besides hoisting the championship trophy, a lot is on the line for the victor of Saturday’s national championship match. Below we take a look into what winning the title would mean historically and for each program respectively.
A Nebraska win would:
- Give the Huskers their fifth national title (also 2015, 2006, 2000, 1995)
- Give the Big Ten Conference its ninth overall title and eighth in the last 11 years (Penn State 6, Nebraska 2)
- Give head coach John Cook his fourth title (also 2000, 2006, 2015). Cook would move to 4-1 in championship matches, with the lone loss coming in 2005.
- Earn the Huskers their 19th straight victory, the longest streak in the nation, after Nebraska ended Penn State’s 23-match win streak in Thursday’s semifinal. The streak also would be the longest for the Huskers since 2008 when the team opened 20-0.
- Even the season series with the Gators, avenging an Aug. 26 five-set loss at the VERT Challenge in Gainesville.
- Move the Huskers to 3-0 all-time against the Gators in NCAA Tournament action (winning 3-2 in a 2001 regional final and 3-0 in a 2005 regional final)
A Florida win would:
- Give the Gators their first ever national title in two tries (also made the championship in 2003).
- Make head coach Mary Wise the first female head coach ever to lead her team to the volleyball championship (out of 37 NCAA Tournaments, since 1981). Wise has already made history as the only woman to lead a team to the title match (doing so in 2003 as well)
- Give the SEC its first ever NCAA Volleyball title
- Mark the first time since 2002 that the championship team ran a 6-2 offense (last to do so was USC)
- Lift the team to 31-1 on the season, its best record since 2005 (32-3)