LIVE BLOG: Florida & Nebraska for the National Championship

  0 Derek Johnson | December 16th, 2017 | Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, News, SEC

Nebraska has won the 2017 National Championship! It’s their second in three years and the fourth for John Cook. If you missed any of it you can recap below from our live blog:

Game Details:


Set Four, Nebraska 25-16 (3-1 NEB)

  • A dominant finish for Nebraska. Florida couldn’t establish much and the Huskers sprinted to the finish line as they hit .346 in the final set.

  • And just like that momentum shifts back with Kenzie Maloney‘s strong serve coming up big in a 3-0 run (had an ace)
  • Florida finally establishing some momentum and cuts the lead down to four. Passing and setting haven’t been the best and really no one has been a go-to option for the Gators thus far but they are hanging in there
  • Nebraska catches a break as after Carli Snyder has a kill, she (team’s leader in aces and one of best servers in the country) serves one into the net
  • Mikaela Foecke continues to shine on the big stage. Early kill and block here. Came into the set with 16 kills and 12 digs already.

Set Three, Florida 25-18 (2-1 NEB)

  • Nebraska is making things a bit more interesting here and have closed the lead down to five at 22-17
  • Rhamat Alhassan had 3 kills (2 errors) on 11 swings (.091) in the first two sets. Has 3 kills (0 errors) on 5 swings in the third to this point as Florida leads 19-12.

  • Nebraska has a TON of overpasses this set. Gators aggressive serve really causing them problems. Only plays into their dominant defense.
  • Florida still not great on offense, but the defense is picking back up and Alhassan with an ace to extend to a 10-6 lead and force a Nebraska timeout
  • I guess Nebraska’s bad passes have been a bit better. Kenzie Maloney with the overpass on the serve but miscommunication from Florida as no one touches it and it falls for a ‘kill’
  • Both teams have been good enough to avoid aces, but the direction of some of these passes on tough serves have not been good. Lot’s of setters running around.
    • For example, then see a strong pass from Florida and they get a first possession kill by running a quick to Rhamat Alhassan something that’s tough to do out of system.
  • Meanwhile, we’ve broken the attendance record for the second straight round:

Set Two, Nebraska 25-17 (2-0 Lead)

  • Nebraska fans are really loud

  • If Florida continues to struggle in serve receive, they have less opportunities to get it to their dynamic middles on offense – at least in good positions and slides.
  • Sydney Townsend has been a strong server at the DS position for Nebraska this year and was one of many Huskers servers to cause problems for the Gators.

  • Could be bad news for Florida if this Nebraska offense continues. The Gators are good enough on defense to hold their own, but when Nebraska’s rolling like they are it’d be difficult for anyone.
    • Florida also continuing to struggle in serve receive and the Cornhuskers are holding them down with their defense

  • Nebraska starting to establish the middles and get success between Briana Holman and Lauren Stivrins in the second.
  • Kelly Hunter has hit the left line a few times now for kills. She can be ultra aggressive when she wants to, but always knows when to do so.
  • Nebraska seems to be winning a majority of the rallies. Have been stronger to this point in transition offense.

Set One, Nebraska 25-22 (1-0 Lead)

  • Nebraska went on a 7-0 run (for a 18-15 lead) with an ace and three unforced errors from Florida. Gators struggling to get in system on Kelly Hunter‘s serve and not being terminal.
  • Rachael Kramer has been a force in the middle. Had 20 kills and hit .679 when these two met in Gainesville earlier this season.

  • Florida holding on with a strong defense and solid serving of their own. Carli Snyder tools off a block for their first lead before they add to it.

  • First two points Annika Albrecht with strong serves to put Florida out of system. Nebraska with the serve error after that, but will be important to serve tough and put Florida, who can be erratic on times in serve receive, out of system.
  • As loud as the crowd was in the Final Four, this sold out Sea of Red is even louder today

  • Florida didn’t get aced once in the finals. Sure enough they have in the first as Nebraska’s strong serve is proving troublesome. Gators still hanging around with defense


A couple of notes before we get started for tonight’s National Championship:

  • The NCAA Tournament has never finished with three five set matches (both in the Final Four and the National Championship match)
  • A team running a 6-2 (which Florida runs) has not won the National Championship since USC claimed the title in 2002
  • Coaching Notes:
    • John Cook (Nebraska) could become the fourth coach to win four National Championships and the second to do so since the expansion to 64 teams in the NCAA Tournament
    • Mary Wise (Florida) could become the first female head coach to win a National Championship
  • Here’s what a championship would mean for both schools

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