The CU Volleyball team beat the No. 1 ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers in five matches (30-19, 28-30, 30-15, 27-30 and 12-15) on Saturday night.
“I think this gives the team a glimpse of what we can be and the things we can do. It’s a great boost for us, obviously,” said Head Coach Pi’i Aiu.
The last time CU beat the Huskers in volleyball was in 1997. This is the first time CU volleyball has beaten a No. 1 ranked team.
In game one, the Buffs kept in close at the beginning, answering each Nebraska point with their own. But the Huskers pulled away and ended up winning the match. CU had a dreadful .070 hitting percentage and committed 10 errors in game one.
Game two was a different story. Senior setter Ashley Nu’u kept the team calm and under control as the Buffs pulled away.
“She was almost perfect tonight. Obviously no one can be perfect, but she was as close as you can be,” said right side sophomore Alex Buth.
The Buffs took the game in a close contest, 30-28. It was the first time since 2003 that the Buffs took a set from Nebraska in a match.
CU seemed to calm down as the match went on, but the team could not take game three from the Huskers. CU committed 11 errors in the third game.
With Nebraska needing only one more win to seal the match, the Buffs won back-to-back games to finish off the Huskers. The team had big rallies in both games to push past the Huskers.
Nu’u had every assist for the Buffs tonight with 62. She thought the seniors had a special presence tonight on the court for the Buffs.
“I felt we brought calmness and poise. You can’t be riding a roller coaster. We can be affected too much by being really down and really up,” Nu’u said.
Amber Sutherland lead the team with 18 kills in a match where the Huskers had 23.5 total team blocks.
Coach Aiu said the team wasn’t really nervous facing a No. 1 ranked team.
“I didn’t feel nervous, I don’t think they felt nervous either. We play volleyball a lot, and we’ve played in big matches before,” Aiu said.
The team has won some big matches this year, but this is probably the biggest win for the volleyball program at CU.
“I think if we play like that, we will go very far in the tournament,” said middle blocker Austin Zimmerman.