Huskers start second season Thursday night

The No. 4 Nebraska volleyball team (23-6, 15-5 Big Ten) will open the NCAA Tournament at home for the ninth straight season on Thursday night when it hosts the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks (28-5) at the NU Coliseum. The match is set to start at 7 p.m., or 30 minutes after the first match of the day ends between Kansas State and Northern Iowa.

Nebraska, which recently finished in a tie for second in the Big Ten Conference, will be making its 31st appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

UMES will be making its second appearance in the national tournament after repeating as Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Champions in 2012. The Hawks went earned the conference title after defeating Florida A&M in five sets on Nov. 18.

Thursday night's match will be the first-ever meeting between Nebraska and Maryland Eastern Shore. It will be the third time the Huskers have ever played a team from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

The No. 10 Nebraska volleyball team (23-6, 15-5) sent the 2012 seniors out in fashion on Saturday night as the Huskers topped Northwestern 3-1 (25-15, 25-22, 20-25, 25-21) in front of 4,092 fans at the NU Coliseum.

Hannah Werth led the Huskers on the night with a double-double, including a team-high 17 kills and 13 digs to go along with a .342 hitting percentage. Gina Mancuso recorded 13 kills and eight digs for NU. Lauren Cook also notched a double-double on the evening, with 45 assists and 10 digs. Meghan Haggerty led the Husker block with six.

Nebraska hit .261 as a team, while Northwestern notched a .209 hitting percentage. The Huskers out-blocked the Wildcats 14-7.

UMES is 28-5 on the season and has an 11-1 record in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The Hawks recently defeated Florida A&M in the MEAC title came to repeat as conference champions and earn their second berth in the NCAA Tournament.

With the Hawks' win over Florida A&M, UMES totaled the highest amount of victories they've had in a season since 2003 when they went 26-12.

In the conference title match, Saitaua Iosia led the way with 25 kills and 15 digs. She was honored as the Most Outstanding Performer in the MEAC Tournament for the second straight season after posting 60 kills, 10 aces and 32 digs combined in the three matches

Iosia leads the team on the season with 376 total kills and an average of 4.32 kills per set. She also has 219 total digs on the year and an average of 2.52 digs per set. Maline Vaitai has 349 total kills on the season and is averaging 2.77 kills per set along with 217 total digs.

Jessica Vicic paces the Hawk offense with a total of 1,365 assists and an average of 10.83 assists per set. She is also second on the team in digs with 256.

The Hawks are coached by Don Metil, who is in his sixth season as head volleyball coach. He is a 1996 graduate of California University of Pennsylvania.

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