LINCOLN, Neb. — Host No. 12 Nebraska held court in front of an 8,000-strong crowd Saturday afternoon, but not before Saint Mary's gave them all they could handle, as the Huskers escaped with a 3-0 (26-24, 25-22, 25-18) sweep in the final match of the Ameritas Players Challenge at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
HOW IT HAPPENED
· Saint Mary's had opportunities to completely reverse the match with leads in both the first and second sets.
· The Gaels held set point in the opening frame at 24-21, but the Huskers went on a 5-0 run to escape with a 26-24 win.
· SMC again led 10-9 in set two and trailed by only one point at 21-20, but subsequent Nebraska runs of 9-2 and 4-2 earned them another close set win at 25-22.
· Payton Rund had 11 kills for the second straight match, leading SMC with a .312 hitting percentage.
· Rund and Morgan Hughes were both named to the Ameritas Players Challenge All-Tournament Team.
· Saint Mary's continued to average double-digit blocks per match this season with 10 more Saturday. Hughes led the way with six and Lindsey Calvin had five.
FROM THE PLAYERS
· “I think we surprised a lot of people with how well we competed today – including the massive Nebraska crowd.”
· “We carried a fun and loose energy that allowed us to always compete one point at a time.”
· “This match against another nationally ranked team showed glimpses of our potential as a team, and I'm excited to get back home and play in front of our crowed on Friday.”
· “Today was an incredible experience playing in front of such a huge crowd. I'm so proud of our team for battling throughout the entire match against a good Nebraska team.”
· The Gaels host their first home matches of the year starting at 6 p.m. Friday versus Fresno State. CSUN also visits at 7 p.m. Saturday.
· Season and single-match tickets are available for purchase at SMCGaels.com or by calling the SMC Ticket Office at (925) 631-GoTx.
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