Cardinal Falls To Huskers In Championship Match
Dec. 16, 2006
Omaha, Neb. - Second-seeded Stanford (30-4) fell to top-seeded Nebraska (33-1) tonight in the NCAA Championship Final at the Qwest Center Omaha. Despite the Cardinal battling back in the fourth game, the Huskers claimed the national title, 27-30, 30-26, 30-28, 30-27, in front of an NCAA record-setting 17,209 fans. Sophomore outside hitter Erin Waller collected a career-high18 kills to lead the Cardinal, followed by sophomore outside hitter Foluke Akinradewo with 15 kills and senior outside hitter Kristin Richards with 14 kills. Junior setter Bryn Kehoe recorded 61 assists, while sophomore libero Jessica Fishburn led the Cardinal defense with 20 digs. Akinradewo also tallied a team-high eight blocks against the Huskers.
Richards opened game one with a kill on the left side to put the Cardinal on the board. Nebraska followed with a 2-0 run, but a tip by Kehoe in the middle and a block by sophomore Cynthia Barboza and Kehoe put the Cardinal in the lead, 3-2. The Huskers took the lead on a kill by Tracy Stalls, continuing on a 3-0 run, 8-5. Waller recorded three kills on the right side to pull within a point, 10-9, then Stanford tied the game at 11 with two more kills from Akinradewo. A 2-0 streak put the Cardinal ahead, 15-12. Nebraska later tallied back-to-back points on a Stalls kill and an ace by Rachel Schwartz, 17-15. Nebraska used a 3-0 run to tie the game at 18, forcing the Cardinal into a timeout. Junior Franci Girard came out with another kill in the middle, but Nebraska pulled together a 2-0 run on a kill by Sarah Pavan, 20-19. Stanford then used Husker errors to tie the game at 24, forcing the Nebraska into a timeout. Girard ended a long rally with a kill in the middle to give the Cardinal the lead, 25-24. Back-to-back points, including a block by Barboza and Girard, helped Stanford gap Nebraska, 27-24. Barboza pounded a kill on the left side, and Richards put the Cardinal near the win with a kill, 29-26. Jordan Larson recorded an ace to keep Nebraska alive, but Richards clinched game one for the Cardinal with a kill on the left side, 30-27.
Nebraska took the lead early in game two with a 4-0 run, including kills by Pavan and Larson. Waller ended the streak with a cross-court kill on the right side, but Nebraska maintained its lead with kills by Larson and Dani Mancuso, 7-2. Stanford then collected back-to-back points to pull within three, including a kill by Girard on an overpass, 7-4. Blocks by Kehoe, Barboza and Girard, as well as a kill by Barboza on the left, brought the Cardinal within one, 8-7. Stanford took the lead with a kill by Girard and an ace by Kehoe, 9-8. The Huskers used a 2-0 streak to regain the lead at 10-9, but Waller fought back with two kills on the left side for a 13-11 Stanford advantage. Stanford came out of a timeout with a powerful by Akinradewo on the slide, but Nebraska answered with another 2-0 streak, 19-16. Kehoe tallied an ace as the Cardinal stormed back to tie the game at 19. Both teams exchanged the lead until Nebraska moved ahead, 25-24, on a massive kill by Pavan. Following a Cardinal timeout, Nebraska edged away on kill from Mancuso down the left line, 28-25. The Huskers closed in on the win with another kill by Stalls, then ended game two on an attacking error, 30-26.
Waller slammed two kills to give Stanford a 2-1 lead in game three. Nebraska rallied back with a 3-0 run, but Akinradewo tallied two kills to tie the game at 4. The Huskers pulled together a 4-0 run to lead, 8-4. Kills by Akinradewo, Barboza and Richards formed a 3-0 streak to bring Stanford within a point, 8-7. Following a Cardinal timeout, Waller logged three kills in a row to edge within a point, 13-12. The Huskers held their lead with a kill by Mancuso until Akinradewo tied the game at 15 with a kill on the right side. The Cardinal continued to battle with kills by Barboza, Richards and Waller, 18-18. Stanford overtook the lead with two kills by Waller, 21-19. The Cardinal came out of a timeout to continue on a 4-0 run, including a kill by Richards, 23-19. Kehoe and Akinradewo put up a block to move Stanford ahead, 25-21, and force the Huskers into a timeout. Nebraska came out with kills by Pavan and Holloway to move within two, 27-25. A kill by Larson and block by Amanda Gates and Holloway tied the game at 27. After a Cardinal timeout, Barboza pounded a kill from the left side, but Larson matched with a kill for the Huskers. Nebraska took the lead on a block by Larson and Gates, then claimed game three on a rocket by Pavan, 30-28.
In game four, Nebraska tallied back-to-back points until Waller collected a powerful kill on the right side, 2-1. The Huskers maintained the lead with kills by Gates and Pavan, 5-2. A stuff by Richards on the left side sparked a 4-0 run to move Stanford into the lead, 6-5. Both teams battled kill-for-kill until Nebraska formed a 3-0 run on blocks by Mancuso, Stalls and Pavan to take the lead, 14-11. Following a timeout, Girard collected a kill as Stanford rallied with a 4-1 streak, 17-15. A kill by Akinradewo on the slide and a Husker attacking error brought the Cardinal within a point, but Nebraska maintained its lead with an ace by Holloway, 20-17. Nebraska pulled away from the Cardinal with a 3-0 run, including a kill from Pavan on the left side, 24-18. Stanford rallied with back-to-back points, but Pavan answered with two rockets on the right side, 27-20. Stanford continued to fight with kills by Waller and Richards, as well as a block by Akinradewo and Richards, 28-25. Mancuso registered a kill for the Huskers on the left side, but Barboza matched with a kill to pull within two points, 29-27. Nebraska claimed the national championship with a kill by Larson, 30-27.
For their performances in the championship final, Akinradewo, Richards, and Barboza were named to the All-Tournament Team.
GAME SCORES 1 2 3 4 TEAM RECORDSStanford (1) 30 26 28 27 30-4Nebraska (3) 27 30 30 30 33-1