Pinnacle Bank Arena played host to the first of three nights of the NORCECA Olympic Qualifier on Thursday. The tournament is a round-robin, four-team tournament pitting the #1 FIVB-ranked USA, #7 Dominican Republic, #15 Puerto Rico and #16 Canada. For more background on the tournament, including what the heck NORCECA and FIVB mean, see yesterday's CornNation preview.
The first match at the night went four sets, with the Dominican Republic knocking off Puerto Rico 17-25, 25-13, 25-23, 25-23. The match featured B1G Player of the Year Daly Santana of Minnesota for the Puerto Rican team. Santana didn't enter until the fourth set, but she managed four kills and one block in the set.
The second match pitted the USA against Canada, and the USA showed they deserved the #1 ranking sweeping Canada 25-18, 25-18, 25-15.
Husker volleyball fans used to a full house had a different experience as there were somewhere around 5,000 fans in house, but it felt like a home match at Devaney when Kelsey Robinson, Jordan Larson-Burbach, and Kayla Banwarth were announced as starters.
Husker volleyball fans also came with the "Roof! Roof! Roof!" for the US blocks, and cheered whenever Canada put together a run, something we've become accustomed to at the Coliseum, Devaney, or the CenturyLink Center during Husker matches.
All three former Huskers started and played significant time in all three sets. Jordan Larson had 10 kills and Kelsey Robinson had eight kills and one ace, as well as being in on multiple blocks. However, assisted blocks is not a stat that FIVB keeps, they give credit only to the player who actually touched the ball.
The Canadian National Team featured Rebecca Pavan, younger sister of former Husker Sarah Pavan.
All matches for the tournament are streamed except for the final match, which will be carried at 8:00 Central on Saturday on NBCSports Network.