Friday night saw the second night of the three-night, round-robin tournament at the Pinnacle Bank Arena with a spot in the Rio Summer Olympics on the line.
The first match of the night pitted world #7 Dominican Republic against #16 Canada. The night prior, Dominican Republic knocked off #15 Puerto Rico in four sets while Canada fell to #1 USA in straight sets. Canada made a furious comeback in the first set to take it 27-25, eventually the match went to the Dominican Republic, 3-1 (25-27, 25-16, 26-24, 25-20).
In the night's second match, The USA knocked off Puerto Rico 3-1 (25-14, 24-26, 25-12, 25-14).
Once again, all three former Huskers started the match, with Kelsey Robinson and Jordan Larson-Burbach at outside and Kayla Banwarth at libero.
The USA won the first set easily, cruising by 11 points. While the second looked in danger for awhile, the US rode a 9-1 run to take a comfortable lead late, but that run was undone by Puerto Rico's own 6-1 run to end the set. The third set was a comfortable USA win, however, as was the fourth.
Jordan Larson-Burbach had eight kills on the night. Kelsey Robinson had three kills and two blocks. Kayla Banwarth had 20 digs.
After the match, I asked Head Coach Karch Kiraly about volleyball fans in the state of Nebraska, "I love it here" he said, "I would be glad coming here every few weeks." He went on to describe fans as "Knowledgeable."
Tomorrow night, the USA will take on the Dominican Republic for a berth in the Rio Olympics. That match will begin at 8:00 pm Central and be televised on NBCSports Network.