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Volleyball Preview and Watch Thread: Nebraska vs Ball State NCAA First Round

Everyone is excited to start the big dance but who will take the lead for Nebraska on the court?

Jon Johnston

Nebraska (25-4) vs Ball State (20-11) Friday at 7 p.m.

The Cardinals are champions of the Mid-American Conference and an overall young team playing four freshman at times.

The young Ball State team was the four seed in the MAC tournament. They upset Miami of Ohio and Bowling Green to make the NCAA tournament. They’ve been here before. They received an at large bid to the 2011 tournament. They lost to Louisville in the first round.

Their Coach is Kelli Miller Phillips. She played libero for Purude and then coached as a student assistant for Dave Shondell at Purdue. She moved over to Ball State as an assistant for Steve Shondell for six years before becoming the head coach four years ago. Interesting!

Ball State had an 11 hour drive from Muncie, IN to Lincoln. I expect they will have some nerves and energy as they enter the match tonight. Nebraska’s tough serving and blocking should prove to be the difference in the match. Nebraska wins in three sets.

In the bigger picture of the bracket, Nebraska is in #4 Wisconsin’s region along with #12 national seed Hawaii and #13 Texas A&M. The Huskers would only have an opportunity to host an NCAA regional if they advance past the opening two rounds and Wisconsin gets upset in the first or second round.

The 4:30 p.m. match will feature the Missouri Tigers of the SEC and the Northern Iowa Panthers of the Missouri Valley Conference. Friday’s winners will meet on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. in the NCAA second round.

  • All Nebraska matches this weekend will be televised on NET and streamed on and the BTN+ app for free!!! The Missouri/Northern Iowa match will also have a free live stream on and the BTN+ app.
  • Live Audio
  • Live Stats

Husker Sports Network will broadcast all the Husker action on HSN radio affiliates, including 107.3 FM in Lincoln and AM 590 in Omaha. A live audio stream will be provided at and the Huskers app.