Semifinals: Stanford defeats Nebraska; Hawaii defeats Florida
CLEVELAND (AP) _ Kerri Walsh made 19 kills and 12 digs as Stanford beat Nebraska 9-15, 15-7, 15-9, 15-8 Thursday night in the semifinals of the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship.
Stanford advanced to Saturday’s championship game against Hawaii, which eliminated Florida 15-11, 15-8, 15-9.
The Cardinal (30-2) rallied after a slow start to win 9-15, 15-7, 15-9, 15-8. Nebraska, the defending champion, bows out 30-4. Lisa Reitsma made five of her 22 match kills in the first game for the Cornhuskers. Stanford went ahead 13-0 in the second game and led thereafter.
It was the seventh time this season that Stanford came back to win a match after losing the first game.
Hawaii and Stanford met in the finals in 1987, which was Hawaii’s last championship. Stanford beat Hawaii in their only meeting this season, Nov. 2 at Hawaii.
Angelica Ljungquist produced 15 kills, seven blocks and 15 digs to lead Hawaii over Florida.
Ljungquist, the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I player of the year, was one of two Rainbow Wahine players, along with Therese Crawford, to collect 15 kills. Joselyn Robins added 13 kills.
Hawaii (35-2) defeated Florida in the Gators’ first match of the season. Florida then ran off 37 consecutive victories before losing the rematch.
The Gators had 12 kills from Nina Foster and 10 from Aurymar Rodriguez.
Florida had an early 4-0 lead in the first game, but Hawaii went ahead for good at 8-7. Hawaii led start to finish in the second game. Florida scored the first point in the third game, but that was the Gators’ only lead.