all scores

Nebraska and Creighton break NCAA volleyball attendance record (again)

An NCAA record crowd of 15,797 watched in Omaha as Nebraska defeated Creighton in five sets. (Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)

A volleyball rivalry match between Nebraska and Creighton broke the regular-season NCAA attendance record Wednesday as 15,797 fans turned out in Omaha.

Those who showed up received quite a show. No. 2 Nebraska fended off No. 17 Creighton in five sets, 25-18, 25-23, 25-27, 17-25, 15-9. With the road win, the Cornhuskers improved to 21-0 all-time against the Bluejays.

“If Omaha is going to get over 15,000 in here, we might as well give them a show,” Nebraska coach John Cook said. “I thought it was a heck of a show tonight. Great match. Both teams played some great volleyball. Both teams played their hearts out. Great rallies. It was nerve-wracking watching it because you think the ball is down, and all of a sudden it’s up.”

The previous NCAA record for attendance also came in a match between Creighton and Nebraska, with 14,022 showing up in 2018. The 13 most-attended matches in college volleyball history have involved the Huskers.

“This is gonna get people fired up about volleyball,” Cook said. “It’s a celebration of volleyball in this state, from little kids all the way up to Division I college volleyball.”

Citing the success of volleyball across the state, from Division II title winners to high school champions, Cook called it “unbelievable.”

“It’s unbelievable from a state of 1.8 million people that we have this level of volleyball,” he said. “The other great thing, how many Nebraska girls were on the court tonight? It’s pretty impressive. In some ways, it’s mind-boggling.”

The number is also indicative of the growth of the sport in general. A sellout crowd of 18,755 watched as Wisconsin beat Nebraska to win the NCAA championship last season, setting the record for a title match. The match also set records on television, with 1.19 million tuning in on ESPN2.