The 2023 DI women’s volleyball national semifinals are, Thursday, Dec. 14. Pitt and Nebraska begin the action at 7 p.m. ET at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., followed directly after by Wisconsin and Texas at approximately 9:30 p.m. ET.
Follow each semifinal match below:
Here’s a preview of each matchup:
Pitt vs. Nebraska | LIVE UPDATES
Both Nebraska and Pitt stumbled off the starting block in their quarterfinal matchups — in Nebraska’s case, relative to its lofty standards — as Pitt would drop its first two sets against ACC rivals Louisville while Nebraska needed extra volleyball to stave off Arkansas in set one.
Facing a daunting 0-2 deficit, Pitt managed to reverse-sweep Louisville for the second straight time to catch their flights to Tampa this week. The Panthers have been averaging 3.13 B/S and has some of the best defensive players in the tournament behind Emma Monks and Olivia Babcock. A utility player leading her team in kills and aces, Babcock was recently named to the AVCA First Team All America, alongside setter Rachel Fairbanks. The Panthers struggled in transition and distribution play during the opening two sets against Louisville, and they must clean up their game plan out of the gate to take down a Nebraska team with a near-flawless record. Arkansas can take credit for the few blemishes on Nebraska’s pristine figure as the Razorbacks — Jill Gillen, specifically — gave the Huskers trouble for the first time all tournament last round. UA was successful in limiting the Huskers’ top hitters, AVCA First-Team All American Merritt Beason, Second-Team All American Harper Murray and Andi Jackson, in the opening frame, which almost cost Nebraska the set (the Huskers converted down the stretch, 26-24). The Huskers won the match 3-1.
This exact semifinal matchup played out in the 2021 semifinals. Nebraska advanced to the national championship with a 3-1 victory over the Panthers and lost to Wisconsin in the final. Since then, Pitt has made every single semifinal, but still has yet to win a championship. The Huskers currently hold a 13-0 record over the Panthers. Is Pitt’s not-so-secret weapon its massive block? Is Nebraska’s key to victory to penetrate the Panthers early on with crafty hits? We’ll find out on Thursday.
Wisconsin vs. Texas | LIVE UPDATES
Texas will enter Amalie Arena with slingshots drawn yet again, after taking down No. 1 seed Stanford…