Monday, 4 March 2024

NCAA Womens Volleyball

Texas wins the 2023 DI women’s volleyball national championship

Texas wins the 2023 DI women's volleyball national championship

It’ll be the Longhorns versus the Huskers in this year’s historic championship, today at 3 p.m. on ABC. Check out the link below for six storylines to follow in today’s matchup, including Madi Skinner’s third title quest, the age gaps between the teams’ starting lineups and more.

🌽 Nebraska

The top-ranked Cornhuskers have been the majority favorite to go all the way this year, and its no secret as to why: they’re a complete team. Almost flawless in-system, it’s difficult to give the Huskers a ball they can’t handle. Their middles are efficient — Bekka Allick even notched the best three-set performance of her collegiate career with 10 total blocks and hit .571 in the semifinals — and their hitters are even more dangerous. Harper Murray and Merritt Beason have combined for 836 kills this season, both earning All America honors. They wouldn’t be getting the hits they are without All-American setter Bergen Reilly, who butters up the balls just right to average 10.64 assists per set. And of course, All-American libero Lexi Rodriguez mops up the backcourt with her massive saves.

🤘🏼 Texas 

Texas — although having a shaky start to the 2023 campaign — is about as complete as Nebraska. Madi Skinner is one of the most powerful hitters in the nation, with an insane 4.78 K/S ratio. And what a game she had against Wisconsin at the service line, serving up six aces… That’s a career stat line for the junior. Combine that with Asjia O’Neals block (1.59 B/S) and Emma Halter’s backcourt rescues, the Longhorn effort is just as hard to extinguish.

The difference? Whose hitters can penetrate the massive block that both teams bring to the table. Finding open lanes to thread the ball and shutting down the production of the middles will be key for both of these teams.

They’re very evenly-matched. If these squads play like they have been in this tournament — Nebraska near-perfect, Texas refusing to go down — then this game will go down to the wire. The Huskers and Longhorns will find ways to trick each other out-of-system with their power hitting; this game will also depend on who can capitalize on those odd balls and out-last the other in long rallies. We’re in for a doozy today… So get your popcorn ready, this match will be the ultimate showcase of just how good the college volleyball circuit is.

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