MINNEAPOLIS – It ended at 10:49. Over two and a half hours, she had set up a final for eternity, the best kills and turns of the career.
But there stood Mikaela Foecke and watched through the net as the Silver and Gold Streamers fell to their opponents. Every piece of her was wrung out, and it was scarce enough.
Stanford endured Foecke's efforts to win the NCAA-winning eighth national championship in a worthy match and to fend off the Huskers 28-26, 22-25, 25-1
The 18,113 fans looked at a stage in which the older star of the Huskers shone brighter than ever before. She had 27 kills, and Stanford seemed to know that each of her 71 attacks would come, but could do little to stop her.
But the Cardinal had his band of All-Americans, led by 19 National Team USA kills, year Kathryn Plummer and an amazing game by Libero Morgan Hentz, whose 32 digs contain a handful of rescues that bordered on miracles. Holly Campbell had 15 kills and Audriana Fitzmorris added 14 for Stanford.
"I am very proud of our team and how hard they fought," said Nebraska coach John Cook. "We did some really good things today and did really well. Not many people gave us a chance, but you get a fifth game and everything can happen.
After a 10-point defeat in Game 3, the Huskers dominated the fourth set. Lauren Stivrins was a perfect 6-for-6 player as part of her career-high 19 kills. Jazz Sweet added five of her 10 kills to reach their highest total since October 24.
The momentum continued until the beginning of the fifth part, when Foecke dropped a pair of killings to give the Husker a 3-1 lead, only to turn Stanford over with the part of the game that turned out to be the crucial difference. namely the envelope.
As setter Jenna Gray fires BBs, the Huskers could not find the passport to bring them into the system. Three straight-line NU mistakes, which were given a long shot by Foecke, boosted Stanford by 5: 3.
"It seemed like they were really serving hard, and when we got a bit ahead, they made a nice comeback . "
The score was 9: 9 after Lexi Sun hit two consecutive opponents, but Cardinal put together the most influential stretch of the game. Campbell scored two of her 15 kills and Gray threw a close pass to bring Stanford to 13-10. At the next serve, Kate Formico put a ball close to the sideline that was widely ruled by the officials, but after a video request from Stanford coach Kevin Hambly, the cardinal's ninth ace was decided to extend the lead to 14-10.
Foecke's last career Kill was the first of two match points that would save Nebraska, but Meghan McClure defeated Stanford's 32nd win in a row with a kill from the back row.
"Both teams gave everything they got tonight," said Stivrins. "It's annoying to miss out, but … I do not know. We will find out for next year. "
Foecke said," I think Stanford made some great pieces and we had a few mistakes. It cost us a few extra points to win the game. If you play only up to 15 points, you have to dodge very effectively. We left them a few too many runs and could not come back.
Stanford (34-1) had a side more than Nebraska and blocked the Huskers 11.5 to 9. The Huskers ended with 73 kills of Stanford's 64, with freshman setter Nicklin Hames, who handed out 62 assists at career high.
But after an interview, Foecke said she would remember the pieces that were no more than the many. How the Huskers fought off five points in Game 1 before losing the opener thanks to five Stanford Aces.
"I think there are always games left out there," Foecke said. "Bullets you could have dug. Kills you got. Everything.
The defeat ended Nebraska's winning streak at the NCAA tournament with eleven consecutive wins and was only the third defeat in 55 games in November and December in the four years that Foecke and co-captain Kenzie Maloney were in Lincoln
In an October in which the Huskers were lost to top 10 opponents five times, Cook thought the late-season lights might be too bright for a team of seven newcomers.
However, the focus of the postseason has always been Foecke's focus on defeat. She leaves the biggest leg of the sport with 66 kills in three NCAA Championship games, and her 129 career kills in the last four are the third-most in NCAA history.
Tormented, what she really wanted.
"Honestly, I'm not really interested in that," she said, reflecting on her line in the pits. "I really wish the score had been reversed in the fifth set. Obviously, it was not good enough to win, so what do you do? "
No. 7 Nebraska (29-7) ……….. 26 25 16 25 12
No. 1 Stanford (34-1) ……… .. 28 22 25 15 15
N (kills aces blocks): Foecke 27-1-2, Stivrins 19-0- 5, sweet 10-0-5, Sun 7-1-1, Davis 5-0-0, Schwarzenbach 4-0-4, Hames 1-0-0
S: Plummer 19-1-2, Campbell 15-0-3, Fitzmorris 14-0-5, McClure 7-1 -3, Alade 6-0-8, Gray 3-1-2, Formico 0-2-0, Wilson 0-4-0
Supported: N 66 (Hames 62, Maloney 4), S 64 (Gray 57 , Hentz 4, McClure 2, Plummer 1)
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