Saturday, December 08, 2007

Huskers pull through

Michigan State gave Nebraska all the Huskers could handle in a regional semifinal Friday in Madison. Few outside of the Michigan State program gave the Spartans much of a chance against the No. 2-ranked and seeded Huskers. But there is something to be said for the underdog role.

There was no pressure on Michigan State and that's how the Spartans played. They left it all on the court and that's all coach Cathy George could ask of her team.

Maybe the Huskers were tight early. Who knows for sure? They definitely weren't playing at their best early on. A couple of calls went against them - one on Christina Houghtelling for reaching over the net. I had a good view of that one and it was a bad call.

Another was for a double-hit on setter Rachel Holloway. I'm not quite sophisticated to see those double hits most of the time. I can say this: Holloway and coach John Cook both reacted swiftly on that call. Neither could believe it. In a close game, a couple of points can make all the difference.

But Michigan State played extremely well. The Huskers couldn't do much to slow the Spartans' big outside hitters. Then when NU let a 27-24 lead slip away in game two, the Huskers were in trouble.

We don't know where this journey will end for the Huskers. It's not easy to repeat in any sport. To do it, the Huskers have to be at the top of their game for the next three matches. If they do that, they have a shot. If not, we'll be talking about what might have been.

Posted by Bob Hamar @ Saturday, December 08, 2007 ||

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