Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Future of Volleyball's Final Four in Omaha is Saturday Night

I missed most of the first two sets of the Nebraska/Penn State semifinal; frankly, it doesn't sound like I missed much. But those final three sets were some of the most exciting volleyball I've seen as Nebraska scraped themselves off the deck to take the volleyball match to a fifth set. One NU save practically was made from where the end zone faceoff circle, if the hockey rink were still in place at the Qwest Center.

With NU falling 15-11 in the final fifth set, the Husker season comes to an end. But that's not the end of volleyball season in Nebraska, as it will be interesting to see what happens on Saturday night for the Penn State/Stanford final. How many Husker fans will drive back to the Qwest Center on Saturday night for the final? That's the question that the NCAA will be interested in finding out. If 14,000 fans show up and the lower bowl looks mostly full, the NCAA should be impressed and consider yet another bid to bring the NCAA volleyball championships back to Omaha.

If the place is half empty... I'm sure the NCAA may think twice about returning to Omaha quickly. Yes, the tickets are sold, but how many of those tickets would have been purchased if Nebraska wasn't a team with a good chance to make it to the Final Four? (Conversely, playing the NCAA volleyball Final Four in Omaha is kind of like playing Miami for a national championship in the Orange Bowl. Not exactly a neutral site.)

Omaha can make a statement that we'll support the NCAA Volleyball Championship (and not just Husker volleyball) as well on Saturday night.

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