MINNEAPOLIS — Oregon’s bid for a berth in the Final Four was denied Saturday by the defending national champions.
The No. 7-seeded Nebraska Cornhuskers swept the No. 15 Ducks in three sets, 25-22, 25-23, 25-17, in an NCAA Tournament regional final match at the University of Minnesota’s Maturi Pavilion.
Oregon (23-11) had knocked off No. 2 Minnesota on Friday to advance to within one win of the Final Four. Less than 24 hours later, the Ducks kept pace with the Cornhuskers in all three sets but came up short in their attempt to make the Final Four for the first time since 2012.
The Ducks were the only team outside the top eight seeds to reach a regional final in the 64-team tournament.
Ronika Stone led Oregon in Saturday’s match with nine kills. She was one of three Ducks named to the Minneapolis Regional all-tournament team, joining Brooke Nuneviller and August Raskie.
Oregon faced the Huskers once before this season, falling 3-0 in the season-opening Vert Challenge in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The Final Four will take place at Target Center in Minneapolis, starting with semifinal matches on Thursday. Nebraska will be making its fourth consecutive Final Four appearance and will face No. 3 Illinois in the semifinal round.
— Bulletin staff report