MADISON, Wis. — During the postgame press conference, sophomore co-captain Nicklin Hames became emotional while reflecting on how the Nebraska team grew during the season and dealt with adversity.
One of the greatest challenges for the team this year was dealing with the death of graduate manager Dane Leclair, who died during an accident on Oct. 27.
The Huskers dedicated the rest of their season to his memory, wearing his No. 4 from his playing days at Loyola-Chicago on the back of their warmup shirts.
Hames said the Huskers talked before every match about how they wanted to play with the joy that Leclair lived with every day.
“I think we did a great job of doing that,” Hames said. “It was always an inspiration for us, every time we went out there, and you know, he was just such a big part of this, and I think we honored him in the way we played and the way we acted with each other. If he was here, he would be very proud of us.”
Badgers serve notice against Huskers
Wisconsin made no secret it’s game plan on who it was attacking with its serve, going after sophomore defensive specialist Megan Miller often in the first set.
Miller struggled as the Badgers hit five aces in the first set, prompting Nebraska coach John Cook to substitute in Hayley Densberger.
Densburger finished the first set and played the entire second set as the junior defensive specialist finished with two digs.
Miller returned in the third, bouncing back as she successfully passed all three serves at her as she finished with six digs. Wisconsin didn’t record an ace in the final two sets.
“She’s wasn’t handling her emotions really well and we got Hayley in there,” Cook said. “I knew she had calmed down and she came back in and did a nice job”
Sweet switches to No. 7
Jazz Sweet was sporting a new look on the court as she wore a No. 7 jersey instead of her usual No. 12. The move wasn’t superstitions or to create luck. She just grabbed the wrong jersey. While Nebraska was wearing long-sleeve red jerseys, Sweet only had her short-sleeved top so she switched to the extra.
Wisconsin’s Molly Haggerty was named the region’s most outstanding player. She finished with 14 kills and three blocks against Nebraska. Against Texas A&M, the junior outside hitter recorded 12 kills on 27 swings.
For Nebraska, junior outside hitters Lexi Sun and Sweet were honored. Sun finished with 25 kills and 20 digs, while Sweet totaled 23 kills and five blocks
Other members of the all-region team were Brooke Van Sickle, OH, Hawaii, Hollan Hans, OH, Texas A&M; Syndey Hilley, S, Wisconsin; Dana Rettke, MB, Wisconsin.