Mizzou volleyball eliminated from the NCAA Tournament by top seed Nebraska

The Mizzou volleyball team was knocked out of the NCAA Tournament at the hands of top-seeded Nebraska, which has yet to drop a single set through its run to the Sweet 16, on Saturday in Lincoln.

The Cornhuskers swept the Tigers 25-14, 25-19, 25-21 and rarely were challenged — which is how things have gone for the No. 1 seed for much of the year.

The Cornhuskers (30-1) began 2023 with 27 consecutive wins. They have only dropped six total sets in their last nine matches, with three coming in a defeat at No. 5 Wisconsin.

Nebraska went 19-1 in conference play.

The Tigers finished the year 18-13, 9-9 in SEC play.

No. 8-seeded Missouri, which swept Delaware in Round 1 thanks to 13 kills from Janet deMarrais and 10 more from Jordan Iliff, did not have an encore performance in the second round, though the Tigers hung tough as the match progressed.

It will be little consolation for Missouri, but the Tigers played closer in the second set before falling 25-19. Then, MU earned a 20-19 lead in the third set.

The Cornhuskers took the lead for good at 21-20 and finished out the victory with a 25-21 third-set win.

Dilara Gedikoglu, who previously played at Tulsa and Arizona, had 12 kills for the Tigers, while deMarrais had 13 once again.

The Tigers were not playing their best volleyball down the stretch, dropping their last three matches before the NCAA Tournament and only taking a single set off their opponents in that time.

But the trajectory of the program is certainly pointing up under first-year coach Dawn Sullivan, who in her debut campaign doubled last year’s MU win total (9-19, 2-16 SEC in 2022).

Before this season, the Tigers last won nine or more SEC games in 2020, when they won 15 in a COVID-altered slate. They had combined for 14 total wins the last two seasons before eclipsing that combined mark in 2023.