In a stunning display of dominance, the Texas Longhorns claimed their second consecutive national volleyball championship, sweeping the Nebraska Cornhuskers with scores of 25–22, 25–14, and 25–11. The triumph unfolded in front of a record-breaking indoor NCAA volleyball crowd, solidifying the Longhorns’ status as the team to beat on the national stage.
The journey to this historic moment was marked by resilience, as the Longhorns rebounded from a nerve-wracking 5-3 season start to clinch their fourth championship trophy. This victory holds particular significance for Texas, breaking their championship game losing streak against the Huskers. The Cornhuskers had previously defeated the Longhorns in two championship meetings, in 1995 and 2015, making this third encounter a charm for Texas.
One standout performer in the championship run was Skinner, whose exceptional tournament performance played a crucial role. Additionally, sixth-year middle blocker Asjia O’Neal delivered a stellar performance, scoring a career-high five aces, including the serve that sealed the title. O’Neal’s contributions were instrumental in the Longhorns securing their championship-record 12 aces.
Looking ahead, Asjia O’Neal is set to make history as the Pro Volleyball Federation’s first-ever No. 1 draft pick. She is expected to transition to professional play, with potential representation for Team USA at the upcoming Summer Olympics. Despite the departure of only three seniors from their roster, Texas is well-positioned to make a strong defense of their title next year, retaining key players, including Skinner.
Meanwhile, for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, this championship journey signifies just the beginning of a promising era. With a roster devoid of seniors and bolstered by a group of talented freshmen, the Huskers are poised to return with a complete lineup of athletes boasting valuable championship experience. The prospect of facing the determined and hungry Nebraska team is already generating anticipation and excitement in the volleyball community.