LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska’s combat tune begins, “There isn’t any place like Nebraska.” Relating to volleyball, these phrases by no means rang extra true than Wednesday evening.
The Cornhuskers laid declare to the world file for largest attendance at a girls’s sporting occasion with 92,003 filling Memorial Stadium for his or her volleyball match in opposition to Omaha.
The college took purpose on the file final spring when it introduced it could maintain a daylong celebration of a sport that enjoys immense recognition on this state of fewer than 2 million.
The occasion started with an exhibition between in-state Division II powers Nebraska-Kearney and Wayne State and was adopted by the Huskers’ three-set sweep of Omaha in a regular-season match. Nation artist Scotty McCreery carried out afterward.
The earlier attendance file was 91,648, set throughout a Champions League soccer match when Barcelona defeated Actual Madrid 5-2 on the Camp Nou Stadium in 2022.
Memorial Stadium’s official capability is simply over 85,000 for soccer, however that quantity was greater for this occasion as a result of there have been seats and standing room on the sector.
Followers in pink and white began their tailgate events exterior the stadium hours earlier than first serve of an exhibition Wayne State gained in three units. The stadium was one-quarter full firstly of that match and regularly crammed to capability as gamers for Omaha and Nebraska have been warming up.
There was a flyover throughout the nationwide anthem and, minutes earlier than first serve, coach John Cook dinner led his Huskers into the stadium to the Tunnel Stroll, the longtime custom of the soccer staff. Synchronized chants of “Go Massive Purple!” have been heard throughout.
Situations have been close to excellent: 83 levels, clear skies and a south wind listed at 4-mph at court docket degree with gusts.
Although 91,648 was extensively acknowledged as the ladies’s sports activities attendance file, no less than one match on the unofficial 1971 Girls’s World Cup in Mexico Metropolis reportedly drew 110,000 folks.
The American file attendance for a girls’s sporting occasion had been 90,185 for the 1999 World Cup soccer remaining between the US and China on the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California — the sport the place Brandi Chastain ripped off her shirt after scoring the decisive penalty shot for the U.S. win.
The NCAA doesn’t monitor attendance throughout all sports activities, however affiliate director of media coordination and statistics Jeff Williams mentioned a crowd of 90,000-plus was simply among the many largest for a non-football sport. A 2010 out of doors hockey sport between Michigan and Michigan State at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor drew greater than 113,000 followers.
A message searching for remark from officers of Guinness World Information was not instantly returned.
Nebraska has offered out 306 consecutive regular-season matches (Wednesday’s occasion gained’t rely towards the streak as a result of it’s not being held on the staff’s Devaney Heart court docket). The Huskers have led the nation in attendance each season since 2013, and eight of the highest 9 crowds in NCAA volleyball historical past are matches which have concerned Nebraska.
Nebraska has gained 5 nationwide championships in volleyball, and its program is among the few in Division I girls’s sports activities that turns a revenue — $1 million final yr, in keeping with athletic division CFO Doug Ewald.
“This can be a assertion on Title IX, and having two daughters of my very own, what Title IX has performed for ladies’s sports activities is big,” fan Troy Pfannenstiel of Omaha mentioned earlier than the matches.
Chancellor Rodney Bennett canceled lessons for the day. Massive Ten Commissioner Tony Petitti was readily available, as was Gov. Jim Pillen. So have been Husker volleyball gamers who have been a part of iconic coach Terry Pettit’s groups over 4 a long time. Highschool groups from throughout a state stretching 430 miles border to frame have been excused from lessons to attend.
There are 75 girls from the state of Nebraska who’re on Division I volleyball rosters this season. At 44 gamers per million in inhabitants, the state trails solely Hawaii (67 per million) in Division I gamers produced per capita, in keeping with volleyball statistician and historian Wealthy Kern of RichKern.com.
Volleyball has surpassed basketball because the No. 1 women highschool staff sport in the US. It’s lengthy been No. 1 in Nebraska.
About 7,000 women play highschool volleyball within the state. Volleyball has been performed in various types in Nebraska because the early 1900s. For a few years, women volleyball matches have been warmup acts for boys basketball video games. Volleyball grew to become a sanctioned sport in 1972 and took off within the late Nineteen Seventies when Pettit invited most of the state’s highschool coaches to work at his camps in Lincoln.
Pettit additionally performed so-called “satellite tv for pc” clinics in small cities throughout the state. In a spot the place boys develop up dreaming of changing into Cornhusker soccer gamers, many ladies are equally captivated with some day taking part in volleyball for a Nebraska staff that yearly ranks among the many nation’s elite.
Ella Beck, 10, got here with a gaggle from tiny Pierce to see her first school volleyball match and root for her favourite participant, setter Lexi Rodriguez.
Neveah Kehr, 10, got here along with her mother, Nicki, from Bismarck, North Dakota, to be a part of the occasion. Nicki graduated from Nebraska, and she or he introduced up her daughter watching the Huskers on tv.
Neveah wore the No. 5 jersey of center blocker Bekka Allick at a pep rally earlier than the matches and, with greater than 1,000 followers cheering, was invited to stroll to the place the gamers stood and was launched to the lady she known as her idol.
Neveah teared up, and Bekka gave her a hug.