NU Notes: Huskers claim Top Ten finish at NCAAs, secure four All-American Honors
Tulsa, Okla. - Husker senior Mikey Labriola (174) ended his stellar run at the 2023 NCAA Championships with a runner-up finish, and the Nebraska wrestling team scored 54.0 points to claim eighth overall.
Labriola, the second-straight NCAA finalist for the Huskers and first five-time All-American, wrestled in the championship bout, but was pinned by No. 1 Carter Starocci. Labriola concludes his Husker career with a NCAA Championship record of 18-7 and an overall record of 120-28, the ninth-most wins in Husker wrestling history.
Overall, Nebraska's four NCAA All-Americans marks the fourth time in six years the program has had four or more claim the award. In the team standings, Penn State finished first (137.5), Iowa was second (82.5), while Cornell (76.5), Ohio State (70.5) and Missouri (64.5) rounded out the Top 5.
No. 3 Liam Cronin (125) ended his NCAA run with a fifth-place finish in the medal round. In the consolation quarterfinals, Cronin battled Lehigh's No. 8 Anthony Noto. Cronin scored the escape, but Noto scored the takedown, sending Cronin to the fifth-place match where he won by medical forfeit over Iowa's No. 1 Spencer Lee. The Orange, Calif., native and All-American finished his career with a 75-50 record and 24-6 record during his senior season.
No. 4 Brock Hardy (141) fell to North Carolina's No. 10 Lachlan McNeil before he matched up with SDSU's No. 11 Clay Carlson for the second time this season in the fifth-place match. Hardy forfeited due to injury and wrapped up NCAA Championship competition with a NCAA All-American honor and a sixth-place finish. Hardy ends the season with a 30-7 overall record.
Finishing competition in Session V was No. 3 Peyton Robb at 157. After falling in the consolation quarterfinals to NDSU's No. 4 Jared Franek by 3-1 decision, he moved on to the fifth-place match where Robb medically forfeited against NC State's No. 8 Ed Scott and finished sixth. The three-time All-American concludes his junior season with a 28-3 record.
Huskers Ready for Rock Chalk Challenge
The Nebraska softball team returns to action this Sunday, March 19 for a shortened Rock Chalk Challenge in Lawrence, Kan. The Huskers will face Kansas City (5-19) and former Husker Kiki Stokes at 12 p.m. followed by a matchup with Kansas (15-11) at approximately 2:30 p.m.
Fans can listen to the game live on the Huskers Radio Network and Huskers.com with the call from Nate Rohr. Follow @HuskerSoftball on Twitter for live updates through the game.
The Huskers (18-8) are coming off a midweek doubleheader against Omaha, where the Big Red picked up two wins. Nebraska currently leads the Big Ten in numerous offensive categories including batting average (.325) and doubles (52).
Junior Billie Andrews leads the conference with 10 home runs and is in the top five in slugging percentage (.778), doubles (7) and hits (33).
In the circle, Courtney Wallace has been a leader through the first half of the season. Wallace (11-4) has appeared in the circle for 80.0 innings while tallying 51 strikeouts. Sarah Harness (6-3) has added 51.8 innings of work, striking out 59 batters.
Nebraska By the Numbers
- The Huskers lead the Big Ten in shutouts with eight and are ranked 19th in the NCAA.
- NU has tallied a conference-best 52 doubles, a number that ranks fifth in the nation.
- Nebraska is leading the Big Ten in batting average (.325) and is one of only three teams with a batting average above .300.
- The Huskers batting average (.325) ranks 22nd across the nation.
- Billie Andrews is first in the conference and seventh in the NCAA in home runs with nine to start the season.
- Billie Andrews and Caitlynn Neal are first and second in the conference in extra-base hits.
- Caitlynn Neal is second in the Big Ten and 15th in the nation with nine.
- Courtney Wallace has recorded the second-most wins in the conference with 11. She is also sixth in the NCAA.
- Wallace has recorded three shutout wins this season, a mark that is first in the Big Ten and 15th in the nation.
Opponents By the Numbers
- Kansas City holds a .972 fielding percentage which ranks first in the Summit League.
- Ally Fonfeldt leads the Roos with a .343 batting average.
- Camryn Stickel (1-5) has appeared in the circle the most for Kansas City, pitching 41.0 innings.
- Kansas is fifth in the Big 12 with a 3.22 ERA.
- Lizzy Ludwig leads the Jayhawks with a 0.98 ERA, a number that ranks third in the Big 12.
- Lyric Moore is fourth in the Big 12 in doubles, totaling eight this season.
Husker Quick Hits
- Billie Andrews has tallied 10 home runs this season, she is now seventh all-time in Nebraska history in career homers with 37.
- Andrews is one of 12 returning players in the NCAA who hit 20 or more home runs last season.
- Sarah Harness recorded a no-hitter against New Mexico on Feb. 24, 2023. It marked the first no-hitter by a Nebraska pitcher since 2016.
- Mya Felder is the only returning Big Ten player who received All-Big Ten, All-Defensive and All-Tournament honors in 2022.
- Courtney Wallace is one of six returning Rawlings/NFCA Gold Glove recipients from last season.
Huskers Finish Sixth at Big Ten Championships
The Nebraska women's gymnastics team finished sixth at the Big Ten Championships on Saturday afternoon after notching a 196.275.
No. 2 Michigan claimed the title after notching a 198.000 during Session II. No. 9 Michigan State followed with a 197.550 while No. 20 Minnesota finished in third with a 197.250. No. 15 Ohio State claimed fourth with a 196.975, and No. 24 Illinois followed in fifth with a 196.800. Penn State finished behind Nebraska with a 196.200, while host No. 25 Iowa finished in eighth (196.125). No. 22 Maryland claimed ninth (195.900) and Rutgers finished in 10th (195.125).
The Huskers started the afternoon on beam, earning a team score of 49.125. Emma Spence led the way with a 9.875 followed by Emma Simpton and Sophia McClelland who both tallied a 9.850. Ayzhia Hall notched a 9.800 while Allie Gard earned a 9.750. Clara Colombo finished the rotation with a 9.525.
Michigan's Abby Heiskell claimed the event title with a perfect 10.00.
Nebraska had a bye during rotation two.
During rotation three, the Big Red competed on floor, tallying a team score of 48.950. Spence led NU with a 9.850 while Martina Comin notched a 9.825. Kylie Piringer tallied a 9.800 while McClelland earned a 9.750. Halle Rourke finished with a 9.725 while Katie Kuenemann earned a 9.700.
Iowa's JerQuavia Henderson and Minnesota's Mya Hooten shared the floor title, both tallying a 9.950.
The Big Red moved to vault, notching a team score of 48.925. McClelland led the way with a 9.825 as Spence followed closely with a 9.800. Kuenemann and Comin each earned a 9.775 while Kinsey Davis tallied a 9.750. Hall rounded out the rotation with a 9.500.
Michigan's Gabby Wilson, Michigan State's Sage Kellerman and Minnesota's Mya Hooten finished in a three-way tie with a score of 9.925.
Nebraska had a bye during rotation five.
The Huskers finished the meet with a 49.300 on uneven bars. Colombo matched her career high with a 9.925. Davis followed closely with a 9.875 while Spence earned a 9.850. Simpton added a 9.825 while Genesis Gibson and McClelland each notched a 9.800.
There was a six-way tie for the uneven bars title. Michigan's Abby Heiskell, Sierra Brooks, Natalie Wojcik, Carly Bauman, Illinois' Mia Takekawa and Michigan State's Delanie Harkness all earned a 9.950.
Spence finished the all-around competition with a 39.375, while McClelland tallied a 39.225.
Heiskell of Michigan earned her third title of the night, earning the all-around title after notching a 39.700.
The Huskers will await the NCAA Tournament announcement, which is set to be announced on Monday, March 20 at 11 a.m.
NU Takes Down Michigan State, 4-2
East Lansing, Mich. – The No. 63 Nebraska women's tennis team (11-3, 1-1 Big Ten) defeated Michigan State (7-7, 0-3 Big Ten) 4-2 on Sunday morning at the MSU Indoor Tennis Center.
The competition began with doubles play. In the No. 2 position, Michigan State's Marley Lambert and Dagmar Zdrubecka got the best of NU's Isabel Adrover Gallego and Ana Carmen Zamburek, beating them 6-1. On Court 1, the undefeated Nebraska duo of Samantha Alicea and Raphaëlle Lacasse continued their winning streak against Liisa Vehvilainen and Ayshe Can, picking up a 6-4 victory. On the season, Alicea and Lacasse have an 8-0 doubles record together.
Michigan State picked up the doubles point in the No. 3 spot, as Nebraska's Lucy Loy and Anfisa Danilchenko fell to Issey Purser and Nicole Conard, 7-5.
In singles action, the Huskers picked up the first singles point to even the score at one as Lacasse defeated Purser in the No. 4 spot, 6-3, 6-2. In the No. 6 spot, Jillian Roa gave the Huskers their first lead of the match with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Conard.
Alicea made it 3-1 Nebraska with a 6-2, 7-6 (5) win in the No. 3 spot over Lambert. The Spartans cut its deficit to one as Vehvilainen picked up a 7-6 (2), 6-4 win in the No. 1 spot over Zamburek.
Nebraska clinched the overall win in the No. 5 spot as Danilchenko defeated Juliette Nask 6-4, 1-6, 6-1.
The Huskers' next match comes at home when they host Creighton on Wednesday, March 22, at 4 p.m. CT at the Sid and Hazel Dillon Tennis Center.
Tennis Match Results
Nebraska Women vs Michigan State 3/19/2023 at East Lansing, Mich. (MSU Indoor Tennis Center)
#63 Nebraska Women 4, Michigan State 2
1. Liisa Vehvilainen (MSU) def. Ana Carmen Zamburek (NEBW) 7-6 (7-2), 6-4
2. Ayshe Can (MSU) vs. Isabel A. Gallego (NEBW) 6-2, 2-6, 5-6, unfinished
3. Samantha Alicea (NEBW) def. Marley Lambert (MSU) 6-2, 7-6 (7-5)
4. Raphaëlle Lacasse (NEBW) def. Issey Purser (MSU) 6-3, 6-2
5. Anfisa Danilchenko (NEBW) def. Juliette Nask (MSU) 6-4, 1-6, 6-1
6. Jillian Roa (NEBW) def. Nicole Conard (MSU) 6-4, 6-4
1. Samantha Alicea/Raphaëlle Lacasse (NEBW) def. Liisa Vehvilainen/Ayshe Can (MSU) 6-4
2. Marley Lambert/Dagmar Zdrubecka (MSU) def. Isabel A. Gallego/Ana Carmen Zamburek (NEBW) 6-1
3. Issey Purser/Nicole Conard (MSU) def. Lucy Loy/Anfisa Danilchenko (NEBW) 7-5
Nebraska Women 11-3; National ranking #63 Michigan State 7-7
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (4,6,3,1,5) Official: William Urbanski T-2:45 A-73