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A matchup worthy of a championship


Washington's Courtney Thompson, left, and Darla Myhre defend Tennessee's Yuliya Stoyanova during semifinal match on Thursday. 
 (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Washington's Courtney Thompson, left, and Darla Myhre defend Tennessee's Yuliya Stoyanova during semifinal match on Thursday. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO – It took all season to set up the marquee matchup in women’s college volleyball.

It’s only fitting that it will determine this year’s national champion.

Top-seeded Nebraska will face No. 3 seed Washington in the NCAA women’s volleyball title match today. Both teams dominated during the regular season, each winning conference titles while losing only once.

“I think this is what everybody wanted was Nebraska-Washington,” Nebraska coach John Cook said Friday. “We tried to play every top team this year, and the only one we haven’t played is Washington, so for us this is the final chance to prove that we are the best team in the country.”

Washington (31-1) has the NCAA’s best hitting percentage of .341 and swept each of its five opponents in the tournament. Nebraska (33-1) is fourth in hitting percentage at .324.

Both teams have national standouts.

Nebraska’s junior outside hitter Christina Houghtelling was chosen Friday as the Division I National Player of the Year. Melissa Elmer, a middle blocker, has led the nation in blocks per game with 2.18.

Washington has six seniors who want to conclude their college careers with a national title. The Huskies are led by Sanya Tomasevic, an outside hitter who holds the school record for kills.

“If we stay in system and we do the things we’re capable of and play to those capabilities, we’re an awfully good team,” Washington coach Jim McLaughlin said.

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