After bowing out of the NCAA Tournament in the Sweet 16, Nebraska finished at No. 9 in the final AVCA Coaches Poll of the 2022 season, a two-spot drop from the pre-tournament edition of the poll.
Nebraska went 26-6 including 16-4 in the Big Ten (finishing second behind Wisconsin) after entering the season as the No. 1 team in the country. Nebraska navigated constant lineup change spurred by injury, illness and performance to finish in the top 10 for the 11th straight season and the 36th time in 41 years of the poll.
The Huskers led the nation in opponent hitting percentage at .128 (compared to .148 last year) and finished 64th in hitting at .244 (up from .222 last season), but the Huskers saw their season end four rounds prior to last year’s team despite the improvement. Nebraska went 1-6 against teams ranked in the final top 10 (but 5-0 against teams ranked 11 through 25).
National champion Texas finished as the unanimous No. 1 after a 28-1 season. Runner-up Louisville (31-3) finished at No. 2 (a two-spot leap), San Diego (31-2) remained at No. 3 and No. 4 Pittsburgh (31-4) climbed two spots to No. 4.
For the first time since 2006, the Big Ten did not send a team to the Final Four as Wisconsin and Ohio State both lost in the regional finals.
Nebraska finished third among Big Ten teams. Wisconsin (28-4) dropped three spots to round out the top five. Ohio State (22-10) climbed two spots to No. 10. Minnesota (22-9) swapped spots with the Buckeyes. No. 11 Penn State (26-8) held its spot. Purdue (21-11) dropped one spot to No. 20.
Stanford (27-5) finished at No. 6. Oregon (26-6), the team who ended Nebraska’s season, finished at No. 7. Kentucky (22-8) is at No. 14 and Creighton rounded out Nebraska’s ranked nonconference opponents at No. 21. Kansas (16 points) and Loyola Marymount (eight points) also received votes.
Nebraska will lose all five upperclassmen (four seniors plus junior walk-on Anni Evans, who has entered the transfer portal) but returns a strong group of underclassmen and adds the No. 1 recruiting class in the country.
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.