Fall Sports

This story is part of a Daily Nebraskan New Student Enrollment special edition. 


One national championship. Fourteen wins against top-25 opponents. One First-Team All-American.

Those were some of the statistics for Nebraska athletics in the fall of 2015.

To catch you up, here’s a recap of the 2015 seasons of all of NU’s fall sports.

Volleyball

Husker volleyball made headlines in 2015.

John Cook’s team went 32-4 on its way to the fourth national championship in program history and the first since 2006.

Outside hitter Kadie Rolfzen was named a First-Team All-American and libero Justine Wong-Orantes was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.

Nebraska kicked off its historic year by winning 12 of its first 13 games, losing only to No. 3 Texas. Nebraska went 17-3 in the Big Ten, which was good enough for second place behind Minnesota, which won the conference with an 18-2 record.

In their third season at the Devaney Center, the Huskers boasted a 16-2 home record. In away games and neutral games, the Huskers also went 16-2.

The Huskers were dominate in the NCAA tournament. They lost only a total of three sets in six games in the tournament.

Nebraska got two revenge wins in the Final Four. One was against BYU, a team that beat Nebraska in the tournament the year before. The other was a sweep against Texas in the final to avenge the early season loss to the Longhorns.

Football

This storybook ending did not play out for the Husker football team, under the direction of first-year head coach Mike Riley.

Nebraska went 6-7.

In Riley’s first game at Nebraska, BYU completed a 42-yard touchdown pass to sink the Huskers 33-28 on the last play of regulation.

Nebraska lost six of its first nine games, including games against Illinois and Purdue, teams typically at the bottom of the Big Ten standings.

Just when it looked like Nebraska had no hope of making a bowl game, it reeled off back-to-back wins, including a win against No. 6 Michigan State, which came to Lincoln undefeated.

Brandon Reilly’s touchdown catch with 17 seconds left in the game against the Spartans will be etched in Nebraska football history: a historic catch in a forgettable season.

Two weeks later, the Huskers lost to an undefeated Iowa team and found themselves at 5-7. Normally, that would not make them bowl eligible.

But with so many bowls and not enough teams to fill all the spots, Nebraska had a date with UCLA in the Foster Farms Bowl in San Francisco.

Riley and the Huskers controlled the whole game against the favored Bruins and won 37-29.

It was only the third losing season for the program since 1961.

Cross Country

Both the men’s and women’s teams started hot but did not finish well.

The men won their first two meets of the season. The first came in South Dakota, whre they defeated 21 other teams at the Augustana Twilight Meet Sept. 4. They followed that by finishing first out of six teams in their home meet at Pioneers Park Sept. 19.

The women outran 22 other schools to claim the title at the Augustana meet, giving the Huskers an opening meet sweep.

In four regular season meets, the men finished no worse than third in a meet.

But both the men and women finished second-to-last in the Big Ten Championships. The men were 11th out of 12, and the women were 13th out of 14.

Although the men had a bad showing at the conference meet, they improved in the NCAA Regional.

The Husker men finished eight spots than at last year’s regional, finishing 12th out of 26 teams.

On the women’s side, Nebraska finished 22nd out of 32 teams.

Soccer

The Nebraska soccer team opened a brand new stadium in fall 2015 and enjoyed some success in Barbara Hibner Stadium.

The Huskers started the season on a five-game homestand, winning four of the five games. The only loss was to No. 11 BYU.

Eventually, the third most difficult schedule in college soccer and a mid-season ACL injury to 2013 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Jaycie Johnson caught up to the Huskers. Nebraska finished the season 8-7-2 overall and 4-5-2 in the Big Ten.

NU notched two wins against top-25 teams. Nebraska beat No. 23 Kansas 3-0 at home in the first game of the year and No. 24 Northwestern in mid-October. Nebraska also played perennial power North Carolina in front of 2,746 fans in Lincoln but fell to the Tar Heels 3-0.

Soon to be senior Caroline Flynn was invited to the USA U-23 team camp.

sports@dailynebraskan.com