Washington State (18-15) at Nebraska (27-4)
Washington showed it was worthy of its spot in the tournament despite finishing in ninth place in the Pac-12 by beating at Florida State in four sets in the first round. Florida State had entered the tournament on a six-match winning streak.
The Cougars try to run most of their offense through 6-foot-3 outside hitter Taylor Mims, which can be more difficult to do when you play a great defensive and serving team like the Huskers. Mims had 28 kills on 79 hitting attempts on Friday.
“Mims is a really nice outside hitter, and she gets a lot of sets, so you know where the ball is going,” Nebraska coach John Cook said. “I thought (Washington State) played really good defense tonight. They’ve got a big, physical right-side player, and a big, physical middle, so they’re going to be like Michigan State-level athletes.
“They’re used to playing great teams, so they’re not going to be worried about playing Nebraska, so we got to expect a really tough match. That will be our mindset going in is that we’re going to have to battle.”
— Brent C. Wagner