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Kansas vs Nebraska: The View From Press Row

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The Jayhawks may not have prevailed on Thursday night, but I think they'll be back. Here's a Twitter-esque recap.

Got packed up and headed out of KC at exactly 11:05.

If it's this cold here, it's gonna be at least as cold in Omaha, right?

Well that was a quick trip.

Omaha really isn't that far away.

Get to the hotel about 2:30 after having stopped for lunch on the way.

Our hotel room isn't even ready!

Get into a room a little after 3.  Just kinda chillaxing.

5 PM, time to head over to the arena, about two blocks away.

Pregame

Get checked in.

Go toward the floor.

Finally find "Rock Chalk Talk SB Nation" on a card on press row.

Yesssssss.

Only one spot though.

NCAA liaison explains she ran out of room.

It's ok, our newest writer volunteers to go up to the press box.

But first, head back into the bowels of the arena to check out the media dining area.

Free food and drink, what more could you ask for.

Cookies?  Yes please.

Cake?  Ok I suppose.

Back to the arena.

Texas - Minnesota getting ready to start.

Looks like I'll be on camera a lot tonight.

First game between Minnesota and Texas begins.

Minnesota vs Texas

This is some really damn good - and entertaining - volleyball.

UT takes the first set.

The Nebraska team walks in between sets to take in a little of the action...

... to thunderous applause and a "Go Big Red" chant.

I think the second game will be loud.

Texas takes the second set in extra points.

Both teams are playing well (to my untrained eye).

Texas playing their fight song during the intermission.

Nebraska reporter sitting right beside me.

"I bet you guys don't miss hearing that song."

"Yeah, really."

He seems like a nice guy.

For a Nebraskan.

We chat during the third set of Minn-TX.

He doesn't seem to know much about Kansas.

I tell him Tiana Dockery is awesome, and if she has a good match it will be a good night for Kansas.

He circles her number on his roster.

Nebraska fans pulling hard for Minnesota.

Gophers dropped the first two sets but just pulled even late in the third, 20-20.

This really has been a great match.

Ugh I forgot that the Texas band played Wabash Cannonball.

Wow.  Minnesota playing great now.  Takes the third set.

So far all three sets decided by the minimum two points.

Texas wins.

In Between Games

Nice cheer when Kansas comes out for warmups.

Deafening cheer when Nebraska came out a minute later.

Yeah, this isn't gonna be fair (crowd-noise wise).

I think I'm getting good pics.

This Media/Photo pass is amazing.

I bet if someone pushed inflatable Lil Red on his back he would flail around like a turtle.

What a stupid mascot.

First Set

Jayhawks with an early lead in the first set.

Then they fall behind.

What a roller coaster this team is.

‘Hawks fight back to down by one (17-18).

Too many service errors.  Can't afford to give away this many point at this point in the season.

Nebraska on a run.  KU down 18-22.

Nubs win the first set.

Second Set

Another service error early in the second set.  Come on, Kansas.

Head over to the sideline to take more pics.

Camera guy beside me is a chatty Cathy.

Tells me all about the 2013 Final Four, and how there was an usher that wouldn't let media members move around the edge of the court.

Apparently that usher wasn't invited back to the championship game.  He said it went much smoother.

This is one of the worst sets I've seen KU play all year.

I say that and then they make a run toward the end.

Too little too late, NU takes set two.

Halftime

The halftime entertainment featured members of the Nebraska ban against members of the KU band.

They lined up six deep on one end of the court.  The first contestant had to run down to the other end, pick up a volleyball, bring it back and hand it off.

The second person had to take the first ball, run back down to the other end, pick up a second ball, come back and hand both balls off.

Likewise the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth person.

Unfortunately, Nebraska won that too.

Third Set

Kansas looks a little beat down coming out of the break.

Big Jay has changed into a red shirt.

But they seem to be playing better this set.

After an early lead, now exchanging points with the Nubs.

KU takes a 19-16 lead and looking good.

Now it's 23-18.

Jayhawks hang on to win set three 25-20.

It will be interesting to see if the Jayhawks can make this a game.

Fourth Set

Jayhawks with an early lead, 5-4.  Still fighting.

Nebraska suddenly inspired again, takes an 11-8 lead.  The arena is on fire, as loud as it has been all night.

KU forced to take a timeout.

Is this the death knell for 2015 KU volleyball?

Big Jay now in a plain white t-shirt.  This is his third wardrobe of the evening.

Huskers stretch the lead, 18-12.

Jayhawks come back to 18-16....

But Nebraska with four in a row and this place gets louder with every NU point.

Body language not looking good for KU right now.

Nebraska finishes out the set winning seven in a row.

Aftermath

This KU squad looks devastated.

They quickly shake hands and run off the floor.

Checked out the post-game presser afterwards (but didn't ask any questions).

You could tell they are disappointed but I think they've bounced back already.

They're proud of what they accomplished this season, and they should be.

What a great season.

They'll be back for more in 2016 and 2017, I'm sure of it.

They'll miss Dockery next year, but Cassie Wait will be a senior and the core of this team was sophomores this year.

Golly, did I jinx Dockery earlier tonight when talking to the Nebraska reporter?  I hope not.  I feel so bad for her.  She did not play well tonight after being amazing for KU all year long.

If Dockery and Wait had played their normal games, this is a five-set match that could go either way.

I bet they have a few more Final Fours left in them.

How about winning a national title in Kansas City in 2017?

Now THAT would be awesome.

Click HERE to enjoy some pics from the evening.