“Volleyball Day” in Lincoln, Nebraska, will go down in history.
Wednesday’s matchup between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Omaha Mavericks drew 92,003 spectators to the Cornhuskers’ Memorial Stadium, according to Nebraska, setting not only a NCAA record for women’s volleyball attendance, but the national and world attendance record for any women’s sporting event.
“The WORLD RECORD for a Women’s Sporting Event lives in Lincoln,” the team announced on social media. “There is NO place like Nebraska.”
Huskers head coach John Cook got emotional while talking about the feat. “We’ve dreamed big here tonight… (Junior setter) Kennedi Orr wrote me a note today that said, ‘Coach, tonight the impossible will be possible.’ We did it,” Cook said.
A volleyball court was erected inside Memorial Stadium, usual home of the Cornhuskers’ football team. The stadium has a listed capacity of 85,458, but can accommodate more than 90,000 spectators, as evidenced by Wednesday’s in-state contest.
NEBRASKA VOLLEYBALLaims for women’s attendance record with game inside football’s Memorial Stadium
The previous world record
The previous biggest crowd to attend a women’s sporting event in the United States is the 90,185 who packed the Rose Bowl to watch the 1999 World Cup final between the U.S. and China. The previous world record of 91,648 fans was set when Barcelona hosted Wolfsburg last April in a UEFA Women’s Champions League match.
– Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY Sports
Memorial Stadium record broken
Memorial Stadium may belong to the Cornhuskers’ football team, but the attendance record at the stadium belongs to the women’s volleyball team. According to The Athletic, the 92,003 fans that flocked to see Wednesday’s match is the most-ever at Memorial Stadium, beating the previous record (91,585) Nebraska football set in 2014 during a 41-31 win over Miami.
The Huskers walked out of the tunnel to The Alan Parsons Project’s “Sirius,” led by Cook, junior outside hitter Merritt Beason and junior defensive specialist Lexi Rodriguez. The atmosphere was electric as players high-fived fans who lined the aisle before running on the court for pregame warm-ups.
Magic Johnson: ‘I’m blown away’
The broadcast showed a sea of red fans in attendance, Los Angeles Lakers legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson said on social media Wednesday. “Shoutout to all the Husker fans that showed their support for women’s athletics and the Nebraska Volleyball team,” Johnson wrote.
Huskers’ head coach: ‘I feel like we’re at a rock concert’
It’s a party in Memorial Stadium, coach Cook said while fighting back tears.
Huskers win 3-0
The Huskers took the first two sets over the Mavericks, winning both 25-14. Nebraska registered 22 kills, 31 digs and three aces, including this gem from freshman Harper Murray. The Cornhuskers took the third set 25-13.