Savannah Noyes has played 115 matches now in a Kansas University volleyball uniform. Saturday night arguably was the most important match of her career.
You see, Noyes, a senior from Indianola, Neb., was playing her hometown team for the final time. She used to travel 31â2 hours to Nebraska University's campus nearly every weekend for two years to compete in club volleyball and became quite familiar with most Nebraska players. When she chose Kansas, she knew she'd have at least eight opportunities to beat those Cornhuskers.
Her eighth try came and went Saturday. Still no victory. But she is not alone. There hasn't been a KU victory over NU in more than 80 tries.
One of the most remarkable streaks in college sports continued Saturday night when No. 3 Nebraska defeated Kansas, 3-0, (25-21, 25-18, 25-12) at the Horejsi Center.
Noyes spoke to her team the day before and tried describing her feelings.
"I talked with the girls about how important it was and probably got a little emotional," she said.
What exactly did Noyes say?
"She was just saying that any sibling rivalry, any team that you've ever wanted to beat in your entire life, just multiply that by a million and that's what this was like for her," KU outside hitter Karina Garlington said.
Kansas came out inspired by Noyes' words, but it still wasn't enough.
The Cornhuskers extended their dominance over the Jayhawks to 81 victories in 82 matches. The other ended in a tie. There is a KU victory in the series history - 33 years ago - in a match not even recognized by the Nebraska record books because of a dispute that occurred between the teams at the Graceland Invitational on Oct. 17, 1975.
Garlington led Kansas (12-14, 6-11 in the Big 12) with nine kills, and Noyes added eight. Two-time All-American Jordan Larson paced Nebraska (25-1, 16-1) with 15 kills and 11 digs.