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Texas, Nebraska could meet in volleyball regional

  • Texas' Sara Hattis, top center, attempts to block Chiaka Ogbogu, bottom center, during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

    Texas' Sara Hattis, top center, attempts to block Chiaka Ogbogu, bottom center, during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

  • Texas' Sara Hattis, top center, attempts to block Chiaka Ogbogu, bottom center, during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

    Texas' Sara Hattis, top center, attempts to block Chiaka Ogbogu, bottom center, during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

  • Texas' Chloe Collins, left, Sara Hattis, center, and Amy Neal go up for a block during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

    Texas' Chloe Collins, left, Sara Hattis, center, and Amy Neal go up for a block during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

  • Texas' Chloe Collins, left, Sara Hattis, center, and Amy Neal go up for a block during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

    Texas' Chloe Collins, left, Sara Hattis, center, and Amy Neal go up for a block during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

  • Texas'  Khat Bell, center, blocks the ball during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

    Texas' Khat Bell, center, blocks the ball during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

  • Texas' Bailey Webster hits the ball over the net during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

    Texas' Bailey Webster hits the ball over the net during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

  • Texas' Khat Bell hits the ball over the net during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

    Texas' Khat Bell hits the ball over the net during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

  • Texas' Khat Bell hits the ball over the net during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

    Texas' Khat Bell hits the ball over the net during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

  • Texas'  Chloe Collins goes for a dig during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

    Texas' Chloe Collins goes for a dig during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

  • Texas'  Chloe Collins goes for a dig during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

    Texas' Chloe Collins goes for a dig during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

  • Texas' Sara Hattis, top center, attempts to block Chiaka Ogbogu, bottom center, during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
  • Texas' Sara Hattis, top center, attempts to block Chiaka Ogbogu, bottom center, during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
  • Texas' Chloe Collins, left, Sara Hattis, center, and Amy Neal go up for a block during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
  • Texas' Chloe Collins, left, Sara Hattis, center, and Amy Neal go up for a block during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
  • Texas'  Khat Bell, center, blocks the ball during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
  • Texas' Bailey Webster hits the ball over the net during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
  • Texas' Khat Bell hits the ball over the net during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
  • Texas' Khat Bell hits the ball over the net during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
  • Texas'  Chloe Collins goes for a dig during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
  • Texas'  Chloe Collins goes for a dig during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Texas plays American on Friday in the NCAA college volleyball Lincoln regional. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

LINCOLN, Neb. — Defending national champion Texas’ road back to the NCAA volleyball final four runs through familiar territory — Nebraska.

The Cornhuskers parted ways with Texas in 2011 when they joined the Big Ten. But the old Big 12 rivals are on a collision course in the Lincoln Regional.

The No. 1-seeded Longhorns (25-2) take a 21-match win streak into their semifinal against American (34-2) today. The No. 8 Huskers (25-6) will face No. 9 San Diego (26-3) in the other semifinal.

“When I took over we were near the bottom, and we looked up to Nebraska and the way they were running their program in all aspects,” 13th-year Longhorns coach Jerritt Elliott said. “We set some high, lofty goals to compete with them. We’ve finally gotten our program to do that over the last handful of years, and it’s what makes sports exciting.”

Other regionals are in Lexington, Ky.; Champaign, Ill.; and Los Angeles. Winners move to the final four next week in Seattle. The top three seeds remain alive: Texas, Penn State and Washington. No. 4 Missouri and No. 5 Florida were among the teams knocked out last week.

Texas beat Nebraska in a five-set match in Austin in September and has won six of the last eight meetings with the Huskers, including a 2009 regional final in Omaha.

Nebraska and Texas took turns dominating the Big 12 in the 15 years they were in the league together. The Longhorns have won the league each of the three years since Nebraska went to the Big Ten.

American, out of the Patriot League, has been in the national tournament 13 times in 17 years but has never made it to a regional.

The Huskers haven’t made it to a final four since 2008, and they’ll face a major task just to get past San Diego.

Nebraska has sold out 198 straight matches and will be playing in front of another full house of 8,000 at the Devaney Sports Center. Tickets for the regional were snapped up in one day.

West Coast Conference champion San Diego has beaten Hawaii, Iowa State and Illinois and was ranked as high as No. 2 after knocking off Southern California.

Though Nebraska fans are excited about a possible showdown with Texas on Saturday, the players are looking no further than today, Big Ten player of the year Kelsey Robinson said.

“We obviously have a lot of pressure to win because we are hosting,” she said. “Texas has the same amount of pressure because they’re No. 1. Right now we’re just focused on San Diego. They’re a great team and if we don’t take them seriously, then we’re going to get knocked out.”

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