Nebraska women's athletics weren't just good this past year. They were historically good for the department.
Bowling, swimming and diving, rifle, track & field ... all are in the conversation year in and year out for success. Dave Feit highlighted their past year.
As for the big three:
Volleyball was Big Ten Conference and national runner-up. Basketball won its first 12 games of the season and made the conference tournament semifinals. Softball had an 18-game winning streak, finished second in the league during the regular season and won the conference tournament.
All three made their NCAA Tournaments in the same year for the first time since 2014-15. NU was one of just 13 programs in the nation this year to make all three NCAA Tournaments.
But where does their combined success stack up compared to previous seasons?
Let's look at both.
When allowing for each sport's wins and losses to be disproportionately weighted (volleyball played 34 games, basketball 33, and softball 57), the win percentage is .733. That's good for 11th since all three programs were competing at the same time in 1976-77.
That 2005-06 season saw volleyball make the national title match, basketball reach the WNIT quarterfinals, and softball host a regional.
When removing the weight of wins and losses meaning more for sports that play more games, the average winning percentage makes this past year even better.
The 2021-22 season is now No. 9 in department history, just behind the 2009-10 season which was carried by the 32-2 basketball team that made the Sweet Sixteen.
The 2005-06 year still remains queen.
We do see 2006-07 jump up to second and the 1995-96 year moves into the top 10. A common denominator between those two years: volleyball national title teams.
Now how do this past year's teams stack up against their program histories?
Volleyball's .765 ranked 42nd out of 46 seasons. That tells you just how ridiculous the program has been since 1976 that a national runner-up's win percentage was near the bottom. The best season, obviously, was the lone undefeated year: 2000.
Basketball, the longest running of the big three women's sports, had the seventh-best season since 1974-75. At .727, the 2021-22 team trails three teams from this past decade, the 1992-93 team, the 1987-88 team, and the best ever in 2009-10 with a gaudy .941 win percentage.
Softball, in action since 1977, posted the highest win percentage (.719) since 2013 (.737). That's good for 12th in program history. The top four are 1985 (.805), 1998 (.800), 1986 (.792), and 1987 (.788). 1984 is also in the top 10, making that '84-to-'87 run just ridiculous, which was followed up in 1988 with a national runner-up team that won at a clip of .661.
Why are these three programs able to pump out good season after good season, even if bumps in the road happen here and there? One big contributing factor is consistency.
That consistency is with most players, particularly key players, staying throughout their careers. It is also on the coaching side.
John Cook has led volleyball since 2000. Amy Williams has led the basketball program since 2016, which followed a 14-year run by Connie Yori. And Rhonda Revelle puts them all to shame, having helmed the softball program since 1993.
So what's next for these three?
Volleyball has another top-tier recruiting class to go with a star transfer, on top of plenty of returning talent. That's a preseason No. 1 type team. Basketball returns five starters from the end of the season and has added a few good high school and transfer players. And softball's core was underclassmen, setting up that program for years of success.
Nebraska fans gravitate to winners. They support success.
Luckily for them, the NU women's programs deliver year in and year out.