HUSKER VOLLEYBALL: No. 3 Nebraska Wins Ninth Straight in Sweep of Northwestern

LINCOLN–(NU Athletics Oct. 16)–The No. 3 Nebraska volleyball team took care of business with a 25-23, 25-16, 25-18 sweep of Northwestern on Sunday at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in front of a crowd of 8,175.

The Huskers (16-1, 8-0 Big Ten) won their ninth match in a row and fourth by sweep, while Northwestern fell to 13-7 (2-6 Big Ten).

Nebraska used a balanced attack with five players recording at least six kills. Bekka Allick (.571), Madi Kubik (.304) and Whitney Lauenstein all had nine kills for the Huskers. Ally Batenhorst added eight kills and Lindsay Krause had six. Kaitlyn Hord chipped in five kills along with a team-high five blocks.

Kubik had a double-double with a team-high 12 digs. Lexi Rodriguez added 10 digs. Nicklin Hames had 23 assists and eight digs, and Anni Evans has 16 assists as the Huskers hit .296.

Nebraska had four service aces with Hames and Lauenstein each recording two. The Huskers had a slight edge in blocks, 7.5 to 6.0.

Northwestern hit .195 for the match and was led by 11 kills from Kathryn Randorf. Former Husker Megan Miller had 13 digs as the Wildcats’ libero.

Set 1: Northwestern went ahead 7-4 early on, but Krause terminated back-to-back kills to cut the deficit to one. But the Wildcats remained on top and went back up by three, 11-8, when Lauenstein and Kubik answered with kills to cut it to 11-10. The Huskers finally drew even after a roll shot by Kubik found the floor to make it 12-12. After five sideouts, Northwestern posted three kills in a row to take a 17-14 lead. Batenhorst and Krause came back with kills for the Big Red to get within 17-16, and a Northwestern hitting error tied the score at 18-18. Batenhorst added a kill to make it 19-18, Nebraska’s first lead since 2-1. After a Northwestern timeout, Batenhorst, Lauenstein and Hord had a triple block for a 20-18 advantage, but the Wildcats came right back with a kill and a Husker hitting error that tied the set at 20-20. After a Husker timeout, Northwestern served long, and Hord terminated a free ball to make it 22-20. A Husker service error was followed by a Kathryn Randorf kill that knotted the teams at 23-23. After a timeout, Lauenstein and Kubik put the set away at 25-23 with kills.

Set 2: Nebraska came out stronger in the second set with kills by Lauenstein and Allick contributing to a 4-1 lead. Nebraska went up 9-4 after kills by Krause, Allick and Batenhorst. Back-to-back blocks by Hord – one with Krause and one with Batenhorst – made it 11-5 Big Red. A 3-0 spurt by the Wildcats cut it to 12-9, but Kubik and Lauenstein produced kills to help Nebraska go back up by five, 15-10. Another 3-0 spurt by Northwestern reduced Nebraska’s lead to 15-13, but Kubik and Krause put down kills to make it 17-13. Batenhorst tallied a kill, and after two Northwestern hitting errors the Huskers were up 20-14. Batenhorst connected for two more kills, and Kubik added another as the Big Red increased the lead to eight at 23-15. The Huskers won 25-16, hitting .226 and holding Northwestern to .000 in the set.

Set 3: Kills by Kubik and Lauenstein and a block by Batenhorst and Hord helped Nebraska build a 7-3 lead. But Northwestern answered with a 7-0 run to even the score at 10-10. With the score still tied 12-12, Allick posted a kill and Lauenstein served consecutive aces to make it 15-12 Huskers. After the Wildcats got within 17-15, Lauenstein and Hord produced kills before an ace by Hames, and Hord added another kill before teaming up with Kubik for a block that put the Big Red ahead 23-16. Nebraska finished off the 25-18 win, hitting .375 in the final frame. Allick had six of her nine kills in the final set.

Up Next: The Huskers are back on the road for their next three matches, beginning Wednesday at 7 p.m. (CT) at No. 9 Purdue.