LINCOLN, Neb. –(NU Athletics Oct. 13)– The No. 5 Nebraska volleyball team turned in another dominant defensive performance en route to a 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 25-14) win over Michigan on Sunday in front of a crowd of 8,028 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
The Huskers (13-2, 5-1 Big Ten) stifled Michigan – which came into the match with a Big Ten-leading .302 hitting percentage in conference play – to the tune of a .019 hitting percentage on Sunday. It was a season low for the Wolverines (12-4, 5-1 Big Ten), whose previous low was .214 at Dayton in September.
Nebraska got 12 kills, 10 digs and a career-high seven blocks from Lexi Sun, who hit .400 on the day. Lauren Stivrins had 11 kills on .647 hitting, her fifth straight match hitting better than .550. Madi Kubik and Jazz Sweet each added five kills.
NU’s block was strong for the second straight match, totaling 11.0 blocks after 14.0 on Friday against Michigan State. The Huskers had five solo blocks, all of which came in the third set. Three of Sun’s seven blocks were solo, and Kubik had two solo blocks as well. Callie Schwarzenbach posted five blocks.
Libero Kenzie Knuckles had 10 digs and three service aces, two of which came during a critical first-set run after the Huskers had fallen behind 18-14. Nicklin Hames had 34 assists to guide the Huskers to a .280 hitting percentage.
Nebraska finishes a four-match home stand against No. 20 Purdue on Wednesday at 8 p.m. on ESPNU. Wednesday’s match will be the Huskers’ annual “Pink Night” for breast cancer awareness.
Set 1: Michigan built a 7-2 lead via a 7-0 run on the jump serve of May Pertofsky. A kill by Stivrins and an ace by Miller snapped the run, and two kills by Stivrins and one by Sun brought the Huskers within 9-8. The Huskers took a 13-12 after Kubik smashed a kill, and Schwarzenbach posted back-to-back blocks, one with Sun and one with Sweet. But after a timeout, Michigan scored five points in a row to regain a 17-13 lead. With Michigan ahead 18-14, Knuckles served the Huskers back into it with a pair of aces during a 6-0 run that put NU ahead 20-18. Sweet capped the run with a kill, and later Stivrins and Davis hammered kills for a 22-19 Husker lead. Stivrins and Sun tacked on kills for set point at 24-21, and a big dig by Kubik led to Sun’s fourth kill of the set that gave Nebraska the 25-21 win. The Huskers held Michigan to -.029 hitting, and Nebraska had three aces in the set after totaling five in its three previous matches combined.
Set 2: Another ace by Knuckles and a block by Kubik and Stivrins gave the Huskers an early 5-4 lead. Stivrins added another kill, and four consecutive errors by Michigan gave the Huskers an 11-6 edge after a 6-0 run. NU went up by six, 15-9, after Sun had a kill and teamed up with Schwarzenbach for back-to-back blocks. The Wolverines cut it to three, 18-15, before Sweet and Kubik struck back-to-back kills for a 20-15 lead. Michigan then recorded three kills and two aces by Paige Jones to tie the set at 20-20. Kubik finally got the Huskers out of the rotation, and Sun terminated a shot for a 22-20 Husker lead. Sun blasted two more kills to earn set point for the Big Red at 24-22, and Schwarzenbach and Sun finished it off with another block.
Set 3: Nebraska pulled ahead 7-3 after back-to-back solo blocks by Sun. Stivrins, Kubik and Sun tacked on kills to keep the Huskers up by four, 10-6, and back-to-back solo blocks by Kubik made it 13-7 Huskers. Stivrins added two more kills, and Sun recorded a kill and another solo block, the Huskers’ fifth of the set, to make it 19-10. The Huskers pulled away for the sweep, 25-14.