East Lansing, Mich. – The No. 9 Nebraska volleyball team (12-3, 5-1) fell 3-1 (20-25, 24-26, 25-20, 19-25) to the No. 7 Michigan State Spartans on Saturday evening at Jenison Fieldhouse on the campus of Michigan State University. The loss marks the Huskers’ first conference defeat of the 2013 season.
Kelsey Robinson led the Huskers on the night with a double-double, recording 20 kills and 12 digs. Kadie Rolfzen also had a double-double with 13 kills and 10 digs and Meghan Haggerty notched six kills. Mary Pollmiller handed out 42 assists on the night and Cecilia Hall posted five blocks.
Nebraska hit .258 for the match, while Michigan State hit .288. The Huskers out-dug the Spartans 52-47 and out-blocked MSU 11.5-8.
Michigan State took a 13-6 lead in the first set, but the Huskers responded with a 4-0 run, punctuated by an ace from Pollmiller, to cut the Spartans’ lead to 13-10. Nebraska came within 20-19 on a kill by Kadie Rolfzen, but MSU responded with a 4-0 run and went on to win the first set 25-20.
Robinson and Kadie Rolfzen both had four kills in the first set, as the Huskers hit .323 for the set. Michigan State hit an identical .323, while NU out-dug MSU 15-11.
The Huskers took a 9-6 lead in the second set on a kill by Cecilia Hall, but Michigan State fought back to go up 16-14. A kill by Robinson put Nebraska ahead at 21-10, but the Spartans came back to tie the set at 23-23. Nebraska had set point 24-23, but Michigan State came back to take the second set 26-24.
Robinson led the way again in the second set with five kills. Nebraska hit .200 in the set as Michigan State tallied a .304 hitting clip. NU was out-dug 19-17 and both teams had just one block in the set.
Meghan Haggerty put the Huskers up 8-4 in the third set, while a double-stuff block from Kadie Rolfzen and Hall made it 13-5, NU. Kadie Rolfzen punched in a kill to make it 17-8, Huskers, while a block from Broekhuis and Haggerty made it 21-15, Nebraska. Michigan State inched back to cut NU’s lead to 23-20, but Nebraska held on for the 25-20 third-set win.
Robinson tallied seven kills in the third set, as Kadie Rolfzen had four kills. Nebraska hit. 250, while Michigan State was held to a .061 hitting clip. NU out-blocked MSU 8.5-3.
Nebraska went up 7-6 in the fourth set on a kill by Pollmiller, but the Spartans edged back to take a 14-10 lead and force Nebraska to call a timeout. Pollmiller cut Michigan State’s lead to 18-16, but the Spartans fought back to make it 21-17 and force Nebraska to use a timeout. Robinson put the Huskers within 23-19, but Michigan State held on to win 25-19.
Kadie Rolfzen and Robinson both had three kills in the final set, as Nebraska hit .250 as a team. Michigan State hit .483 and out-blocked NU 3-1.
The Huskers return home next weekend as they host Indiana on Friday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. and Purdue on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m., at the Devaney Center.