Lincoln, Neb. – The No. 8 Nebraska volleyball team (13-4, 6-2) was edged by the No. 25 Purdue Boilermakers 3-1 (20-25, 22-25, 25-19, 20-25) on Saturday night at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The loss marked Nebraska’s first conference defeat at the Devaney Center this season.
Kelsey Robinson led the Huskers offensively on the night with 15 kills on 29 swings for a hitting percentage of .414. Amber Rolfzen notched 13 kills on 30 swings, while Kadie Rolfzen had 10 kills. Justine Wong-Orantes paced the Huskers defensively with 12 digs, while Cecilia Hall recorded four blocks. Mary Pollmiller handed out 41 assists on the night.
Nebraska hit .269 for the match, while Purdue’s .309 hitting percentage was the highest for a Husker opponent this season. The Boilermakers out-blocked NU 10-8 and out-dug the Huskers 50-41.
A kill from Meghan Haggerty tied the first set at 5-5, but the Boilermakers distanced themselves from the Huskers with a 12-8 lead and forced NU to call a timeout. An ace and a setter dump from Pollmiller pulled the Huskers within 17-15 as the Boilermakers then called a timeout. Back-to-back errors by Purdue put the Huskers within 23-20, but the Boilermakers held on to win the first set 25-20.
Robinson notched four kills in the first set as Pollmiller handed out nine assists. Nebraska hit .320 for the set, while Purdue hit .379. NU out-blocked Purdue 2-0.
Purdue came out firing in the second set, but back-to-back kills from Kadie Rolfzen tied the set at 8-8. Another kill from Kadie Rolfzen pushed the Huskers up 15-14, but Purdue strung together a pair of runs to go ahead 22-17 and force the Huskers to call a timeout. NU put together a 4-0 run to make it 23-22, Boilermakers, but Purdue withstood the Husker rally in the second set, winning 25-22.
Kadie Rolfzen had five kills in the set, while Amber Rolfzen tallied four kills. Pollmiller posted 11 assists as Nebraska hit .323 as a team. Purdue hit .333 for the set and out-blocked NU 3-2.
Nebraska used a 6-0 run in the third set to go up 14-7, punctuated by a kill from Haggerty. A service error on the Boilermakers made it 17-11, NU, while a kill from Amber Rolfzen put the Huskers up 21-16. Nebraska held on and won the third set 25-19.
Robinson notched six kills in the third set, while Amber Rolfzen and Haggerty both had three kills. Pollmiller had 10 assists in the set, helping the Huskers to a .394 hitting percentage. Purdue hit .259 for the set.
Nebraska pushed ahead to a 4-0 lead in the fourth set, but Purdue came back to score three straight points to cut into NU’s lead to 8-6 and force the Huskers to call a timeout. NU was up 17-15 after a kill from Robinson, but the Boilermakers came back to tie the set three times before taking a 20-19 advantage. Purdue closed the set on a 4-0 run as they escaped with the 25-20 fourth-set win.
Amber Rolfzen had four kills in the set, while Kadie Rolfzen and Haggerty both had three. Nebraska hit just .098, while Purdue hit at a clip of .258. The Boilermakers out-blocked Nebraska 5-3.
The Huskers are back in action on Wednesday, Oct. 23 as the Iowa Hawkeyes will come to the Bob Devaney Sports Center for a 6:30 p.m. match.