Ames, Iowa - Playing in front of a hostile crowd at Ames High School, the No. 4 Nebraska volleyball team stayed a perfect 11-0 under Head Coach John Cook in Big 12 openers with a 3-1 win over the No. 11 Iowa State Cyclones (25-22, 24-26, 25-23, 28-26). Previously scheduled to be played at Hilton Coliseum, the match was moved to Ames High School due to water damage from a flood in August.
Lindsey Licht carried the Huskers with 15 kills and seven blocks, while Brooke Delano had seven kills and seven blocks while Tara Mueller added her third double-double of the season with 10 kills and 11 digs.
Sydney Anderson and Lauren Cook continued to drive the Husker attack with 26 assists apiece, as three Huskers totaled double-digits kills.
In front of a home crowd filled with cardinal and gold, the Cyclones got out to a quick 4-0 lead in set one, forcing Cook to take a timeout. The break paid off as Nebraska answered with three straight to get within one point, before the Cyclones reeled off five consecutive points to take a six-point lead, 9-3.
Nebraska came back to take seven of the next nine points to get within one point at 11-10, as four different Huskers chipped in kills during the rally. The Cyclones continued to hold an advantage until Hannah Werth sent back a Kelsey Petersen attack and Cook followed with an ace to give Nebraska its first lead of the set at 14-13, forcing an Iowa State timeout.
The Cyclones responded out of the timeout with three straight points to retake the lead at 16-15, before Werth ended the run with a kill. The Cyclones held a 22-20 lead following a kill from Victoria Henson, but it would be their last point of the set as Nebraska ran off five straight to take set one, 25-22. During the final stretch Anderson assisted on two kills each to Werth and Morgan Broekhuis.
Nebraska got out to a better start in set two, scoring five of the first seven points, including a 4-0 run. The Cyclones fired right back with six of the next eight points to take an 8-7 lead. The teams then trade blows over the next 15 rallies, until two straight Cyclone errors gave the Huskers a 17-15 lead.
Iowa State came back to tie the match on three occasions (18-18, 21-21, 22-22), before taking a 22-21 lead after a kill from Carly Jenson. Following a Cyclone error, a block from Delano and a kill from Werth the Huskers had match point at 24-22, but Iowa State dug deep and took the next four points to even the match at 1-1.
Iowa State carried its momentum from the end of set two into set three, as it opened a 5-1 lead behind three blocks from Jamie Straube. Following a Nebraska timeout, Licht sent back two Cyclone attacks, while Delano and Werth added kills to help the Huskers take four of the next five points to get back within one at 5-6. Iowa State stayed strong held Nebraska at bay, as it eventually built a six-point lead, 18-12.
Nebraska took back the momentum with seven of the next eight points to tie the match at 19-19. During the run, Mueller put up two blocks, while Allison McNeal and Licht each added a block and kill.
The match stayed tied at 21-21, when Broekhuis and Werth combined for back-to-back kills to create a 23-21 lead and force a Cyclone timeout. Iowa State responded with two straight of their own out of the brake to even the set at 23 apiece and force a Nebraska timeout.
Cook successfully rallied his troops as Werth opened with a kill and Straube followed with an attack error to give Nebraska set two, 25-22, and a 2-1 lead in the match.
Neither team was able to create more than a two-point lead early in set four, as the Cyclones were the first to hit double-digits with a 10-9 lead. After a kill from Werth tied the match at 10-10, Iowa State ran off three straight points to take a 13-10 lead and force a Huskers timeout.
Licht answered for Nebraska out of the break, but it was short lived as Iowa State took two straight to build a four point lead (15-11). Iowa State continued to hold a four-point lead of 21-17, when Delano and Licht strung together back-to-back kills to get within two points and force a Cyclone timeout.
Iowa State committed an error out of the break to let Nebraska get within one, but the Cyclones came back with three straight to take the lead at 24-20. With the set on the line, Licht put the Huskers on her back with three kills and a block on consecutive plays to tie the set at 24-24. The Huskers then had match point at 26-25, but a service error from Anderson again tied the match at 26-26. Henson followed with a service error for the Cyclones and Mueller closed out the match with an ace, 28-26.
The Huskers will now prepare for their Big 12 home opener against Colorado on Saturday at the NU Coliseum. Set for 7 p.m., the match will be carried across the state on NET and will be available everywhere else for free on Huskers.com. Fans also can listen to all of the action with John Baylor and Diane Mendenhall on the 25-station Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and Twister 93.3 FM in Omaha. Fans outside the state will also be able to catch the live audio feed for free on Huskers.com.