Husker Offense Stifles Spartans
Lincoln, Neb.- The No. 6 Nebraska volleyball team used a dominating offensive performance on Wednesday night to sweep the No. 24 Michigan State Spartans 3-0 (25-17, 25-16, 25-22) in front of 4,106 fans at the NU Coliseum.
NU saw four different Huskers hit better than .400 in the match. Gina Mancuso recorded 12 kills on 25 swings for a .400 hitting percentage, while Hayley Thramer was four for 10 with no errors for a .400 hitting percentage, also contributing four blocks. Hannah Werth notched nine kills on 15 swings (.467) and Meghan Haggerty posted eight kills on 10 swings (.700).
Lauren Cook paced the offense with 39 assists, while she also led Nebraska defensively with 11 digs. Nebraska posted a .391 team hitting percentage and out-blocked the Spartans 7-3. NU also out-dug MSU 33-31.
The Huskers came out to a 4-1 lead on a kill by Werth. A hitting error by Michigan State put NU up 14-9, before Lara Dykstra opened the first set up with a service ace, giving Nebraska an 18-10 lead. Werth notched another kill, putting NU up 10 at 21-11. NU went on to take the first set 25-17, leading the match 1-0.
Mancuso and Werth led the Husker offense in the first set as both had four kills. Cook tabbed 11 assists as the Huskers hit .591 in the set. Nebraska out-blocked MSU 2-0.
A kill by Morgan Broekhuis gave Nebraska a 5-1 edge early in the second set. Haggerty recorded a kill as the Huskers went up 12-5. Another error by Michigan State powered NU to a 19-11 lead and forced MSU to use a timeout. Haggerty posted a kill as Nebraska went up 20-12. The Huskers went on to take the second set 25-16, leading the match 2-0.
Broekhuis posted five kills for the Huskers in the second set, while Haggerty recorded three. Nebraska notched a .321 hitting percentage in the set behind 13 assists from Cook. Nebraska again out-blocked the Spartans 3-1.
Michigan State came out fighting in the third set, posting three consecutive points and taking a 12-6 lead on a service ace. Nebraska closed the gap with the help of a two-hit error, making it 13-11, Spartans. Werth put NU within one at 16-15, while a double-stuff block by Allison McNeal and Haggerty tied the set at 16-16. A hitting error by Michigan State put NU up 20-18, but the Spartans came back to tie the set at 20-20. A block by Werth and Thramer gave Nebraska a 24-21 lead, while a kill from Broekhuis sealed the 25-22 third-set win and gave Nebraska the sweep.
Mancuso notched six kills in the third set, while Werth had four of her own. Cook tabbed 15 assists, guiding NU to a .324 hitting percentage in the set.
Nebraska will return to the NU Coliseum on Sunday to take on the Michigan Wolverines at 2 p.m. The match will air live on NET.