Huskers Fight Back, Overcome New Mexico State in Five Sets
Albuquerque, N.M. - The Nebraska Volleyball team opened the MCM Elegante Lobo Classic Friday night with a gritty comeback effort to beat the New Mexico State Aggies 3-2 (20-25, 24-26, 25-13, 25-12,15-8).
The last time the Huskers came back from a 0-2 deficit was against Illinois on Sept. 11, 2010 at the Devaney Center. The Huskers have overcome an 0-2 deficit 15 times in program history, including eight times under John Cook.
Morgan Broekhuis led the Huskers on the night with 18 kills, followed by Gina Mancuso with 16. Lauren Cook totaled 51 assists, while Lara Dykstra had 28 digs of her own.
The Huskers started sloppy as the Aggies took the first set 25-20. Nebraska gave New Mexico State an early 6-1 lead. The closest the Huskers got in the first set was 8-7 right before the Aggies called a timeout. Nebraska committed 12 errors in set one, while Mancuso, Brooke Delano and Broekhuis each had three kills apiece. Cook totaled 11 assists, and Dykstra tabbed eight digs.
In set two the Aggies jumped out to a 5-0 lead before the Huskers eventually cut it to 15-12. After a New Mexico State timeout, Nebraska came out strong with a block to cut it again to 15-13. With a kill from Broekhuis, Nebraska tied it up at 16-16 and took their first lead of the match at 17-16. The Huskers and Aggies battled point-for-point in the second set. Nebraska eventually fell 26-24, giving the Aggies a 2-0 lead for batch.
Broekhuis led the Huskers in set two with five kills. Delano and Werth each had four kills, and Cook notched 12 assists for Nebraska. The Huskers posted a .229 hitting percentage compared to the Aggies' .265.
Nebraska came out in set three to take a 2-0 lead. A kill by Hayley Thramer made it 11-5 in favor of Nebraska and forced New Mexico State to call a timeout. The Huskers blew it open to a 15-6 lead, eventually winning set three 25-13 and cutting it to 2-1 for the match.
Mancuso led Nebraska in the third set with four kills on four attempts, while Broekhuis added three of her own. The Huskers hit .318, compared to the Aggies -.138.
In the fourth set the Huskers started out with a 6-1 lead before New Mexico State had to call a timeout. Nebraska continued its fourth-set domination to a 17-7 lead. The Huskers came within match point on two huge kills by Delano and Mancuso and took set four 25-12 on a service error by the Aggies.
Nebraska boasted a hitting percentage of .556 in the fourth set, highlighted by five kills apiece for Mancuso and Broekhuis. Cook totaled 14 assists and Paige Hubl tabbed one service ace.
The Huskers and Aggies battled to the fifth set where the Huskers burst out of the gates to an 11-4 lead. Nebraska took the fifth set 15-8 and won the match 3-2.
NU outhit New Mexico State .136 to -.160 in the fifth set and totaled 11 team digs in addition to five blocks.
The Huskers will return to the Johnson Center for their final match of the MCM Elegante Lobo Classic against New Mexico at 8:30 p.m. CT. Fans can listen to all of the action with John Baylor and Lindsay Peterson 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 listen to a live audio feed for free on Huskers.com. Live stats of both matches will be available at GoLobos.com and the link can also be found on Huskers.com.