Lincoln, Neb.- The No. 6 Nebraska volleyball team (12-1, 5-0) propelled itself over the No. 11 Purdue Boilermakers in a 3-1 (25-22, 20-25, 25-14, 25-22) win Friday night at the NU Coliseum. The Huskers, who remained undefeated in Big Ten Conference play, produced one of their most balanced efforts of the season, with five plays notching over 20 attacks for the match. NU also saw five different players tally 10 or more digs through all four sets.
Gina Mancuso led NU on the night with 16 kills on 39 attacks. Morgan Broekhuis had 13 kills and three service aces, while Hayley Thramer had a career-high 12 kills for a .409 hitting percentage. Both Mancuso and Broekhuis tabbed double-doubles on the night, marking the seventh double-double for Mancuso and the third for Broekhuis. Lauren Cook accumulated 51 assists, as the Huskers also had six team blocks. Defensively, Nebraska out-dug Purdue 84-73, marking the most team digs for NU this season.
The Huskers and Boilermakers fought back and forth early on in the first set before Nebraska pushed to a 10-6 lead on a kill by Mancuso. The Huskers used their momentum to propel them to a 16-13 lead on an error by Purdue. The Boilermakers cut the score to 20-19 on an ace, but Nebraska would not let Purdue capitalize. The Huskers went on to a 25-22 first set win to lead the match 1-0.
Mancuso and Broekhuis both led NU in the first set, tallying six kills apiece with 10 and nine attacks respectively. Cook tallied 14 assists, while the Huskers had 17 team digs and four team blocks. NU hit .333 for the set, while the Boilermakers were held to a .119 hitting percentage and were forced to make nine errors.
Roles reversed in the second set as the Huskers and Boilermakers battled early on in set two until Purdue pulled away to lead 10-5. Purdue notched a 20-13 lead before Nebraska started to make a run. The Huskers came as close as 22-18 and eventually 20-23, but could not secure the momentum to push ahead of Purdue. The Boilermakers won the second set, 25-20 and tied the match at one set apiece.
Mancuso and Thramer each had three kills on seven attacks for Nebraska in the second set. The Huskers out-dug Purdue 21-18, but had zero team blocks. NU hit .000 for the set, while the Boilermakers only tallied a .146 hitting percentage.
Nebraska came out hot in the third set stretching the lead to 10-5 on back-to-back service aces by Broekhuis. A kill by Hannah Werth made it 17-9 Nebraska and forced Purdue to call a timeout. Another kill by Werth put the Huskers in front 21-12. NU only allowed Purdue two more points in the set, eventually winning the third set, 25-14 and leading the match 2-1.
Mancuso had four kills in the third set on a total of eight attacks. Thramer and Werth both added three kills of their own while Cook had 11 assists. Nebraska tabbed 16 digs on the set and hit .367. Purdue was held to a .111 hitting percentage and committed seven errors.
Nebraska pushed ahead in the fourth set, taking an early 7-3 lead on a kill by Brooke Delano. Purdue tied the set at 13, but NU went ahead 20-17 on a kill by Mancuso. The Boilermakers came within one point of the Huskers two times, last at 22-21. At that point NU closed out Purdue, taking the fourth set 25-22 on a kill by Werth and sealing the match win at 3-1.
Thramer had six kills for NU in the fourth set, with Broekhuis close behind at five. Cook notched 19 assists, while Nebraska had 30 team digs. The Huskers held Purdue to a .196 hitting percentage for the set.
Nebraska returns to action tomorrow afternoon at the NU Coliseum as the Huskers host Indiana at 3 p.m. The match can be seen live on ESPN3.com and will air via tape delay on ESPN2 on Sunday, Oct. 9 at noon.