Huskers Overcome Saint Mary’s in 3-1 Victory
Lincoln, Neb. – The No. 12 Nebraska volleyball team (5-1) overcame a slow start on Thursday night to prevail over the Saint Mary’s Gaels 3-1 (18-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-18). Two players had double-doubles for the Huskers on the night as Amber Rolfzen posted a career-high 16 kills and added 11 digs, while Kelsey Robinson had a season-high 19 kills and chipped in a match-high 17 digs.
The Huskers hit .243 as a team, while Saint Mary’s hit .182. Nebraska was paced offensively by Mary Pollmiller as she recorded a season-high 46 assists. Justine Wong-Orantes followed Robinson’s lead defensive with 16 digs. Cecilia Hall led NU at the net with five blocks, as the Huskers went on to out-blocked Saint Mary’s 11-9.
The Gaels opened the match on fire taking an 8-4 lead. Nebraska came back to make it 15-8, Saint Mary’s, on a kill by Kadie Rolfzen, however the Gaels would continue to fight as they went up 19-13. A dump from Pollmiller made it 20-15, Gaels, but the Huskers could not gain the lead and lost the first set 25-18.
Robinson led NU in the first set with six kills, but the Huskers hit just .088 as a team. Saint Mary’s hit .219 as a team and out-blocked NU 4-1.
Robinson helped the Huskers tie Saint Mary’s at 6-6 in the second set, while Amber Rolfzen and Hall teamed up for a block to give NU an 11-8 lead. A kill by Haggerty put the Huskers ahead 19-14, while Nebraska took a 22-18 lead on another kill by Amber Rolfzen. Saint Mary’s held on for two set points, but the Huskers prevailed with a 25-21 second-set win.
Amber Rolfzen and Robinson both had five kills in the second set, while Pollmiller paced the offense with 14 assists. Nebraska hit .214 in the set, while Saint Mary’s hit .171. NU had 19 team digs, while the Gaels had 20.
The Huskers and Gaels traded leads early in the third set, as NU eventually took a 15-12 advantage on a kill by Robinson. The Huskers maintained their lead, going up 22-18 after Kadie Rolfzen notched a kill of her own and Saint Mary’s was forced to call a timeout. A service error on set point gave the Huskers the third set 25-21.
Both Amber Rolfzen and Robinson recorded five kills in the set, while Pollmiller dished out 12 assists. Nebraska hit at a clip of .351 and out-blocked Saint Mary’s 3-2.
Alicia Ostrander came in to lead the Husker charge in the fourth set, posting three kills and helping NU to a 10-4 lead. Aided by a kill and solo block from Amber Rolfzen, the Huskers went up 16-11, but Saint Mary’s came back to make it 19-16, NU. The Huskers held on the win the fourth set 25-18 and take the match 3-1.
Amber Rolfzen guided NU in the final set with five kills on eight attacks for a .625 hitting clip. Ostrander had four kills on four attacks, and both Kadie Rolfzen and Robinson recorded three kills. Pollmiller had 12 assists for NU, while Nebraska hit .314 and had four team blocks.
The Huskers return to action tomorrow night as they face the Dayton Flyers at the Devaney Center at 7 p.m. The match will air on NET in Nebraska and will be streamed on the Big Ten Digital Network.