Champaign, Ill. – The No. 12 Nebraska Volleyball team (9-2, 2-0) stifled the No. 24 Illinois Fighting Illini 3-0 (25-20, 25-14, 25-22) on Saturday afternoon at Huff Hall. The victory closed the opening weekend of Big Ten play for the Huskers as they came away 2-0.
Kadie Rolfzen led NU on the day with 14 kills on 33 swings. Kelsey Robinson notched a double-double as she posted 10 kills and a match-high 15 digs. Mary Pollmiller dished out 27 assists.
The Husker block stifled the Illini on the night as Cecilia Hall led the way eight blocks and Amber Rolfzen had five, helping the Huskers to a total of 11. Illinois recorded just three team blocks.
Nebraska hit .255 for the match, while the Fighting Illini were held to a .144 hitting clip. Both teams had 45 digs.
The Huskers and Illini traded points early in the first set, as Nebraska gained a 14-10 lead on an ace from Alexa Ethridge. Nebraska went up 19-15 on a kill by Robinson, while a long rally and two-straight kills from Kadie Rolfzen stretched NU’s lead to 21-17. A 4-1 run closed out the set as the Huskers won it 25-19.
Kadie Rolfzen recorded five kills in the first set, while Kelsey Robinson had four and Meghan Haggerty and Cecilia Hall each posted three. Pollmiller tallied 13 assists as the Huskers hit .289 as a team. Illinois hit .216 and was out-blocked by NU 2-0.
Three early kills from Kadie Rolfzen put NU up 6-1 in the second set, while Nebraska took a 12-6 lead on an error by the Illini. The Huskers went up 16-10 on a double-block from Hall and Amber Rolfzen, while a 5-0 run with Ethridge at the service line catapulted NU to a 21-11 lead. Pollmiller notched a kill of her own to close out the second set and give Nebraska the 25-14 win.
Kadie Rolfzen and Kelsey Robinson each recorded four kills in the set, while the Huskers hit .276 as a team. The Husker block warmed up in the second set as Nebraska had six team blocks and Illinois recorded just two. The Illini hit at a .088 clip in the second set.
An ace from Robinson put NU ahead 7-4 in the third set, while back-to-back blocks from Hall and Pollmiller made it 11-7, Huskers. Illinois cut NU’s lead to 14-12, but Haggerty came through with a kill and Robinson recorded an ace to give Nebraska a 19-14 lead. Illinois again cut into the Husker lead, making it 22-20, NU, but the Huskers held on to win 25-22.
Kadie Rolfzen had five kills in the third set, while Amber Rolfzen notched three. The Huskers hit .200 in the set, while Illinois hit .125.
Nebraska returns home next weekend as the Huskers host Minnesota on Friday, Oct. 4 and Wisconsin on Saturday, Oct. 5. Nebraska’s match with the Gophers will air on the Big Ten Network, while NU’s match with the Badgers will be televised on NET in Nebraska.