Lincoln, Neb.- The No. 10 Nebraska volleyball team (23-6, 15-5) sent the 2012 seniors out in fashion on Saturday night as the Huskers topped Northwestern 3-1 (25-15, 25-22, 20-25, 25-21) in front of 4,092 fans at the NU Coliseum.
Hannah Werth led the Huskers on the night with a double-double, including a team-high 17 kills and 13 digs to go along with a .342 hitting percentage. Gina Mancuso recorded 13 kills and eight digs for NU. Lauren Cook also notched a double-double on the evening, with 45 assists and 10 digs. Meghan Haggerty led the Husker block with six.
Nebraska hit .261 as a team, while Northwestern notched a .209 hitting percentage. The Huskers out-blocked the Wildcats 14-7.
The Huskers opened the match on a 4-0 run, eventually posting a 6-3 advantage over the Wildcats on a kill by Broekhuis. Northwestern cut the Husker lead to 8-7, but an ace by Paige Hubl made it 11-7, Nebraska. Three consecutive kills by Werth made it 17-13, Huskers. Nebraska used a double-stuff block by Cook and Haggerty to close out the Wildcats in the first set 25-15.
Werth led NU in the first set with seven kills, while Mancuso and Morgan Broekhuis both had two. The Huskers recorded five team blocks and a .286 hitting percentage, while Northwestern had a .000 hitting percentage.
An ace by Cook gave Nebraska a 2-1 lead in the second set, as a kill by Broekhuis stretched NU's lead to 8-4. Another ace, this time by Werth, put Nebraska ahead 13-5, as a kill by Mancuso made it 16-9, Huskers and a double-stuff block by Hayley Thramer and Broekhuis gave the Huskers an 18-11 lead. Northwestern forced five set points, until Nebraska eventually won the second set 25-22.
Mancuso and Werth both had four kills in the second set, while Cook tabbed 11 assists. Nebraska hit .250 for the set, while Northwestern hit .222.
The two teams came out fighting in the third set, tying at 7-7 on a kill by Mancuso. Northwestern went up 13-11 on a net violation by Nebraska, while stretching their lead to 15-11 as part of a 5-0 run. The Huskers came fighting back, trailing just 18-16 after a double-stuff block by Cook and Thramer. Northwestern would prove to be too much to handle in the third set as the Huskers fell 25-20.
Werth had four kills in the set, while Mancuso had three. Cook notched 11 assists, but the Huskers hit just .161. The Wildcats recorded a .290 hitting percentage.
An ace by Dykstra put NU up 4-2 in the fourth set, while a kill from Haggerty made it 8-5, Nebraska. A solo block by Thramer gave Nebraska a 12-7 lead, as Northwestern used a pair of runs to cut NU's lead to 15-14. A kill by Haggerty added a little cushion to Nebraska's lead at 19-14, but the Wildcats inched back to make it 21-19, Nebraska, and force the Huskers to call a timeout. Nebraska held on in the fourth, taking the set 25-21 and winning the match 3-1.
Mancuso posted four kills in the set, while Thramer and Haggerty each had three. Cook notched 13 assists as the Huskers hit .344. Northwestern hit .353 in the set.
The Huskers will now wait until tomorrow at 3 p.m. when the 2012 NCAA Tournament field is announced live on ESPNU. If the Huskers are selected as one of the 16 host sites for the first and second rounds tickets will go on sale Sunday at 7 p.m. on Huskers.com and will be available by visiting or calling the NU Ticket Office at 800-8-BIGRED starting Monday at 8 a.m.