Lincoln, Neb. – The Nebraska volleyball team opened the 2013 spring season with a 3-1 (25-8, 25-15, 21-25, 25-20) victory over South Dakota on Saturday at the NU Coliseum. Three Huskers made their debuts with NU as Kelsey Robinson, Amber Rolfzen and Kadie Rolfzen all took to the court for the first time.
Robinson opened her Husker career with a bang, notching 20 kills on 42 swings and a hitting percentage of .452. Amber Rolfzen recorded 13 kills and a hitting percentage of .476, while Kelsey Fien had 10 kills and .300 hitting percentage. Three other Huskers hit .300 or better for the match
Alexa Strange paced the offense with 48 assists, while Nebraska hit .380 for the match. South Dakota was held to a .165 hitting percentage and was out-blocked 8-4 by the Huskers. Nebraska also posted 51 digs to the Coyotes’ 39.
The Huskers took the first set 25-8, behind a balanced offensive effort. Nebraska went up 4-0 on an ace by Strange, while an ace from Robinson made it 12-4, Huskers. A double-stuff block by Fien and Hayley Thramer put NU up 18-6, while the Huskers held on for the first-set win.
Amber Rolfzen, Fien, Thramer and Robinson all had three kills for NU in the first set and Strange had 10 assists. Nebraska hit .583 as a team, while South Dakota hit -.038. Nebraska out-blocked the Coyotes 4-0 and out-dug South Dakota 14-6.
A 5-0 run by the Huskers, aided by three kills from Amber Rolfzen, put NU ahead 9-2 in the second set. Thramer made it 15-9, Nebraska; while the Huskers took a 19-10 lead and South Dakota called a timeout. A block by Meghan Haggerty made it 21-11, NU, as Nebraska went on to win the set 25-15.
Amber Rolfzen had five kills for the Huskers in the set, while Robinson and Strange each had four and Strange also had 10 assists. Nebraska hit .394, while holding South Dakota to a .030 hitting percentage. Both teams had two team blocks.
Nebraska was tied up with South Dakota 6-6 early in the third set on a kill by Robinson. The Coyotes held on to take an 18-11 lead, as the Huskers eventually cut it to 22-19. Nebraska could not complete the comeback effort though as the Huskers fell 25-21 in the third set.
Robinson had nine kills for the Huskers in the set, while Fien and Haggerty each had two. Strange posted 13 assists, as Nebraska had 10 team digs and a hitting percentage of .256. South Dakota hit .387 in the set and had 17 team digs.
In the fourth set the Huskers trailed early while a kill by Robinson made it 5-4, South Dakota. A kill by Fien put NU within one again at 8-7, Coyotes, as Amber Rolfzen tied it up at 9-9. Nebraska took the lead at 11-10 on a kill by Cecilia Hall, but the Coyotes kept fighting as they went up 15-14. Back-to-back kills by Amber Rolfzen gave Nebraska the lead at 20-19, while a kill from Haggerty made it 23-20. Nebraska went on to win the fourth set 25-20.
Amber Rolfzen had five kills in the set, while Robinson tallied four. Strange notched 15 assists, guiding NU to a .364 hitting percentage. South Dakota hit .258 in the set.
Nebraska will return to the Coliseum for their second spring exhibition match on Saturday, April 6 at 6 p.m. against Iowa State.