Evanston, Ill. – The No. 12 Nebraska volleyball team (8-2, 1-0) opened the 2013 Big Ten Conference schedule with a 3-1 (25-16, 20-25, 25-21, 25-20) win over the Northwestern Wildcats on Friday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Kelsey Robinson led the Huskers in front of her hometown crowd as she recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 25 kills and 12 digs. She tallied 48 swings on the night for a hitting clip of .438. Kadie Rolfzen also had a double-double with 19 kills and 10 digs, recording a .378 hitting percentage. Mary Pollmiller dished out 54 assists, while Cecilia Hall and Meghan Haggerty both had four blocks.
Nebraska hit .307 on the night, while Northwestern hit .200. The Huskers out-blocked the Wildcats 10-9 and out-dug Northwestern 48-43.
The Huskers open the first set with a 7-4 lead on a kill by Robinson. NU used a pair of runs to take a 16-9 advantage as Northwestern was forced to use its second timeout of the set. Four consecutive points put the Huskers up 21-13 and the Huskers held on for the 25-16 first set win.
Kadie Rolfzen notched eight kills in the set; Robinson had seven, the two combined for 26 total swings in the set. Pollmiller notched 16 assists, while the Huskers hit .405 as a team. Northwestern was held to a .194 hitting clip in the first set.
Northwestern came out firing in the second set, taking an early 5-1 lead and forcing NU to use a timeout. The Huskers cut the Wildcats’ lead to 12-9, but Northwestern then went up 16-10. Nebraska used a double-block from Morgan Broekhuis and Haggerty to make it 16-12, Northwestern, but the Wildcats did not let up and went up 22-17 and won the second set 25-20.
Robinson posted seven kills in the second set, while Haggerty recorded four. Nebraska hit just .135 in the set, as the Wildcats hit .357. Nebraska was out-blocked 4-2.
The Huskers took a 6-4 lead in the third set following a Northwestern error, while a double-block from Haggerty and Amber Rolfzen put NU ahead 13-10. Nebraska fought off the Wildcat effort and a block from Kadie Rolfzen and Hall made it 17-13, Huskers and forced Northwestern to call a timeout. Hall showed up big for the Huskers at the end of the third set, helping NU to a 21-15 lead on a kill and two double-blocks with Amber Rolfzen. The Huskers went on to post a 25-21 third-set victory.
Robinson notched six kills in the third set, while Kadie Rolfzen had three and Hall notched two. Pollmiller dished out 13 assists as the Huskers hit .314 as a team. Northwestern was held to a .194 hitting clip for the set, but out-blocked NU 8-7.
A solo block from Pollmiller put the Huskers up 6-4 early in the fourth set, while Nebraska went on a 5-1 run and took a 12-6 lead with the help of an error by Northwestern. NU went up 18-12 on a double-block from Haggerty and Pollmiller, while a kill from Robinson made it 22-18, Huskers. Nebraska held on and won the fourth set, 25-20, sealing the 3-1 win.
Kadie Rolfzen had six kills in the final set, while Robinson tallied five. Nebraska hit .393 in the set, while Northwestern hit a match-low .067.
The Huskers will take on the Illinois Fighting Illini tomorrow at 4 p.m. in Champaign, Ill. The match will air live on the Big Ten Network.