Huskers Stuff Ducks to Advance to NCAA Regional
Lincoln - An outstanding night from Kadie Rolfzen and the Husker block powered the eighth-seeded Nebraska volleyball team to a 3-0 sweep over 25th-ranked Oregon in a second-round NCAA Tournament match Saturday night in front of 8,012 fans at the Devaney Center.
With the 25-22, 25-19, 25-22 win, Nebraska (25-6) advances to next Friday's NCAA Regional Semifinal at the Devaney Center against either No. 9 seed San Diego or Arizona.
The Huskers, who swept a ranked opponent for the fifth time this season, stuffed the Ducks 13 times on Saturday, holding the fast-paced Oregon offense to a .144 attack percentage. Nebraska hit .291 as four players hit .333 or better and six Huskers had at least five kills.
Kadie Rolfzen, essentially making her postseason debut after playing only the back row in Friday's win over Fairfield, produced match-high totals of 15 kills and 17 digs. Rolfzen hit .333 on the match while recording her 12th double-double of the year. Her twin sister Amber produced five kills and Kelsey Robinson totaled eight kills. Middle blockers Meghan Haggerty and Cecilia Hall combined for 11 kills on only 20 swings, highlighted by five kills on eight error-free swings from Hall, who hit .625. Haggerty and Hall also contributed six blocks apiece. Setter Mary Pollmiller recorded five kills and dished out 36 kills, just missing a double-double with nine digs.
Liz Brenner led Oregon (20-12) with 14 kills. Canace Finley added seven kills, while Lauren Plum totaled 35 assists and Amanda Benson recorded 11 digs.
In set one, Oregon used an early 5-1 run to build a three-point lead. The teams then traded sideouts for the next 11 rallies before Nebraska closed to within one at 11-10, pulled even at 12-12 and regained the lead at 13-12, forcing a Duck timeout. Nebraska extended its run to 6-1 after the timeout, and the Huskers stretched their lead to three at 21-18 following their fifth block of the set. Nebraska pushed its advantage to four before the Ducks won consecutive points to trim the lead to 23-21 and force a Husker timeout. A Brenner kill following the timeout pulled Oregon within one before a Pollmiller kill and a block gave the Huskers a 25-22 opening set win. NU recorded six blocks in the set and received five kills from Kadie Rolfzen.
Set two featured nine ties in the first 18 rallies, as neither team led by more than one until the 20th rally of the set. Nebraska trailed eight times early, but took the lead with five consecutive points as part of a larger 13-3 run gave the Huskers a 21-12 lead. The Ducks committed five hitting errors during the run, while Robinson had three kills in the spurt. Oregon cut into the nine-point lead with a 7-2 run that trimmed the lead to four, but Nebraska won the final two rallies of the set to earn a 25-19 victory. NU had five more blocks in the second set and produced 16 kills on a .317 hitting percentage.
Oregon won four of the first five rallies of set three, and the Ducks still led by three at 11-8. Nebraska then won four of the next five rallies to tie the set at 12-12. The Huskers took their first lead of the set three rallies later and led 18-14 following an 8-2 run that was capped by back-to-back Kadie Rolfzen kills. Three straight Oregon points quickly trimmed the lead to one before the Huskers answered with five straight points to take a 23-17 lead. The Ducks continued to fight, winning four straight rallies to pull within two. Nebraska ended the run with another Kadie Rolfzen kill, then closed out the 25-22 win on the Huskers' second match point.
Nebraska Post-Match Notes
- Nebraska improved to 25-6 with the win. The Huskers have produced 25 wins for the 21st straight season, including all 14 seasons under Head Coach John Cook.
- Tonight's attendance was 8,012, a school record for a second-round NCAA Tournament match.
- The Huskers improved to 88-28 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. Nebraska ranks second in NCAA history in postseason wins.
- With the win, Nebraska advanced to an NCAA Regional for the 18th time in the last 19 seasons.
- Nebraska improved to 19-1 in second-round matches at the NCAA Tournament
- Nebraska improved to 65-7 in home matches during the NCAA Tournament, including a 7-1 record at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
- The Huskers picked up their 11th victory over a ranked team by defeating No. 25 Oregon. NU improved to 11-5 vs. ranked opponents this season.
- The Huskers amproved to 19-0 this season when holding opponents below a .200 attack percentage.
- Kadie Rolfzen produced a match high 15 kills and 17 digs to record her 12th double-double of the season. Her 17 digs were one shy of her career high.
- With her 15 kills, Rolfzen increased her season total to 358 kills, passing Hannah Werth (343) for the third-most kills by a freshman in school history.
- Justine Wong-Orantes claimed sole possession of second place on Nebraska's all-time freshman digs list with nine digs against Oregon. Wong-Orantes owns 368 digs this season, 31 shy of Lara Dykstra's top freshman mark (399).
Oregon Post-Match Notes
- Oregon saw its season-high six-game win streak snapped, and the Ducks finished with a 20-12 record in 2013.
- Oregon fell to 2-1 against teams from the Big Ten Conference in the NCAA Tournament, including a 1-1 mark vs. Nebraska. The Ducks eliminated the Huskers from last year's NCAA Tournament in the regional final.
- The Ducks dropped to 12-11 in 11 all-time NCAA Tournament appearances, including a 6-2 mark the past two seasons.
- Oregon fell to 1-12 this season when the opponent posts a better attack percentage.
- Oregon finished with a 3-8 record against ranked opponents in 2013.
- Amanda Benson totaled a team-high 11 digs in the match, ending her season with an Oregon freshman record of 502 digs. Her total ranked fifth overall in school history.
- Liz Brenner led Oregon with 14 kills in the match, and she produced 34 kills in her two NCAA Tournament matches. Brenner finished her junior season with 514 kills, good for eighth place in Oregon history.
- Lauren Plum finished her Oregon career with a school-record 5,213 assists after totaling 35 assists against Nebraska.