Huskers Sweep No. 11 UCLA Again
LINCOLN, Neb. - For the second straight night, the No. 12 Nebraska volleyball team swept No. 11 UCLA, this time 25-15, 25-19, 25-17 in front of a crowd of 8,039 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Saturday.
The Huskers, who have won five straight matches by sweep to improve to 5-2 on the season, posted a .301 hitting percentage and got at least five kills from five different players. Mikaela Foecke led all players with 12 kills, and she added eight digs and three blocks. Jazz Sweet had 10 kills and hit .529 to go with three blocks. Annika Albrecht had eight kills, six digs and two aces while hitting .471. Lauren Stivrins and Briana Holman chipped in six and five kills, respectively. Holman had a match-high four blocks.
Setter Kelly Hunter played the entire match and recorded 31 assists and 14 digs for her first double-double of the season. Kenzie Maloney added nine digs, and Sydney Townsend had eight. The Huskers finished with a 48-43 edge in digs and 7-5 advantage in blocks. Nebraska has won five straight home matches against Pac-12 teams and is 8-1 against Pac-12 teams in its last nine tries.
UCLA had four players with seven kills and did not have a player record double-digit kills in either match on the weekend.
Set 1: Nebraska picked up where it left off on Friday night, building a 9-3 lead with five kills on its first nine attacks, two of which came from Hunter. The Huskers led 15-8 at the media timeout, and a three-point spurt after the timeout made it 18-9 with Foecke posting a kill and a block with Holman. A kill by Sweet and a UCLA ball handling violation gave the Huskers a 20-10 advantage. A trio of kills by the Husker middle blockers made it 23-13, and the Huskers finished off a strong first set with a 25-15 win. The Huskers outhit the Bruins .407 to .103, and UCLA scored consecutive points just twice in the set as NU led from start to finish. Stivrins had five kills on six swings to pace the attack.
Set 2: After falling behind 9-7, the Huskers went on a 9-1 run to take a 16-10 lead. Foecke had four kills in the run, including three in a row, and Holman had a pair as the Huskers went up by six. UCLA came back with a 4-0 run of its own to pull within 16-14, and the teams traded sideouts for seven rallies until Albrecht hammered home her fourth kill for a 21-17 lead. Another Albrecht kill and a Foecke/Stivrins block extended the lead to 23-18. NU ended it at 25-19 with a Foecke kill and UCLA hitting error.
Set 3: On the serve of Hayley Densberger, the Huskers put together a 5-0 run to take an 11-5 lead in the third set. Sweet had a pair of kills early in the set to boost the Big Red into the lead. Two more kills by Foecke put the Huskers up 16-9, but UCLA made the set interesting with a rally to within 17-13. Then Sweet took over the set with two kills and a solo block, and the Huskers were ahead comfortably, 22-13. The Huskers won 25-17 with Sweet and Albrecht providing the final kills.
Up Next: The Huskers will play three matches in Omaha next week at the Omaha Challenge hosted by UNO. Nebraska will play Kansas State on Friday at 4:30 p.m., Northern Iowa on Saturday at Noon, and the Omaha Mavericks on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. All three matches will be played at UNO's Baxter Arena. Tickets are on sale here.