Huskers Fight Past Purdue for 3-1 Win
LINCOLN, Neb. - The No. 7 Nebraska volleyball team overcame a sharp offensive performance by No. 22 Purdue to defeat the Boilermakers 3-1 (25-22, 21-25, 26-24, 25-23) in front of a crowd of 8,420 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Friday night.
Mikaela Foecke had 20 kills and 10 digs while hitting .364 to guide the Huskers past Purdue, which hit .328 against the Huskers, the highest percentage by a Husker opponent this season. The Huskers (19-4, 12-1 Big Ten) beat an opponent that hit better than .300 for the first time since 2013 at Minnesota.
Nebraska hit .281 on the night and served five aces, including three by Annika Albrecht, who finished with 10 kills and 13 digs. Kelly Hunter had a season-high 55 assists with six digs, and Briana Holman had a season-high 15 kills on .417 hitting. Lauren Stivrins added eight kills on 16 error-free swings, and Jazz Sweet had 10 kills.
Nebraska, which picked up its ninth win over a ranked opponent this season, extended its nation-leading home win streak to 24 matches. Foecke reached 1,000 kills in her Husker career early in the second set, putting her in a group of 21 Huskers all-time to eclipse 1,000 kills at Nebraska.
Danielle Cuttino and Sherridan Atkinson had identical stat lines to lead Purdue (17-7, 7-6 Big Ten). Both had 20 kills on 40 attacks with two errors for a .450 hitting percentage. The Boilermakers had an 11-6 edge in blocks, but the Huskers' four more kills and three more service aces proved to be the difference.
Set 1: The Huskers pulled ahead 11-8 in set one after back-to-back kills by Albrecht and Foecke. NU led 15-12 at the media timeout, but Purdue came back to tie the set at 18-18. Foecke landed a roll shot and Sweet terminated for a 20-18 Husker lead. The Boilermakers pulled within one on three occasions, but the Huskers got a sideout each time to go up 23-21. NU held on for the 25-22 win with two blocks by Stivrins, one with Albrecht and one with Hunter, to end the set.
Set 2: Nebraska took its first lead of the set at 6-5 and led 8-6, but Purdue went on a 5-1 run to go ahead 11-9. The Boilermakers extended the lead to 19-14 after a pair of kills by Caitlyn Newton and one by Cuttino. The Huskers fought off two set points, but the Boilermakers evened the match after a 25-21 win.
Set 3: The Huskers got off to a 3-0 start with a kill by Holman and block by Foecke. Purdue battled back to take a 10-8 lead after an ace by Julianna Reisinger. With the set tied 12-12 on a Holman kill, Purdue reeled off the next three points with two kills and a block to go up 15-12. After a timeout, Sweet posted a kill and Holman put one to the floor to get within 15-14. Later, Albrecht and Foecke smashed consecutive kills to tie the set at 17-17, but Cuttino immediately answered for Purdue. After a kill by Stivrins on the slide, Albrecht served an ace for a 19-18 Husker advantage. The Boilermakers tied the set at 19-19 before Foecke put the Huskers back in front. Hunter Atherton came in to serve and the Boilermakers hit wide on the next rally for a 21-19 Big Red lead. After a timeout, Purdue responded with the next three points to reclaim a 22-21 lead. With the scored tied 23-23, Sweet killed a bump set from Holman for set point. Purdue won the next point, but Albrecht gained another set point for the Huskers at 25-24. The Boilermakers committed an attack error to end the set with the Huskers on top, 26-24.
Set 4: Foecke blasted four more kills, and Holman and Sweet each tallied one as the Huskers ran out to a 7-3 start. An ace by Albrecht put the Huskers up 13-7. Later, Foecke pounded a kill and Atherton served an ace to keep the Huskers ahead six, 15-9. Purdue would not go away quietly, as it cut the deficit to 16-13 with a three-point spurt. A sprawling dig by Foecke led to a Purdue attacking error and an 18-13 Husker lead. Purdue pulled within three points twice, but Stivrins and Albrecht produced kills to earn key sideouts. Atkinson again got Purdue within three, and this time a Husker hitting error and Purdue ace made it 21-20 Huskers. After a timeout by Nebraska, Hunter dumped a kill for sideout. But the Boilermakers scored the next two to tie it 22-22. Foecke was awarded a kill on the next rally after the Huskers won a challenge that her shot was touched by the Purdue block. Sweet terminated for match point, but Atkinson staved off the first one with a kill. On the next match point, Hunter set Foecke on the right side for the win, 25-23.
Up Next: Nebraska hosts Indiana on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The match was originally scheduled for a 7 p.m. start but was pushed back 30 minutes when the Husker football game time was set for 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.