Huskers Overcome Ohio State, 3-1
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The fifth-ranked Nebraska volleyball team extended its win streak to 10 matches with a 3-1 (25-23, 25-12, 22-25, 25-23) win at Ohio State in front of a crowd of 3,001 at St. John Arena on Friday night.
Mikaela Foecke had a match-high 15 kills to go with 11 digs, and Lauren Stivrins had a career-high 12 kills on .455 hitting to help keep the Huskers (23-4, 16-1 Big Ten) tied atop the Big Ten standings. Annika Albrecht had 11 kills and eight digs, and Jazz Sweet had nine kills. Briana Holman finished with eight kills and five blocks.
Kelly Hunter dished out 47 assists and had 12 digs. Her 47 assists moved her into third all-time at Nebraska in career assists with 3,802, passing Nikki Stricker (3,786).
Nebraska outhit Ohio State .341 to .200. The Huskers overcame a season-high 14 service errors and battled from behind to win the first and fourth sets.
Sydney Townsend led the Huskers with 14 digs and served three of NU's six aces on the night. Kenzie Maloney had 12 digs, as Nebraska outdug the Buckeyes, 59-51.
Ashley Wenz had 11 kills for Ohio State (14-14, 7-10 Big Ten).
Set 1: Ohio State posted three blocks and held the Husker attack in check while taking a 12-10 lead. After a timeout, Stivrins terminated and the Buckeyes hit wide to even the score at 12-12. The Buckeyes regained a 17-14 lead before a 3-0 Husker run with Sweet and Albrecht pounding kills, and Holman and Albrecht getting a block. The teams traded sideouts until OSU went back up by two, 21-19, with its fourth block. A kill by Foecke and a Buckeye hitting error leveled the score again before Foecke smashed her fourth kill for a 22-21 lead, the Huskers' first since it was 9-8. But the Buckeyes answered with back-to-back kills by Wenz to reclaim a 23-22 lead. Stivrins posted a kill out of a timeout for the second time in the set to make it 23-23. Hunter Atherton came in to serve, and Holman terminated the ensuing rally with a kill for set point. The Huskers took the set, 25-23, on a block by Holman and Hunter.
Set 2: Nebraska controlled the second set from start to finish. A kill by Sweet and ace by Hunter helped the Huskers to a 4-1 start. The Husker offense continued to click early in the set after Holman, Sweet, Albrecht and Stivrins added kills to boost NU to a 9-3 lead. Nebraska continued to lead by six at 15-9 after a pair of Buckeye attack errors. Foecke served a 5-0 Husker run that put them ahead 20-10, and a Sweet kill made it 22-11 Huskers. NU finished the set at 25-12 with back-to-back aces by Townsend. NU hit .346 in the set and had four ace serves.
Set 3: Ohio State used a 5-0 run to go ahead 6-3, as the Huskers misfired on three straight swings. After a kill by Foecke, the Buckeyes reeled off the next three points to go up 9-4. The Huskers trailed 12-8 before winning a challenge review that a shot by Foecke was, in fact, in. That was part of a 4-0 run that pulled the Huskers within 12-11. But Ohio State remained in the lead and pushed it back to four at 18-14. The Huskers got kills from Albrecht and Holman after an OSU service error to cut the deficit to 18-17. After a Buckeye timeout, Albrecht and Holman stuffed an OSU attack to tie the set at 18-18. The teams then traded sideouts for seven rallies, but the Buckeyes held serve with a kill by Bia Franklin for a 23-21 lead. Nebraska turned to Stivrins out of a timeout and she delivered a kill, but the Buckeyes scored the next two to win 25-22.
Set 4: Four early service errors hindered the Huskers as Ohio State claimed a 13-11 lead. But Townsend sparked the Huskers with her third ace of the night, and a dump by Hunter and kill by Albrecht gave the Huskers a 15-13 edge. Ohio State tied the score at 15-15, but Albrecht restored the Husker lead with a kill and Stivrins terminated for a 17-15 lead. But after another Husker service error and a Buckeye ace, the score was tied again at 18-18. After a Husker timeout, Foecke posted her 14th kill and Holman won a scramble at the net for a 20-18 Husker advantage. Holman kept the Huskers up by two at 22-20 with another kill, but the Buckeyes got a kill and an ace to draw even, 22-22, and force a Husker timeout. Sweet produced a kill to make it 23-22, but OSU tied it 23-23 with a dump kill. Stivrins' 12th kill of the night gave the Huskers match point, and Foecke finished it off with her 15th and final kill.
Up Next: Nebraska travels to play Maryland on Saturday at 5 p.m. (CT) at XFINITY Center Pavilion in College Park, Maryland. The match will be streamed online with a BTN Plus subscription and will air on Husker Sports Network affiliates, including 107.3 FM in Lincoln and 105.9 FM in Omaha.