Photo by Allyssa Hynes/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Top No. 18 Michigan to Open Big Ten Play

By NU Athletic Communications

LINCOLN, Neb. - The third-ranked Nebraska volleyball team opened Big Ten play with a 3-1 (25-19, 25-27, 25-17, 25-12) win over No. 18 Michigan on Friday night in front of a crowd of 8,392 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. 

Mikaela Foecke paced the Huskers (10-1, 1-0 Big Ten) to their 10th straight win with 21 kills on .391 hitting with nine digs and six blocks. Lexi Sun had 14 kills and a career-high 16 digs with four blocks, and Jazz Sweet terminated 11 times and added three blocks. The Wolverines (11-1, 0-1 Big Ten) suffered their first loss of the season. 

Nebraska had a dominant edge in hitting percentage, .314 to .135, and in blocks, 14-6.

Nicklin Hames had 44 assists and 10 digs and served three aces. Callie Schwarzenbach had four kills and a match-high eight blocks, and her fellow middle blocker Lauren Stivrins chipped in seven kills and six blocks. Libero Kenzie Maloney had 16 digs to lead the Huskers to a 67-56 advantage in that category. 

Carly Skjodt led Michigan with 13 kills. 

Set 1: The Huskers got off to a strong start by taking a 7-2 lead. Hames served two aces and set the Huskers to four kills on five attacks. After a timeout, Michigan scored six of the next seven points to tie the set at 8-8 and force a Husker timeout. The Huskers never fell behind though and won an entertaining rally with a stuff block by Schwarzenbach and Sweet to make it 14-11. Ahead 16-15, the Huskers reeled off a 4-0 run to go up 20-15 with Sun contributing a block and a kill during the run. Foecke crushed an overpass for a 23-18 lead, and the Huskers won 25-19 on a block by Foecke and Schwarzenbach. 

Set 2: Nebraska found itself ahead with a familiar score line, 7-2, once again after a pair of blocks by Stivrins. But also just like the first set, Michigan came roaring back and took a 10-9 lead, its first lead of the match, after a 7-1 run. The Wolverines then pushed their lead to 15-10 with a 5-0 spurt. Foecke, Sweet and Sun terminated on consecutive rallies, and Sweet and Schwarzenbach then combined for a block to cut Michigan's lead to 16-15. After a Michigan timeout, Sun scored again to tie the set at 16-16, capping a 5-0 run. The teams traded sideouts until Stivrins fired from the right side to give NU a 19-18 lead. Michigan reclaimed a 23-22 lead on a Sydney Wetterstrom kill, and then Mackenzi Welsh served an ace for set point. But Welsh served into the net to make it 24-23, and Michigan hit wide to tie the score at 24-24. The Wolverines won 27-25 after Skjodt recorded three kills to close out the set. 

Set 3: Nebraska held a 15-12 lead at the media timeout after an 8-4 run that included three kills by Foecke. The senior captain then went off for three kills in a span of four rallies to put the Big Red up 20-16. After a timeout, Sweet put away back-to-back kills and Schwarzenbach and Foecke combined for back-to-back blocks for a 24-16 lead, and Nebraska won 25-17, ending the set on a 7-1 run. Foecke had eight kills and no errors in the set, while Sweet had four kills and no errors. 

Set 4: A pair of kills by Sun and an ace by Maloney put the Huskers up 6-2, and Stivrins and Sun connected on back-to-back kills to make it 8-3. Nebraska went up 13-5 after Foecke and Schwarzenbach recorded kills and teamed up for a block, forcing Michigan's final timeout of the set. Sun blasted two more kills and Stivrins another as the Huskers went up 19-9. NU capped off a dominating final set at 25-12, out-hitting the Wolverines .467 to .118. 

Up Next: The Huskers are back in action against Michigan State on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The match will be televised on ESPNU, streamed at, and will air on Husker Sports Network radio affiliates, and the official Huskers app.


More News Sponsor - First National Bank


Tickets Sponsor - StubHub