St. Louis, Mo. – The No. 10 Nebraska volleyball team (1-1) dropped a 3-1 (23-25, 25-22, 23-25, 23-25) decision to the Auburn Tigers on Saturday morning. One day after a dominating performance over Louisiana-Monroe, the Huskers faced a challenge in a feisty Tiger squad.
Kelsey Robinson led Nebraska on the day with a double-double, including 18 kills and 18 digs. Kelsey Fien recorded 13 kills, while Justine Wong-Orantes also chipped in 18 digs. Mary Pollmiller paced the offense with 27 assists, while Kelly Hunter added 19 assists.
Nebraska hit .218 as a team in the match, as the Tigers hit .208. The Huskers were out-blocked 9-7 and out-dug 86-71. NU recorded six service aces, but could not overcome the errors from the service line as NU tallied 14 by the end of the match. Auburn had just two service errors.
The Huskers started the match with a 5-3 lead after a long rally and a kill by Robinson. The two teams exchanged leads, with nine ties until the Tigers went up 18-15. Freshman Melanie Keil came in for NU at middle blocker and the Huskers capitalized on a kill by Robinson as Nebraska strung together a 3-0 run to cut Auburn’s lead to 20-19. The Tigers responded, but a block by Hall and Robinson pushed Nebraska to a 3-0 run, tying the match at 22-22. Auburn would roll off three more points on the Huskers to close out the set 25-23.
The two teams hit an identical .213 clip for the first set and each had two team blocks. Nebraska was out-dug 28-19 as four Auburn players had at least five digs in the set. Robinson led the Huskers with seven kills.
The Huskers found their rhythm and responded in the second set, taking a 5-1 lead with the help of two kills from Fien. The lead was stretched to 9-3 as Auburn called a timeout. The Huskers came out of the timeout to take a 15-5 lead, aided by a kill from Broekhuis and a double-block from Hall and Robinson. Back-to-back kills from Fien made it 20-6, Huskers, but the Tigers strung together a run of their own to make it 20-10, NU, and force Nebraska to use a timeout. Haggerty ended an 11-1 run for the Tigers with a kill to make it 22-18, but Auburn would not back down until Nebraska finished off the second set with a 25-22 win.
Fien led NU in the second set with six kills on 13 attacks, while the Huskers hit at a clip of .220. Wong-Orantes guided the Huskers defensively with seven digs, as NU out-dug the Tigers 16-12. Auburn was held to a hitting percentage of .091.
Back-to-back aces from Kelly Hunter helped the Huskers to an 8-6 lead early in the third set. Hall made her presence known with two kills to make it 14-10, NU. Auburn came back to take the lead at 17-16, as a kill from Robinson would tie the set at 21-21. A double-block by Hall and Robinson would bring the Huskers within 24-23, but Auburn held on to take the third set 25-23.
Fien once again led NU in the set with four kills, while Hall and Broekhuis each had three. Nebraska hit .178 for the set, while Auburn hit at a clip of .257. Both teams recorded three team blocks, while NU was out-dug 23-13.
The intensity did not let up in the fourth set as the Tigers and Huskers battled point-for-point. Nebraska went up 7-6 on a kill by Amber Rolfzen, but Auburn responded to take the lead, eventually taking a 12-9 advantage and forcing NU to call a timeout. Haggerty and Broekhuis connected for a double-block to tie the set at 15-15, as Nebraska then used a spirited rally to tie the set again at 17-17. Auburn took a 20-19 lead late in the set, but the Huskers would not be able to gain enough momentum and dropped the set 25-23.
Robinson had five kills in the fourth set, while Amber Rolfzen posted four kills. The Huskers hit .261 and Auburn hit .250. Both teams tallied 23 digs.
Nebraska returns to action this evening as the Huskers will take on Saint Louis at 7 p.m.