Irvine, Calif. - The No. 1 Nebraska volleyball team finished a busy day with a 3-0 (25-13, 25-18, 25-21) sweep of UC Irvine at the Bren Events Center Saturday night. The Huskers had a quick turnaround as they swept the Colgate Raiders earlier Saturday afternoon.
Morgan Broekhuis led Nebraska with a 16 kills on 29 swings for a .517 hitting percentage. Hannah Werth tabbed 10 kills and 12 digs, while Lauren Cook recorded 39 assists and 11 digs for NU. The Huskers hit .410 for the match, while UC Irvine hit .253. Nebraska out-dug the Anteaters 45-39 and recorded seven team blocks.
Nebraska opened the first set trading points with the Anteaters. Meghan Haggerty helped Nebraska build a lead early with a kill, making it 7-5, Nebraska. A kill by Broekhuis stretched the Husker lead to 11-6, before back-to-back service aces by Gina Mancuso put NU up 15-7. Nebraska scored five consecutive points to go up 24-11 and eventually closed on the 25-13 first set victory.
The Huskers saw three players record three kills in the set, including Cook, Mancuso and Haggerty. Cook also notched 11 assists. NU hit .429 in the set, while UC Irvine hit .269.
UC Irvine came out firing in the second set, tying the game at 4-4 and again at 8-8. Broekhuis came on strong for the Huskers, pacing Nebraska's comeback effort and using a kill to put NU up 11-8. The Anteaters strung together a little run of their own, forcing Nebraska to call a timeout after cutting the lead to 16-14. UC Irvine still came back to tie the match at 16, marking a 5-0 run on their part, but Broekhuis silenced them with a kill to hand Nebraska the lead at 17-16. NU went on to win the second set 25-18.
Broekhuis was huge for the Huskers in the second set, posting 10 digs for Nebraska. Mancuso and Werth both recorded three kills, while Cook had 15 assists. Nebraska hit .415 in the set, while UC Irvine hit .195. The Huskers also totaled three team blocks in the set.
Nebraska opened the third set with a 5-2 lead behind a kill by Haggerty. A great play by Mancuso resulted in the Huskers taking a 10-6 lead. The Anteaters would not back down as they came back to cut the Huskers' lead to 16-15. Hayley Thramer produced a kill to put NU up 19-16, but once again the Anteaters came fighting back to come within 19-18. Nebraska and UC Irvine traded points, as a kill by Werth put NU up 22-19. Werth came through again for NU with a service ace that sealed the 25-21 third set victory and complete the match sweep.
Nebraska will return to action this weekend with the Ameritas Players Challenge as the Huskers host Oklahoma, Duquesne and Kentucky at the NU Coliseum. The action starts Thursday and continues through Saturday.