- After dropping its first Big 12 Conference match of the season on Wednesday night to No. 10 Texas the No. 2 Nebraska volleyball team (20-2, 12-1) responded on Saturday night with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-16) win over the No. 12 Iowa State Cyclones (16-5, 9-4). The Huskers are now 10-0 at home this season and have swept their past four opponents at the NU Coliseum.
"We stressed two things at practice this week, have fun and complete every point," Head Coach John Cook said. "The Huskers did a great job of doing both of those tonight."
Senior Lindsey Licht led all players with 12 kills, while Hannah Werth added nine. Overall all five Husker attackers had five or more kills with Lauren Cook and Sydney Anderson combining for 39 assists, including a match-high 24 from Cook.
Defensively the Huskers out-dug the Cyclones 59-50 as Kayla Banwarth led all players with 17 digs while Werth (15) and Tara Mueller (10) each hit double figures. At the net the Huskers stuffed nine attacks with Brooke Delano leading the way with six block assists.
Mueller served two straight points to start the match for the Huskers with a block from Werth and Wilberger followed by a kill from Broekhuis. The Cyclones responded with wins on six of the next nine rallies to take a 6-5 lead before Nebraska then went on a 7-1 run, including three kills from Mueller, to swing the score in NU's favor at 12-7.
The Cyclones put up quite a fight as they answered with an 11-4 run that put them up 18-16 and put the pressure on the Huskers in the opening set. Following a serving error from Jamie Straube cut the ISU's lead to one, Werth put away an ace and then served another five points to put the Huskers up four at 23-18. ISU added or more point but could get no more as Mueller notched her fifth kill and Delano ended the set with her seventh ace of the season.
Just like in set one, the Huskers took the first two points of the second set behind kills from Broekhuis and Werth. Nebraska kept its two-point lead to 7-5, but the Cyclones ran off three straight to take their first lead of the set at 8-7. The Huskers responded with wins on the next two rallies, but ISU put up another 3-0 run to retake the lead at 11-9.
The Cyclones' lead would not last long as the Huskers won nine of the next 10 rallies to steal the momentum and take an 18-12 lead, resulting in a timeout from Iowa State. During the run Mueller, Broekhuis, Licht and Werth all put away kills while Delano stuffed two ISU attacks and Cook chipped in an ace.
Licht and Delano stuffed the Cyclones' first attack out of the break and following a kill from Henson, Nebraska added two more points to take a 21-13 lead and force another timeout from Iowa State. The second timeout did little to slow the Huskers as Nebraska outscored Iowa State 4-3 down the stretch to take a 2-0 lead in the match with a 25-16 win in set two.
The Huskers stayed consistent in set three with the first two points of the set on the serve of Cook. Iowa State took four of the next six rallies tie the set at four apiece before the Huskers got tough with a 4-0 run behind kills from Licht, Mueller and Cook to double-up the Cyclones at 8-4 and force a timeout from ISU.
A Husker service error ended the run out of the break, but Nebraska went right back to scoring points with a 5-0 run to extend its lead to 12-5. The teams then traded the next six rallies before Iowa State scored on five straight rallies to cut the Nebraska lead to two, 15-13.
Allison McNeal's first kill of the match ended the Cyclones' run and it was followed by a kill from Licht and an ISU error to extend the Huskers' lead back to five. Nebraska then let the Cyclones stay close with two straight errors, but quickly righted the ship with kills from McNeal and Delano, each from Cook, to take a 20-15 lead and force a ISU timeout. The Huskers continued to roll and took five of the next six rallies to close out the match with a 25-16 win in the set.
The Huskers will now hit the road for two road matches next week at Kansas on Wednesday and Texas Tech on Saturday. The 6:30 p.m. match with the Jayhawks will be carried on Metro Sports and on NET as well. The start time for Saturday's match with Texas Tech is now at Noon as it was previously scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Fans can also listen to all of the action of both matches with John Baylor and Lindsay Peterson on the 25-station Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and Twister 93.3 FM in Omaha. Fans outside the network will be able to listen to a live audio feed for free on Huskers.com.