- It was a historic day for the No. 5 Nebraska volleyball team (22-2, 14-1) Saturday afternoon at the United Spirit Arena as senior libero Kayla Banwarth moved to the top of the Nebraska career digs chart in the first set of the Huskers' 3-0 sweep (25-10, 25-19, 25-20) of Texas Tech.
Banwarth entered the match two digs shy of breaking Jennifer Saleauma's career record of 1,568 digs and with the Red Raiders staying away from the senior libero, she didn't record her first dig until late in the first set. The record-setting dig came much quicker, just two rallies later Banwarth notched the 1,569th dig of her Nebraska career. The Dubuque, Iowa, native finished the day with a match-high 18 digs.
"I'm really glad it's over," Banwarth said. "It's all about the team though, it's not about individual effort."
Hannah Werth led all Husker attackers with nine kills while Brooke Delano and Tara Mueller each added eight, with Mueller also chipping in three aces. Sydney Anderson paced the Huskers with 19 assists and Lauren Cook was not fair behind with 16.
Along with Banwarth's 18 digs Delano put up eight blocks and Morgan Broekhuis added another four stuffs.
The Noon start time was the earliest for the Huskers all season, but did little to affect them as they jumped out to an 11-4 lead over the Red Raiders, with Werth, Allison McNeal and Mueller all producing two kills during the first 15 rallies. The squads then traded the next six rallies before the Huskers put up a 6-0 run to take a commanding 20-7 lead. During the run Mueller added two more kills and Delano stuffed two Red Raider attacks.
Werth hammered down another three kills down the stretch to cap a 25-10 win for the Huskers in set one. NU was firing on all cylinders with a .520 hitting percentage in the set, while Texas Tech was unable to get anything going against the Husker defense and hit just .034. Anderson and Cook each dished out six assists, while Werth put away seven kills and Mueller added five.
The second set was much tighter with the teams splitting the first eight rallies before NU tried to pull away with a 5-0 run to take a 9-4 lead, but Tech answered with three straight to cut the Huskers lead to two. The Huskers responded with an 8-3 run to take a 17-10 lead, with Mueller slipping in two aces and Delano adding another.
Texas Tech was not done as they took the next four rallies to cut the Husker lead to three and force a timeout from Head Coach John Cook. After the break the teams traded the next eight rallies to leave the Huskers still up three, 21-18. Texas Tech was unable to get any closer as Delano and Broekhuis combined on back-to-back blocks to cap a 4-1 run to put the Huskers up 2-0 in the match after a 25-19 win in set two.
The Huskers took the first two points of the third set with kills from McNeal and Delano, but Texas Tech answered with three straight to take their first lead of the match at 3-2. It would not last long as a combo-block from Delano and Broekhuis combined with three consecutive Red Raider errors swung the lead in Nebraska's favor, 6-3.
The teams exchanged the next six rallies before Texas Tech got on a 4-1 run to tie the set at 10-10. Nebraska responded with three straight to get back on top, 13-10, but the Huskers then committed three straight errors to let the Red Raiders once again even the set at 13-13.
Nebraska took six of the next seven rallies to create some breathing room with a 19-14 lead, capped by a kill and ace from Gina Mancuso. After the teams spilt the next four rallies the Huskers got a kill from Licht and a error from Texas Tech to take a 22-16 lead, resulting in Texas Tech's final timeout.
Texas Tech outscored the Huskers 4-3 over the final seven rallies, but they ran out of time as Delano's eight kill of the match ended it with a 25-20 Husker win in set three.
After playing two straight matches on the road the Huskers will be back at the NU Coliseum on Wednesday night for a 7 p.m. match with the Kansas State Wildcats. Fans will be able to catch the match on three different channels as it can be seen across Nebraska on NET, while Metro Sports will have coverage in the Kansas City area and the match will also be shown nationally on CBS College Sports. A live video stream of the match will also be carried on Huskers.com.