Provo, Utah - The Nebraska volleyball team finished a perfect weekend at the BYU Nike Invitational on Saturday night with a sweep of Idaho State (25-16, 25-17, 25-12) in the first-ever meeting between the two programs. The Huskers opened on Friday with a win over host school BYU (3-1) and then swept Cal Poly for the fourth consecutive time earlier Saturday afternoon.
Junior Jordan Wilberger led the Nebraska offense with a career-best 11 kills on 16 swings to hit .625, while Gina Mancuso tied her career best in kills with 10. Brooke Delano continued to hold down the middle of the court with a match-high eight blocks, while Kayla Banwarth and Hannah Werth were the only players in the match to notch double-digit digs at 15 and 10, respectively.
The Bengals took the early lead in set one, 3-0, after kills from Sarah Carson and Lori Mendenhall, along with a Husker error, before Wilberger got Nebraska on the board with a kill. The Bengals would hold the lead at 5-3, but Nebraska would put up a 10-2 run to take the lead 13-7, powered by aces from Delano and Lauren Cook, as well as two kills each from Delano and Mancuso.
Idaho State responded with its own 5-0 run to get within one at 13-12, but Mancuso would end the Bengals' streak with a kill and the Huskers would steadily add points the rest of set, as they would finish the set on a 12-4 run to win set one, 25-16.
Setters Sydney Anderson and Cook combined for 12 assists in the first stanza, leading to 15 Nebraska kills, while the Huskers held the Bengals' attackers to .000 hitting.
Following an early 2-1 lead by the Bengals in set two, Nebraska took control at 3-2 and would not relinquish the lead the rest of the set. The Huskers strung together two 5-0 runs early to build a 13-4 lead, including one run with back-to-back service aces form Werth. Idaho State would get within seven at 22-15, but could get no closer as Nebraska finished the second set 25-17.
The Husker defense continued to play well with Werth and Banwarth each producing six digs in the set, while Delano and Lindsey Licht posted three blocks each.
The Bengals again struck first in set three with a kill by Carson, but Nebraska followed with back-to-back kills from Werth and Wilberger, with Cook assisting on each. Following a Bengal point, Nebraska put together an 8-1 run and take a commanding lead, 10-2. Idaho State would try to respond, but Nebraska was too much, as they then added a 6-0 run to extended its lead to 11 at 17-6, with Anderson setting up kills to Werth and Wilberger on consecutive plays and Delano adding an ace. Nebraska kept the pressure on down the stretch to finish the sweep with a third set win, 25-12.
After a 3-0 weekend in Utah, the Huskers will head back to Lincoln to host the Ameritas Players Challenge next Thursday-Saturday. Nebraska will welcome in No. 5 Illinois, No. 20 Dayton and Western Michigan, with Nebraska and Dayton opening the tournament on Thursday night with a 7 p.m. match at the NU Coliseum. The Huskers will then face Western Michigan at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Coliseum and the weekend will conclude with a match between Nebraska and Illinois at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. For more information, check out Huskers.com.
BYU Nike Invitational
BYU - Cal Poly - Idaho State - Nebraska
Player - School
Sydney Anderson - Nebraska
Jennifer Keddy - Cal Poly
Sarah Carson - Idaho State
Hannah Werth - Nebraska
Christie Carpenter - BYU
Kristina Graven - Cal Poly
Tournament MVP: Kayla Banwarth, Libero, Nebraska