Huskers Overcome Spartans, Stay Undefeated in Conference Play
East Lansing, Mich. - The No. 7 Nebraska volleyball team (10-1) outlasted the Michigan State Spartans 3-2 (27-25, 16-25, 21-25, 25-17, 16-14) on Saturday night in front of 2,024 fans at Jenison Fieldhouse. With the victory, the Huskers improved to 3-0 in conference play.
Morgan Broekhuis led NU on the night with a career-high 22 kills on 33 attacks for a .545 hitting percentage. Hannah Werth tabbed 13 kills on 27 attacks, while Gina Mancuso had 12 kills of her own. Mancuso tabbed the sixth double-double of her career with an additional 10 digs. The Huskers hit .279 on the match, while Michigan State hit .296. Lauren Cook notched 50 assists for Nebraska, while Lara Dykstra had 16 digs on the night.
The Huskers fought point-for-point in the first set, nothing a total of 14 ties with the Spartans. The Spartans jumped out to a 3-2 lead on an error by the Huskers. Nebraska came back to tie the match at 6-6 on an error by MSU, but Michigan State responded to eventually go up 14-12. Nebraska went up 17-15 on a kill by Broekhuis, but Michigan State would not give up. MSU eventually went up 23-21 on an error by NU as the Huskers came fighting back to tie it at 23. Nebraska closed out the Spartans and took the first set 27-25, leading the match 1-0.
In the first set the Huskers were led by Broekhuis who had nine kills on 11 attacks for a .818 hitting percentage. Mancuso, Werth and Dykstra all had four digs, while Cook notched 15 assists. Nebraska held Michigan State to a .105 hitting percentage for the set.
Michigan State came out firing in the second set, taking a 4-1 lead on an ace. The Huskers cut it to 7-6 on a kill by Mancuso, but at that point the Spartans went on an eight point run. MSU went up 21-12 and Nebraska could not make up for lost ground. The Huskers eventually dropped the second set 25-16, with Michigan State tying the match at 1-1.
Thramer led NU in the second set with two kills, but the Huskers hit on .107 for the set. Michigan State tallied 17 kills for the set on a .379 hitting percentage. NU only had five digs and two team blocks for the set, while MSU had 15 team digs.
Michigan State outlasted Nebraska in the third set, taking the momentum to win the set 25-21 and lead the match at 2-1. In a set that was tied 11 different times, the Huskers and Spartans fought for each point, as NU went up 9-7 on a kill by Cook. NU and MSU were tied at 18 before Michigan State went up 21-18. Nebraska could not make up for lost ground, losing the set 25-21.
Mancuso and Werth each had four kills in the third set, while Broekhuis and Thramer each had three. Cook tallied 13 assists as NU hit .407 for the set. MSU tallied a .462 hitting percentage and only two errors.
In the fourth set, the Huskers and Spartans once again fought for each point as the set was tied early at seven. MSU and Nebraska were all tied up at 13 when the Huskers went on a 3-0 run. That run catapulted NU to another 6-0 run to make it 22-14. The Huskers did not look back and took the fourth set 25-17, tying the match at two sets apiece.
Broekhuis had five kills in the fourth set, while Werth had three. The Huskers hit .207 compared to MSU's .231 for the set.
The Huskers had to fight in the fifth set, going up early 3-1. Then the Spartans tied the match at seven-all. After a huge rally by both teams, NU went up 10-8, but Michigan State would not back down. MSU rallied to tie the set at 14 apiece. The Huskers finished outlasting Michigan State, winning the final set 16-14 and taking the match 3-2.
In the fifth set Broekhuis tallied four kills, while Mancuso and Werth each had two. Cook tabbed eight assists and Nebraska hit .444 for the set, compared to .391 for Michigan State.
Nebraska travels to face No. 17 Michigan in Ann Arbor tomorrow night at 6 p.m. The match can be seen live on ESPN3.com and will air via tape delay on ESPN2 on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 1:30 p.m. CT.