Lincoln, Neb. - The No. 2 Nebraska Volleyball team (19-2, 12-1) fought back from one set down to overcome the No. 23 Michigan Wolverines 3-1 (17-25, 26-24, 25-20, 25-21) Friday night. The Huskers were led by a rock solid performance from Brigette Root in her first career start at setter.
Root notched the first double-double of her career in front of a roaring 4,156 at the NU Coliseum with 25 assists and 11 digs. She paced Nebraska on the night in a gutsy comeback win.
Gina Mancuso guided the team with an impressive 16 kills for a hitting percentage of .341. Morgan Broekhuis had nine kills for NU, while Brooke Delano notched eight and Hannah Werth tabbed six, rounding out an impressive even attack for the Huskers. Werth led NU defensively with 17 digs.
Despite Michigan tallying 18 more kills and 24 more digs on the night, the Huskers outmatched the Wolverines and out-hit them .189-.142. Nebraska committed only 16 errors, while U-M committed 38.
The Huskers trailed 8-4 early in the first set until a kill by Delano made it 12-8, Michigan. Back-to-back kills by Mancuso and Hayley Thramer put NU within four, before the Wolverines pulled away to make it 20-16. Brooke Delano's kill helped Nebraska close it to 20-17, but Michigan did not let up and won the first set 25-17.
Mancuso led Nebraska in the first set with five kills, while Delano had three of her own. Root notched eight assists for NU, while Werth had four digs and Thramer had two solo blocks. Nebraska hit .119 for the set, while Michigan hit .316.
The Huskers came out with new life in the second set, tying with the Wolverines nine different times. Nebraska went ahead 10-8 on a kill by Delano and tied the match at 15 by capitalizing on an error from Michigan. Another kill by Delano put the Huskers ahead 20-17, but the Wolverines would not give up, eventually tying the match at 23. The Huskers hit a second gear and closed out Michigan with a 26-24 second-set win on an attack error by U-M.
Mancuso and Delano both had three kills for NU in the second set, with Broekhuis and Werth each tabbing two of their own. Root had another eight assists, while the Huskers outhit Michigan .159-.103. Nebraska out-blocked the Wolverines 5-3 on the set and saw Lara Dykstra notch six digs to lead the team defensively.
The Huskers came out of intermission on fire and bolted out to a 4-0 lead. A stellar dig by Paige Hubl led NU to a 7-2 advantage, and a tip by Root gave Nebraska a 9-2 lead. Mancuso ended a three-point run by Michigan to put Nebraska ahead 12-6. The Wolverines cut it as close as 13-11, but the Huskers pulled away to make it 16-12. NU went up 22-18 late in the third set and went on to win 25-20, leading the match 2-1.
Mancuso led Nebraska in the third set with five kills, as Broekhuis had three of her own. Root tabbed 11 assists, while the Huskers hit .312. Werth had a team-high three digs defensively as the Huskers out-blocked the Wolverines 5-1. Michigan hit only .147 with eight errors in the third set.
Nebraska and Michigan were tied early in the fourth set at four apiece. A solo block by Werth put Nebraska up 6-4 and a long rally and huge block by Thramer made it 11-7, Huskers. Michigan came back to tie the set at 12, but Nebraska went up 16-13. The Wolverines once again tied the set at 17, but the Huskers showed the same fight that kept emerging all night and went ahead 23-19 on an error by Michigan. Nebraska closed out the fourth set with a 25-21 win and took the match 3-1.
Mancuso led Nebraska in the fourth set with three kills, while Root, Broekhuis and Werth all had two kills of their own. Root also tallied eight assists, while Werth had six digs. The Huskers hit .195 for the set, while the Wolverines hit .057.
The Huskers return to action tomorrow night as they host the Michigan State Spartans at 7:30 p.m. at the NU Coliseum. The match can be seen live on BTN.com with a subscription.