Huskers Down Maryland for Sixth Straight Win

Posted By: Sports

Story Courtesy: Nebraska Athletics

LINCOLN – The 11th-ranked Nebraska volleyball team won its sixth straight match with a 3-1 (25-17, 25-14, 18-25, 25-18) victory over Maryland on Sunday afternoon at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.

The Huskers improved to 18-7 overall and 12-4 in the Big Ten, finishing a stretch of four straight home matches unbeaten. Maryland dropped to 9-18 overall and 2-14 in the Big Ten in its first trip to Lincoln as a Big Ten opponent. While the Huskers extended their win streak to six, the Terrapins saw their losing streak reach six.

Kelsey Fien led the Huskers with a career-high 18 kills, her fourth straight match with double-digit kills. Kadie Rolfzen had 15 kills and 10 digs while hitting .355. Amber Rolfzen had six kills and five blocks, and Cecilia Hall had five kills and seven blocks. Meghan Haggerty added five kills and five blocks. Justine Wong-Orantes had a team-high 15 digs, while Sydney Townsend matched her career high with 11. Mary Pollmiller had 42 assists with seven digs, three kills and three blocks.

Emily Fraik had 13 kills to lead Maryland, while Ashleigh Crutcher had 12.

Nebraska outhit the Terrapins .277 to .187. The Huskers have now held six straight Big Ten foes under .200 hitting for the first time since 2011. The Huskers also outblocked the Terrapins 12-8 and outdug them 53-39. The Huskers had five aces with Townsend registering three and Ethridge two.

Nebraska took an 8-4 lead in the first set courtesy of an Amber Rolfzen kill, Townsend ace and a Haggerty kill. The Huskers then built a 15-7 lead by the media timeout with the second Amber Rolfzen/Hall block of the set and Fien’s fourth kill. An Ethridge ace made it 23-13, and the Huskers won 25-17 after Maryland fought off four set points. Fien had seven kills in the set to lead the Huskers to .387 hitting. Maryland hit .188.

With set two tied 6-6, Nebraska rattled off an 8-1 run to take control. NU scored three straight on a bad set by Maryland, kill by Pollmiller and Townsend’s second ace of the day to go up 9-6. After Maryland cut it to 9-7, the Huskers went ahead 14-7 with five more points. Fien and Kadie Rolfzen each had kills, and Haggerty combined for blocks with Pollmiller and Fien to give the Huskers a seven-point edge. The Huskers pulled away down the stretch to take a 2-0 lead in the match with a 25-14 victory. NU hit .273 in the frame while holding the Terrapins to .000.

The Huskers started slow out of the gate in set three, falling behind 4-1. NU pulled within 7-5 on kills by Haggerty and Fien, but the Terrapins went up 13-5 with a 6-0 run, which Fien ended with back-to-back kills to trim the deficit to 13-7. But Maryland continued to fend off the Huskers and extended the lead to 17-8 with three kills in a row from Fraik. Trailing 19-11, the Huskers got kills by Kadie Rolfzen and Pollmiller around Townsend’s third ace to get within 19-14. But the next three points went to Maryland, and the Terrapins came away with the 25-18 win. NU hit just .062 in the third set, while Maryland had a .423 attacking percentage.

A kill by Fien and two blocks by Amber Rolfzen and Hall helped put the Huskers up 5-1 early in the fourth. But Maryland cut it to 9-8 with a 6-1 run to force a Husker timeout. Out of the break, Fien and Hall recorded kills, and an ace by Ethridge to put the Huskers up 12-8. The Terrapins closed the gap to 13-12, however, before consecutive kills by Amber Rolfzen made it 15-12 Nebraska. Another Amber Rolfzen kill put NU up 17-13. After Maryland got within 17-15, a Terrapin service error and three consecutive kills from Kadie Rolfzen made it 21-15 Huskers. The Huskers closed out the 25-18 win by hitting .435 in the fourth set with just three attacking errors.

Nebraska will visit Indiana for a 6 p.m. (CT) match on Wednesday on BTN Plus.