Huskers Sweep Dayton for First Win of Season

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Huskers Sweep Dayton for First Win of Season

Dayton, Ohio – The No. 12 Nebraska volleyball team swept host Dayton 3-0 (29-27, 25-14, 25-23) in its opening match at the Flyer-Raider Invitational on Friday night at the Frericks Center.

Kadie Rolfzen got untracked for the Huskers, posting a match-high 15 kills after totaling six through the first two matches of the season. Junior Kelsey Fien added 12 kills of her own, one off her career high, and the duo combined to hit .373 on the night.

The Huskers improved to 1-2 on the young season heading into matches tomorrow against Bakersfield and Easten Kentucky. Dayton fell to 2-2. Alaina Turner and Jill Loiars led the Flyers with 11 kills each.

Coming off an outing with just one kill against Stanford last Sunday, Kadie Rolfzen showed her All-American form with 15 kills on 28 swings for a .429 hitting percentage. She also had three blocks and eight digs on the night. Rolfzen’s 15 kills matched the most she’s had since 20 against Michigan on Nov. 16 last season.

Fien came off the bench and added a huge spark for the second straight match. After leading NU with nine kills last time out against Stanford, the junior outside hitter finished one kill shy of her career-high 13, which she set at Auburn last season.

Senior setter Mary Pollmiller had 35 assists and a season-high 11 digs to pace the Huskers. Justine Wong-Orantes added 10 digs. The Huskers had eight total blocks with Meghan Haggerty leading the way with a career-best four.

Dayton quickly jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the opening set, but the Huskers fought back with three straight points aided by a Kadie Rolfzen kill. The Huskers tied the set for the first time at 7-7 on an errant set by the Flyers. NU took its first lead at 11-10 on a wide hit by the Flyers. The Huskers went up by two at 14-12 and again at 16-14, but allowed Dayton to tie the set each time. Three straight kills by Kadie Rolfzen gave the Big Red a 20-17 lead, but Dayton scored five straight to go up 22-20. However, following a timeout the Huskers gathered themselves and back-to-back kills by Fien evened things up at 22-22. After Dayton briefly went ahead 23-22, Fien struck again and a Dayton attacking error gave NU its first set point at 24-23. The teams traded rallies to 28-27 before Fien finished off the set with a swing down the line on the left side for the 29-27 Husker win.

Kadie Rolfzen had six kills in the first set alone, matching her total for last weekend’s matches. Her twin, Amber Rolfzen, had three kills of her own and an ace. Fien added four kills, all coming after the Huskers trailed 22-20.

In set two, the Huskers wasted no time in taking control. Fien blasted three kills to give NU a 3-1 lead and Amber Rolfzen added a kill and Annika Albrecht recorded her second ace of the match for a 5-1 Husker advantage.The closest Dayton would get the rest of the way was 6-3, but the Huskers put an end to that with three straight points on back-to-back kills by Kadie Rolfzen and a Dayton attacking error to go up 9-3. The Huskers never let their foot off the gas the rest of the set and built the advantage to 11 by the end of the set for a 25-14 win.

In the second set, Fien had five kills, while Kadie Rolfzen had four and Amber Rolfzen had three. Pollmiller posted two kills on dumps and added 13 assists. The Huskers posted 14 digs in the set and they came from seven different Huskers.

The Huskers picked up where they left off to begin set three, jumping out to a 5-1 lead. But trailing 7-2, Dayton won five of six points to claw within 8-7. Kadie Rolfzen hammered down the line to put NU up 9-7, but the Flyers came all the way back to take an 11-10 lead on a Big Red attacking error. With the set tied at 12-12, Albrecht served up her third ace of the night for a 13-12 lead, and an attacking error by Dayton put NU up two, 14-12. Dayton hung around within 16-15, but Haggerty sent one to the floor, and Justine Wong-Orantes produced a one-handed dig that led to a double-stuff block from Haggerty and Pollmiller to force a Dayton timeout with the Huskers ahead 18-15. Dayton battled back from a 24-20 deficit to make it 24-22 and force a Husker timeout, but Kadie Rolfzen fittingly ended the match with her 15th kill of the night.

The Huskers finish play at the Flyer-Raider Invitational with back-to-back games on Saturday. At 10 a.m. (CT) the Huskers will take the court with Bakersfield, which fell to IPFW 3-0 earlier on Friday. Then at 2 p.m. (CT) NU squares off against Eastern Kentucky, which swept Wright State in its tournament opener on Friday to move to 5-1 on the season.