No. 4 Nebraska sweeps ASU to remain undefeated
The No. 4 Nebraska volleyball team won its fifth straight match Saturday night to close the Ameritas Players Challenge, defeating Arizona State 3-0 (25-20, 25-12, 25-22) at the Devaney Center.
LINCOLN, Neb. (Nebraska Athletics) – The No. 4 Nebraska volleyball team won its fifth straight match Saturday night to close the Ameritas Players Challenge, defeating Arizona State 3-0 (25-20, 25-12, 25-22) at the Devaney Center. The Huskers improved to 5-0 (0-0 Big Ten), while the Sun Devils dropped to 3-3 (0-0 Pac-12).
Lexi Sun recorded a match-high 14 kills on .364 hitting, adding four digs and three blocks. Whitney Lauenstein added 11 kills off the bench with an outstanding .529 attack percentage and was also credited with two blocks.
Nicklin Hames posted her third double-double of the weekend on a match-high 38 assists and 11 digs with a service ace and two blocks. She guided the Huskers to a season-high .350 hitting percentage.
Lexi Rodriguez finished with a match-high 12 digs, four assists and an ace, and Keonilei Akana had another 11 digs for the night. Callie Schwarzenbach notched four blocks and five kills.
Ally Batenhorst also had a strong showing with a season-high nine kills on .333 hitting, and Kayla Caffey chipped in seven kills and a pair of blocks.
Iman Isanovic led ASU with 14 kills, and Claire Jeter finished with a match-best four blocks.
Nebraska hit .414 out of the gate, led by six kills on nine swings for .667 hitting from Sun. Batenhorst hit at a .375 clip with four more kills.
Four kills, two aces and a block helped the Huskers to an early 10-8 lead. It was part of a 7-1 run punctuated with a Caffey kill off an overpass, which pushed the Huskers ahead 13-9. Sun put down consecutive kills to make it 17-12, then went back-to-back on another pair of kills to give NU its largest lead at 19-13. Lauenstein registered another kill on an assist from Rodriguez, started a string of three straight kills to bring it to set point at 24-18. Batenhorst registered the final kill to close it at 25-20.
NU shot out to an 8-1 advantage behind a Sun solo stop, a Schwarzenbach/Hames block and four straight kills from Sun, Schwarzenbach and Kubik. Knuckles, Lauenstein and Sun later strung together a trio of kills, and after a pancake dig by Knuckles, a Sun/Schwarzenbach double stuff block spotted the Huskers a 14-4 lead. Schwarzenbach and Lauenstein added another stop at the net, and a Lauenstein kill extended the run to 8-0 and the lead to 16-4.
The freshmen on the floor continued to impress late, with three kills apiece from Lauenstein and Batenhorst spurring NU to 23-8. Caffey finished it off with a kill for the 25-12 win.
The Huskers counted five of their eight blocks in the second set alone, and Lauenstein led the way with five second-set kills as NU hit .371 as a team.
Nebraska never led in the third set until hitting the 21-20 mark on a kill by Sun, who added a solo block to prompt an ASU timeout. Kenzie Knuckles followed with an ace serve to create a three-point edge. Sun later brought it to set point with a kill, and she rattled her 14th and final kill of the night to cap the set, 25-22, and secure the match sweep.
Noting Tonight’s Match
-Nicklin Hames was named Most Valuable Player of the Ameritas Players Challenge, and Lexi Rodriguez and Kayla Caffey joined her on the all-tournament team.
-Omaha’s Sadie Limback and Sami Clarkson, Georgia’s Kacie Evans and Amber Stivrins and Arizona State’s Iman Isanovic also earned all-tournament team recognition.
-Nebraska is now 4-1-1 in the all-time series with ASU, including 2-0 in the John Cook era.
Nebraska visits in-state foe Creighton on Wednesday, Sept. 8 at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Neb., with first serve set for 6:30 p.m. The match will be televised on FS1, and John Baylor and Lauren Cook West will have the radio call on Huskers Radio Network.