NU VBALL: Huskers sweep Northwestern in Evanston

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Posted By: Sports

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Courtesy: NU Media Relations

Evanston, Ill. – The No. 3 Nebraska volleyball team used a strong start on the road to grab a 3-0 sweep at Northwestern at Welsh-Ryan Arena on Friday night.

The Huskers (15-2, 6-1 Big Ten) were in front for the majority of the first two sets in 25-13, 25-19 wins. Although the third set was neck and neck throughout, Nebraska rattled off a 7-0 run with the score tied 15-15 and went on to finish the sweep, 25-19. 

Northwestern fell to 11-7 overall and 3-4 in the Big Ten. The Wildcats were coming off a five-set upset of then-No. 3 Penn State last weekend at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

But Northwestern was no match for Nebraska on Friday night. The Huskers hit .330 and held the Wildcats to .158. Nebraska committed just six attack errors to 20 for Northwestern, and the Huskers had a 7-3 edge in service aces. Nebraska also enjoyed a strong presence at the net with a 10-2 advantage in blocks. Northwestern did not record a single block assist on the night, while the Huskers had 18.

Kadie Rolfzen had 11 kills and hit .375, while Mikaela Foecke had nine kills and hit .421. Foecke served five of the Huskers’ seven aces, tying the most aces by a Husker in a three-set match since 2004. Amber Rolfzen had three kills and six blocks, and Cecilia Hall and Kelsey Fien each had four kills and three blocks.

Kelly Hunter had 28 assists, four blocks, and four kills on four attacks. Justine Wong-Orantes led the team with 16 digs. 

The Huskers hit .464 in the opening set en route to a 25-13 victory. Tied at 5-5, Foecke tallied a kill and back-to-back aces to help Nebraska build a 10-6 lead. NU closed the set on a 20-8 spurt. Kadie Rolfzen registered six kills, while Hunter had 10 assists for the Big Red in the opening frame.

Nebraska jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second set after a kill by Hall and an ace by Annika Albrecht. The Big Red extended its lead to 8-1 after a Foecke block and Northwestern attack error. Northwestern pulled within three points twice during the second set, but the Huskers never waivered. Foecke recorded two more aces to help the Huskers win, 25-19.

In the third set, Northwestern put together its best effort. The Huskers led 7-5 after a Hunter kill, but the Wildcats went on a 4-0 run to go up 9-7. The Wildcats led 12-10 before a hitting error and Amber and Kadie Rolfzen kills put NU up, 13-12. With the scored tied 15-15, Nebraska went on a 7-0 run to take control, needing just one kill in the process. Northwestern was called for double contact and had four attack errors, two of which were forced by Amber Rolfzen blocks with Hunter and Fien combining. A Foecke ace and Fien kill made it 22-15 Big Red. Northwestern got within 22-19, but the final three points went to the Huskers. 

The Huskers return to action on Saturday against No. 16 Illinois at Huff Hall in Champaign, Ill. The match begins at 7:30 p.m. (CT) and will be televised on the Big Ten Network.