No. 4 Huskers withstand challenge from Omaha, 3-2
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -The No. 4 Nebraska volleyball team withstood a challenge from neighboring Omaha Friday afternoon at the Ameritas Players Challenge, defeating the Mavericks 3-2 (16-25, 25-14, 16-25, 25-13, 15-7) at the Devaney Center. With their third straight win, the Huskers improve to 3-0 (0-0 Big Ten), while Omaha drops to 1-2 (0-0 Summit League).
Madi Kubik led the match with a season-best 16 kills on .394 hitting, adding seven digs and two blocks.
Lindsay Krause and Nicklin Hames both tallied their first double-doubles of the season. Krause finished with 12 kills, a season-high 10 blocks and seven digs, and Hames -- who made her season debut -- had 40 assists, 13 digs and a block.
Lexi Sun also posted a double-figure effort with 10 kills and added nine digs, a block, three assists and two service aces. Lexi Rodriguez had a season-best 24 digs to lead the match.
Kayla Caffey, who played in only the fourth and fifth sets, provided a boost off the bench with season highs of six kills and seven blocks.
Omaha was led by 16 kills with nine digs from Rachel Fairbanks and another 11 kills with three blocks from Sadie Limback. Sami Clarkson had 40 assists with 12 digs for a double-double, and Claire Mountjoy (18), Shayla McCormick (18) and Jaiden Centeno (13) also put up double-figure dig performances.
As a team, Nebraska outhit Omaha .191 to .083 and outblocked the Mavericks 15-8.
Omaha hit .571 with three kills and a block from Limback to start, jumping out 8-2 before the Huskers took a timeout. Back-to-back Meyer/Krause stuff blocks eventually cut the Maverick advantage to three. Omaha pushed its lead to 18-11 before another NU timeout, then stretched to as many as 10 at 23-13. A Rylee Marshall kill brought it to set point, and another by Fairbanks sealed it at 25-16 for Omaha.
Krause had three kills and two blocks for Nebraska, and Kubik added three more kills. Limback had four kills and two blocks for Omaha, and Fairbanks had another four kills in the set.
Nebraska hit an improved .270 in the second and was bolstered by seven kills from Kubik on .500 hitting. NU trailed to start the second set, tied it three times and finally took the lead at 8-7 on a Kubik kill. It was part of a 7-1 Husker run, with consecutive Sun kills and a Meyer/Sun block putting NU ahead 13-8. NU eventually built to 20-12 edge after a Krause kill down the line started a string of four straight Husker kills. NU finished the set on a 9-2 run, punctuated by Kubik’s 10th kill of the match to win 25-14.
The Mavericks hit .297 and limited NU to .069 in the third set. They led by as many as six and took the game 25-16 for a 2-1 match lead.
Caffey entered the match in the fourth set and immediately helped NU rally, totaling four blocks and a pair of kills. Krause added five kills on .455 hitting and matched Caffey with four more stops. The Huskers hit .290 to UNO’s .000 and had a 6-0 blocking advantage.
Three kills from Sun, Krause and Caffey and a Maverick attack error spurred NU to a 7-2 advantage early in the set. Leading 11-8, Nebraska went on a 6-0 run with three kills and a Schwarzenbach/Lauenstein block to create a nine-point lead. Following a Maverick service error, a Krause/Schwarzenblock stop and a Krause kill finished it off at 25-13.
Caffey had four kills on five swings with no errors and chipped in three more blocks in the deciding set as NU hit .400 as a team with just one attacking miscue and outblocked Omaha 4-0.
After a 2-2 tie, NU built to an 8-3 lead. Two late Caffey kills helped to seal it, with her final one putting it away at 15-7.
Noting Today’s Match
-Nebraska improves to 17-1 in the all-time series with Omaha, including 2-0 in the John Cook era.
-As a team, the Huskers have 15 or more blocks in two of their last three matches.
Nebraska continues play at the Ameritas Players Challenge tonight, facing Georgia at 6 p.m. at the Devaney Center. The match will be televised on Big Ten Network and streamed via its digital extension with Larry Punteney and Salima Rockwell on the call, and John Baylor and Lauren Cook West will have the radio call on Huskers Radio Network.
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