No. 3 Huskers top No. 7 Ohio State in five-set thriller
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The No. 3 Nebraska volleyball team earned a thrilling 3-2 (25-22, 24-26, 19-25, 25-20, 15-13) win over No. 7 Ohio State on Saturday night in front of 8,342 fans at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The Huskers moved to 10-1 on the season and 2-0 in Big Ten play. The win snapped a two-game skid against the Buckeyes, who dropped to 5-5 and 1-1 in the Big Ten.
Madi Kubik had a team-high 16 kills to go with nine digs and five blocks. Lindsay Krause added nine kills and a pair of blocks, and Whitney Lauenstein had seven kills with four blocks and a pair of aces. Kaitlyn Hord produced five kills and six blocks, while Bekka Allick had four kills to go with a career-high eight blocks. Kennedi Orr and Anni Evans provided 20 and 18 assists, respectively. Orr had nine digs, while Evans added seven.
Lexi Rodriguez had a match-high 19 digs and served one ace. Kenzie Knuckles served two of the Huskers’ season-high six aces on the night. NU had six aces with 15 errors, while Ohio State had no aces and 20 errors. That - combined with a 15-5 blocks advantage - helped the Huskers offset a 64-46 deficit in kills. Ohio State hit .151 in the match, while Nebraska hit .140. Jenaisya Moore had 21 kills on .300 hitting to lead Ohio State. Emily Londot added 17 kills, and Gabby Gonzales had 15 kills.
Set 1: The Huskers got five kills from five different players in their first six attacks to go up 9-6. The Buckeyes answered with three kills to tie the score at 9-9. Ohio State committed a service error and back-to-back attacking errors to make it 12-9 Huskers, and Nebraska still led by three at the media timeout, 15-12, after a block by Orr and Allick. After the break, Kubik terminated for a 16-12 lead. Allick hammered a kill and Ohio State hit wide to increase NU’s lead to five at 19-14. Krause added a kill and a block with Hord to keep NU up 21-17, but the Buckeyes pulled within 22-20 to force a Husker timeout. Hord and Lauenstein blocked a Buckeye attack for a key sideout, and the Huskers earned set point after a Buckeye service error and won set, 25-22, after OSU’s seventh service error. The Huskers had just eight kills to 14 for Ohio State. But NU made up for it with three blocks and three points gained on Ohio State at the service line.
Set 2: Ohio State built an 8-6 lead before kills by Krause and Lauenstein helped the Huskers get back in front, 9-8. Ohio State went back on top, but Kubik registered back-to-back kills to even the score at 12-12. But the Buckeyes gained some separation with a block, a kill and four Husker errors to go up 20-14 after a 6-0 run. The Huskers cut the deficit in half after an Ally Batenhorst kill made it 20-17. But Ohio State pulled back ahead 23-18 after a Londot kill. Hord, Kubik and Lauenstein kept the Huskers’ hopes alive with a trio of kills that got NU within 23-21. Moore terminated for OSU for set point, but Kubik answered to cut it to 24-22. Lauenstein and Allick stuffed a Buckeye attack to make it a one-point game at 24-23, and Rodriguez served an ace to tie the score at 24-24. But the Huskers committed two errors to give Ohio State the 26-24 win.
Set 3: NU’s block showed up big time after the intermission with Hord involved in three blocks to help the Huskers go up 5-0. Two of her blocks came with Kubik, and one with Lauenstein. But it didn’t take long for Ohio State to get back in it as they reeled off a 6-1 run to knot the score at 6-6. The Huskers led 8-7 when Ohio State went on a 6-0 run to go up 13-8, and the Buckeyes increased the margin to seven at 17-10. Nebraska fought back to get within 20-18 after a kill and block by Maggie Mendelson and an ace by Kubik, but Ohio State was too strong down the stretch and held on for the 25-19 win.
Set 4: The Huskers jumped out to a 6-2 lead with Lauenstein serving an ace and Kubik and Orr posting kills. Nebraska led 13-10 when Ohio State scored three unanswered to even the set at 13-13. Krause had a kill and a block with Hord to put NU up 17-15. Hord and Kubik tallied kills to keep NU in front 21-18. After another kill by Kubik, Mendelson and Allick teamed up for a block that made it 23-19 Huskers. After an Ohio State kill, Krause and Mendelson stepped up with kills for the Big Red as they won 25-20 and forced a fifth set.
Set 5: The final set went back and forth early with Ohio State going up 7-6, but the Huskers took an 8-7 lead at the crossover after Krause terminated and Ohio State hit long. With NU up 9-8, Moore and Londot tallied kills to give the Buckeyes the 10-9 advantage. Nebraska fell behind 11-9 but Lauenstein brought the Huskers back level with a kill and a solo block, and Ohio State hit out on the next two rallies for a 13-11 Husker lead. NU gained match point at 14-12 after Ohio State’s 20th service error, and Allick and Kubik ended the match with a block.
Up Next: The Huskers are on the road next weekend as they continue Big Ten play. Nebraska plays at Rutgers on Friday at 6 p.m. (CT) and at Maryland on Sunday at Noon (CT).
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