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#3 Husker Volleyball Sweeps Northwestern, #16 Illinois

The Husker Women's Volleyball Team knocked off both Northwestern and #16 Illinois on their weekend road trip.

The #3 Nebraska Volleyball team traveled to the state of Illinois for the weekend, sweeping Northwestern Friday 25-13, 25-19, 25-19, and #16 Illinois 25-22, 25-18, 25-19 on Saturday.

On Friday night, the Huskers stopped in Evanston to take on the Northwestern Wildcats who were coming off last weekend's five-set thriller over then #3 Penn State.

The Huskers had 10 fewer attack attempts than the Wildcats, 91-101, but each team recorded 36 kills and Nebraska only had six errors to twenty for Northwestern. The Huskers hit .330 to .158 for the Wildcats. Kadie Rolfzen led the way for the Huskers with 11 kills to hit .375, and Mikaela Foecke added nine of her own and hit .421.

Friday night also marked the first time we saw Foecke at the service line. It turned out to be a great change for the Huskers, as Foecke had five service aces on the night, helping push the team's total to seven.

The Huskers had 40 digs, led by Justine Wong-Orantes' 16, but were outdone by 41 from the Wildcats.

The Huskers had 10 total blocks for the night to just two for Northwestern. Amber Rolfzen led the team with six block assists. Foecke recorded the only solo block for the Huskers.

Saturday night the Huskers took on the #16 Illinois Fighting Illini. All three sets were hard-fought, but the Huskers ultimately prevailed in three.

Mikaela Foecke all but locked up set two on her own, heading to the line late and finishing the set on a service run that included four aces in five serves at one point. Putting Foecke back on the service line proved to be a huge asset for the Huskers again, as her five total aces helped Nebraska reach six total for the night. Kadie Rolfzen had the other.

Foecke also led the Huskers with 12 kills for the night to hit .323 on a night when the team hit .219. Kadie Rolfzen added nine kills, and Amber Rolfzen and Kelsey Fien had eight apiece for the Big Red. In total, the Huskers had 44 kills to 36 for Illinois who hit .108 for the night.

Justine Wong-Orantes played one of the best matches of her Husker career, recording 27 digs for the night and helping keep Nebraska in control. Annika Albrecht added eight.

The Huskers outblocked the Illini 13-7 with Amber Rolfzen once again leading the way. She had seven block assists and one solo block on the night.

The Huskers continue to impress as they navigate the brutal B1G volleyball slate. Freshman Mikaela Foecke struggled in the loss to Ohio State, as well as in the win over Michigan State, but she has shown herself to be resilient, and has played very well since then.

The blocking continues to impress for the Big Red. Having the two Rolfzens blocking the outside hitters has proven frustrating at best for Husker opponents, and Cecilia Hall has certainly proven herself to be a more than capable blocker out of the middle as well. Kelly Hunter also outjumps her 5'11" height.

As the saying goes, "Defense wins championships." Well, Justine Wong-Orantes and Annika Albrecht are playing nearly lights out defense for the Huskers, as Wong-Orantes makes her case for All-American.

The Huskers play the next four at home. The Huskers play Minnesota on October 23rd at 7:00 and Wisconsin on the 24th at 7:30. Halloween weekend will see Rutgers come in Friday and Maryland on Saturday.

GBR