In a Sunday matinee, the #3 Nebraska Huskers took on the #17 Purdue Boilermakers at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The Huskers swept Purdue 25-17, 25-13, 25-17, completing a brutal road trip for the Boilermakers, who fell to Iowa on Friday night.
Nebraska took the first point, but Purdue answered back, taking the next two. From that point, the teams traded points with Purdue holding the advantage. Nebraska finally re-took the lead 9-8.
The Huskers held a lead of three points at 14-11, but Purdue closed again to 14-13 Huskers before the Huskers won the next point and had a 15-13 lead at the media timeout.
A Briana Holman kill immediately after the media break gave the Huskers a 16-13 lead and resulted in the first Purdue timeout of the opening set. Purdue scored out of the timeout, but two more Nebraska points made the score 18-14 Big Red and forced the final Boilermaker timeout of the set.
As was the case early in the set, the Huskers continued to gradually open the lead, eventually closing out the set 25-17 on a Kelly Hunter kill.
The Huskers were hitting -.167 early in the first set, but recovered to hit .206 against .094 for Purdue. Kadie Rolfzen had four kills and hit .800 for the home team. Andie Malloy added three kills for the Huskers.
Though Purdue took the first point in the second set, the Huskers took the lead back quickly, 2-1.
Again the Huskers slowly built a lead, opening the advantage to 9-6 when Purdue took their first timeout of the second set. The Huskers took the next two points, making the lead 11-6 Huskers, and Purdue took the second, and final, timeout of the second set.
Purdue continued to struggle to score, with Nebraska adding two more points after the second Purdue timeout to take a 13-6 lead. At that point, Purdue had a kill and a block to briefly stem the Husker run, but Kelly Hunter put a ball in the deep corner for a Husker point.
The reprieve didn’t last long for the Huskers, however, as errors began to mount for the Huskers, two consecutive attacks that landed out of bounds for the Huskers made the score 14-11 with the Huskers still holding the advantage.
Nebraska scored the next two points, however, and opened the lead back to five, 16-11. The Huskers kept the pressure on Purdue from that point, opening up a 20-13 lead.
After a Boilermaker attack sailed long with no touch called, Purdue coach used his first challenge of the night. The original call made the score 21-13 Nebraska, and the review upheld the call on the court. Purdue never scored again in the set, and the Huskers finished it off 25-13.
After two sets, Nebraska’s blocking combined with a plethora of Purdue attacking mistakes had Purdue hitting -.014 while the Huskers were setting a .227 pace. Kadie Rolfzen continued to lead the Huskers with eight kills and a .308 percentage, while Mikaela Foecke had six kills and was hitting .385.
Kelly Hunter started the third set with her fourth kill of the night, and assist on a Briana Holman kill, and an ace to make the score 3-0 Huskers early. However, her next serve found the middle of the net to give Purdue their first point of the third set.
Purdue closed to within a point, but then a Husker sideout make the score 4-2 Huskers. After a quick exchange of sideouts, Purdue ran a couple of points together to tie the score at six, a run ended by an emphatic Amber Rolfzen kill, keeping the Huskers in the lead.
With Annika Albrecht serving, the Huskers again opened the advantage, taking a 9-6 lead. Then with Kelly Hunter serving, the Huskers took a 12-8 lead, which led to Purdue’s first timeout of the third set.
Purdue made the score 12-10 Huskers after their timeout, but a serve that sailed long put Foecke on the line to serve.
A subsequent run by the Boilermakers closed the lead to 13-12 Huskers before a Briana Holman termination and an Andie Malloy/Amber Rolfzen block gave the Huskers a three-point lead again.
Purdue again closed to within one at 15-14, but Nebraska used strong offense and blocking to again open up a four-point advantage, 18-14 and forced the final Boilermaker timeout of the third set.
Though Purdue earned the first point out of the timeout, the Huskers didn’t let off. A Foecke kill made the score 22-17, and a Holman kill extended it to 23-17. Another Holman kill gave the Huskers match point, which Hunter took care of with an ace, her second of the set.
This match looked more like the volleyball we’re used to seeing from the Huskers. Even when Purdue made it interesting, the Huskers never panicked, never stopped doing the things that have led to their success. The Huskers only committed five service errors to eight for Purdue and had 11 blocks to 6.5 for Purdue.
The Huskers hit .273 for the match and held the Boilermakers to .031. Kadie Rolfzen led the Huskers with 11 kills on the night, hitting .350. Mikaela Foecke added eight kills and hit .368.
The Huskers outdug Purdue by a slight margin, 38-35. led by nine from Kadie Rolfzen. The leading blocker for the Huskers was Amber Rolfzen, who was part of nine Husker blocks, one of which was a solo.
This week, the Huskers take to the road again, traveling to Ohio State Friday to try and avenge the only loss on the season, and then Sunday to Maryland. Friday night’s match will be available on BTN, with Sunday’s on BTNPlus ($$). The Huskers come home again Friday, October 21 to take on Wisconsin in a match that will be available on BTN.