Friday and Saturday nights, the Nebraska Huskers Womens’ Volleyball team traveled east, making stops at #2 Penn State on Friday and at Rutgers Saturday night. The Huskers swept both teams.
The Friday night sweep at Penn State was the first time Penn State had been swept at home since October of 2003, when they were beaten by the MInnesota Golden Gophers. The Huskers sweep of the #2 Nittany Lions was the first in Rec Hall in nearly 14 years. Nebraska took the match 26-24, 25-19, 25-20.
The Huskers hit .347 against the Nittany Lions on Friday night while holding Penn State to .227. The Huskers kept the Penn State hitters at bay by outdigging the Lions 51-43. Briana Holman led the Husker attack by a long shot, hitting .750 with 13 kills on 16 attempts with only one error. Anni Albrecht set a career high with 19 kills and only three errors to hit .400.
Libero Kenzie Maloney had 12 of the 51 Husker digs, and DS Sydney Townsend threw in 10 one the night. The Husker defense also recorded 7 blocks to 6.5 for Penn State. Albrecht and Lauren Stivrins each had four block assists to lead the team.
The team avoided a potential trap game on Saturday night, heading to New Brunswick, New Jersey and sweeping Rutgers 25-15, 25-20, 25-11.
Briana Holman rested an injured ankle on Saturday night, an injury she sustained the previous weekend against Nebraska-Omaha, and it gave freshman Chesney McClellan the start. She took advantage of the opportunity and .462 for the night with seven kills. She also added three block assists to lead the team with Kelly Hunter.
The Husker attack far outpaced the Scarlet Knights .376 to .135. The outside hitters had great night for the Huskers with Mikaela Foecke hitting .579 with 11 kills. Annika Albrecht hit .346 with 12 kills. Lauren Stivrins added eight kills on 15 swings to hit .400.
While it’s a bit of an understatement to say it, it was a good weekend for the team. The Penn State win is a huge confidence-builder for this program that has three freshman who are regular contributors. Jazz Sweet had a rough weekend, but she hasn’t been the only one who’s struggled and they’ve all worked their way out of the funk. This was the freshman’s first B1G road trip.
We need to temper our expectations of this weekend meaning that the team will run the B1G table. This team looked very good against UCLA, but then lost to Northern Iowa. Granted, Northern Iowa is a good team, but not a UCLA or Penn State quality.
There will still be ups and downs, but this team’s eye is on November and December. This team will improve as the season goes on and will look more consistent. Senior leadership is stepping up, and the, thankfully minor injuries, should have a chance to heal up.