For their last road trip of the 2018 regular season, the women of the Nebraska volleyball team headed to Indiana. Friday night was a stop in West Lafayette to take on the #12 Purdue Boilermakers with Saturday being a trip to Bloomington and the Indiana Hoosiers. The Huskers took both matches,
Friday night the Huskers faced another top-15 conference foe in the Purdue Boilermakers. The Huskers took the match 3-1 (25-22, 25-20, 22-25, 25-17).
The #6 Huskers had very similar numbers to the home team, but separated themselves in a close match with fantastic serving. The Huskers had 11 aces, led by three from both freshman setter Nicklin Hames and sophomore outside hitter Lexi Sun, against just five errors. Purdue had one ace and 11 errors.
Nebraska eked out a slightly better attacking night than Purdue, .209 to .208. Sun was also the leading attacker with 13 kills and a .258 hitting percentage with both sophomore middle blocker Lauren Stivrins and senior outside hitter Mikaela Foecke pounding ten kills.
Purdue actually outblocked Nebraska by a decent margin, 13-9. Stivrins led the Huskers with two solo blocks and two block assists. Freshman middle blocker Callie Schwarzenbach had one solo block and three block assists.
The Huskers outdug the Boilermakers 67-60. Foecke and Sun both had double-doubles, with 11 digs apiece. Hames had 13 digs but the team was led by another stellar night from senior libero Kenzie Maloney who had 20 digs.
Saturday night pitted the Huskers against an Indiana Hoosier team that is fighting to be in a position to get an NCAA tournament bid. Though Indiana held their own for much of the match, the Huskers prevailed in a sweep, 25-15, 25-19, 25-19.
The Husker attack looked much more Husker-like on this night, with the team hitting .388 while Indiana could only muster a .216. Foecke led the way for the Huskers with 13 kills while hitting .387. The only other Husker with double-digit kills was Stivrins who hit .524.
The Huskers had six blocks to four for the Hoosiers, and the team had 47 digs while Indiana had only 39. Lexi Sun led the Husker back row with 16 digs.
Nebraska returns home next weekend for two matches to close out the 2018 regular season. Both matches will be televised on NET and BTN2Go as well as broadcast on Husker Sports Network radio affiliates. Friday night the Ohio State Buckeyes come to town for a 7:00 PM Central match. Saturday sees the only meeting of the year between the Maryland Terrapins and the Huskers. That match is also at 7:00 PM Central.
When brackets are released for the NCAA tournament, we’ll have a preview of the Husker opponents and their road (and potential roadblocks) to a second straight national title.