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Husker Volleyball: #7 Nebraska Outlasts #14 Creighton

Creighton remains win less against Nebraska

Gallery: Volleyball Opens Home Schedule with a Bang

On Thursday night, the #7 Nebraska Huskers Women’s Volleyball team returned to the scene of their 2015 National Championship, the newly renamed CHI Health Center in Omaha, to take on the surging #14 Creighton Blue Jays. Though the Jays started hot, the Huskers ultimately prevailed 3-2 (22-25, 19-25, 25-18, 25-22, 15-10).

The intrigue around this match went beyond just a rising Creighton program against a young, inexperienced Husker squad. The match also featured former Malcolm Clippers and VCNebraska alums Hayley Densberger, Husker DS, and Jaela Zimmerman, Blue Jay OH meeting for the first time on this stage. The match set a record for an NCAA regular season volleyball only event with 14,022 in attendance.

Through the first two sets, Creighton looked poised to knock off the Huskers for the first time in the history of the match-up. Zimmerman and Taryn Kloth were finding the floor consistently for the Jays will little resistance from the Husker defense. Kloth set a career record with 26 kills. Nebraska had a difficult time answering and the Huskers never held the lead in the second set.

However, the steady hand of Mikaela Foecke, and the continued impressive play from Jazz Sweet won the day and saw the Huskers ultimately gut out the win. Foecke hit .351 and led the Huskers with 25 kills. Sweet hit .323 with 12 kills. Capri Davis also contributed double-digit kills for the Big Red with 18.

The Husker defense responded when it was needed with 77 kills and 7.5 blocks. Libero Kenzie Maloney was all over the court down the stretch, adding 25 kills to the stat sheet. Foecke scored another double-double with 13 digs and Setter Nicklin Hames had 11. Foecke also led the blocking with one solo block and four block assists.

The challenge that Creighton presented to Nebraska wasn’t a huge surprise. Coach Kirsten Bernthal-Booth has recruited relentlessly in the same areas that Coach Cook has and gone hard after Nebraska kids as well. Though the Blue Jays couldn’t knock the Huskers off, it was the first time they’ve taken even two sets from Nebraska.

Sunday marks the first national TV appearance for the Huskers, as they’ll take on former Husker Christy Johnson-Lynch’s Iowa State Cyclones. Johnson-Lynch has elevated the Cyclones to be a highly competitive team in the Big XII Conference and always play the Huskers tough.

First serve is scheduled for 1:00 PM Central at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln and will be televised on ESPNU.