Nebraska 3, Illinois 0 - 26-24, 30-28, 25-17
It was a back and forth match with many more points than necessary. Nebraska made errors that elongated the match. Illinois also gave NU a bunch of points on missed served. Nebraska seemed to control the whole match but could never take command. Illinois wouldn’t give in. They played hard until the very end.
Coach Cook on aggressive defense: “Hames is tough”. He said they did give her breaks after her collision with Sun. He also was impressed again with the play of the Hawaiian freshman, “Akana going into the chairs, I didn’t even know that was legal.”
The middles looked good tonight and produced kills. While that was fun to watch there were also positions that didn’t produce. Coach said “We have to get all five hitters going”. The only hitters in positive tonight were Stivrins, Caffey and Sun. That doesn’t work many nights to produce a win. But this night, it did...
Set 1 - first set to Zuhn but IL dug and then a timing mistake for a Sun backrow attack created an error, 0-1. Akana came into serve and caused a poor pass, 1-1. Illini sent a set tight to the net which Hames slammed down, 3-3. Tentative swing for Sun leads to an easy attempt and kill for Cooney 5-4. Aggressive Sun swing off the block, 8-6. Huge block by Zuhn and Caffey, 9-6. Zuhn with a kill from the left side (her 1st kill of the weekend), 11-8. After a timeout, Kubik had a kill, 11-15. Sun moved to the front row and started getting kills, 13-15. Densberger served four in a row to give the huskers a lead, 17-16. Illinois attacked more from the backrow than last night, Cooney made it 18-19. An overpass by NU gave the Illini a late lead, 19-21. Caffey dented a few more floor boards, 20-22. Akana serving, IL hitting error, 22-23. Kubik makes a tough serve that bring IL out of system, 24 all. After a IL timeout, Stivrins makes a tip kill for the set win, 26-24. NE won 6 of 7 points to win this set.
Set 2 - Big block by Stivrins and Zuhn, 1-0. little tips over the net and junk scoring for IL, 11-10. Akana almost ace and then an ACE, 13-10 and IL timeout. Densberger had a third service error, 17-14. Hames and Sun collide to try to pick up a tip. Hames stays down for a while. She gets up and stays in after talking with the trainer. timeout NE to give Hames some more time to recover, 18-15. Caffey fed for a kill by Hames from the 10 ft. line, 19-16. IL timeout, 20-16. A Zuhn hitting error, 20-18. Big kill by IL Cooney, 21-20. Stivrins blocked on a 31 set, 21 all. Stivrins comes back with a tip kill, 22-21. After a NE timeout, Stivrins runs on a slide for a kill off the block, 23 all. Big block by Sun after the double sub (Sweet and Evans), 25-24. Back and forth they go Caffey gets a kill for 28-27. Stivrins ends the set on a slide, 30-28.
Set 3 - A slow start after a couple long rallies, 0-4. Sweet comes in for Zuhn. Kubik on a serving run with effective tips over the block, 4-5. Evans came into serve instead of Densberger, Caffey made a big block, 7-6. A Cooney ace, 7-9. Hames returns the ace favor, 9 all. NU scores three on strong net play by Caffey and Kubik, 12-11, timeout IL. Knuckles served an ace after Caffey drilled the ball for a kill, 14-12. Stivirns runs a long way on the slide for a kill. 17-14, IL timeout. After the timeout Schwarzenbach subbed in for Hames to block, wasn’t effective, Hames back in, 17-15. Sun get a kill from the backrow!! 18-16. Then Kubik gets a kill from the backrow, 19-16. The backrow attack REALLY opened up the net as the IL blockers are stressed, that is a good offense. Kalynn Meyers came in for the final point, her first minutes as a Husker, 25-17.
Next weekend the Huskers welcome the undefeated (12-0) Buckeyes to Devaney.