#3 Nebraska vs. #7 Ohio State 3-2, 25-22, 24-26, 19-25, 25-20, 15-13
Nebraska took on an experienced and big hitting Ohio State team and while it wasn’t always pretty they came away with a big five set win.
Ohio State’s Jenaisya Moore led all hitters with 21 kills. She was one of three Buckeyes with double digit kills. Emily Londot had 17 and Gabby Gonzales had 15. Madi Kubik led the way for the Huskers with 16.
Nebraska opened up the first set with a kill from Whiteny Lauenstein and then an ace serve from Kenzie Knuckles. Nebraska spread out the hitting early on with all five starting hitters recording a kill by the time the Huskers reached 9 points.
Both teams combined for twelve service errors in the first set, with Ohio State’s last one giving the Huskers the win in Set 1.
Moore led attackers in the first set with 6 kills.
Service errors continued to be a problem early in the second set with each team having three a piece, then they cleaned it up a bit.
The blocking and digs from both teams in the second set. There were some long rallies and they were picking up everything. Lexi Rodriguez was all over the floor showing delivering up some incredible pancakes to keep the Huskers alive.
Ohio State was digging like crazy and that combined with many hitting errors from the Huskers let the Buckeyes go on a 6-0 run. Ally Batenhorst came into the game for the first time since the Creighton game in early September during the second set. She came in at for Maggie Mendelson and promptly had a good dig and a kill.
The Huskers were in a hole. At one point they were down 14-19 and they clawed their way back with some tough defense and good serving to force extra points, but came up short.
Nebraksa opened up set 3 with a 5-0 run behind good serving from Kenzie Kunckles, and great blocking by Kaitlyn Hord.
Sloppy play and errors piling up contributed to the Buckeyes taking the lead as they went on a 13-3 run to lead the Huskers 13-8. Once again the Huskers clawed their way back in it with some good blocking to bring it up 18-20. Nebraska just had too many errors and couldn’t come back.
The Huskers started out strong in set 4 with a big net presence and great serving by Whitney Lauenstein. Both teams found service errors still plaguing them into the 4th set. There were several runs and a lot of back in forth for the teams keeping it close into the middle of set 4. Nebraska was able to pull a bit ahead with some good blocking and better hitting and took the set.
Set 5 started with the Nebraska student section convincing Coach Cook to challenge an out serve call which resulted in an ace serve for Knuckles. It was battle back in forth throughout the set. A Madi Kubik block ended the game.
Nebraska’s setting has got to get more consistent. When the sets to the middle are on target, those hits are terminal. That needs to happen more often.
There were a combined 35 service errors in this game.
Defense was incredible from both teams. Ohio State had 79 digs and Nebraska had 61. The Huskers also had 15 blocks. The Maggie Mendelson and Bekka Alick double block is a pretty solid one. Especially with two freshman. Lexi Rodriguez was all over the floor and recorded a game high 19 digs.
Overall this was a great test for the Huskers.
Nebraska heads out on the road next weekend to play Rutgers and Maryland.