Huskers Sweep Hawkeyes
IOWA CITY, Iowa - The No. 4 Nebraska volleyball team posted a 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 25-20) sweep at Iowa on Saturday night in front of an Iowa school-record crowd of 4,729 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Huskers (13-3, 6-0 Big Ten) won their seventh-straight match, and their 6-0 start in Big Ten play is their best since 2011. The victory came against a scrappy Iowa team that was coming off a win over No. 22 Michigan earlier in the week. Iowa fell to 13-6 overall and 2-4 in the Big Ten.
Mikaela Foecke had 10 kills and three blocks to lead the Huskers in her home state. Annika Albrecht added nine kills and six digs, and Jazz Sweet terminated seven kills. Briana Holman, who celebrated her birthday on Saturday, had eight kills and three blocks while hitting .400. Lauren Stivrins had six kills and four blocks.
Kelly Hunter set 30 assists and had a team-best 11 digs for her fourth-straight double-double. Kenzie Maloney and Sydney Townsend each added 10 digs.
Nebraska outhit Iowa .257 to .115, marking the fifth straight opponent to hit under .200 against the Huskers. Nebraska outdug the Hawkeyes, 46-40, and had the edge in blocks, 8.0-4.5.
Set 1: Iowa claimed a 6-4 lead despite a pair of kills and a solo block by Foecke. Sweet pounded a kill and Stivrins and Hunter blocked an Iowa attack to tie the set before Albrecht gave the Huskers their first lead. The Hawkeyes answered and continued to lead 11-9 when Nebraska went on a 4-0 run to go up 13-11. Foecke and Hunter had kills to spark the run, and Holman and Foecke teamed up for a block. Nebraska continued to pull away with an ace by Hunter and kills by Sweet and Holman increasing the lead to 19-13. Albrecht terminated a pair of shots to make it 23-17, and NU won 25-18 on an Iowa attacking error.
Set 2: The Huskers came out hot with kills by Hunter and Foecke boosting them to a 3-0 lead. With a 7-6 lead, Nebraska got three kills from Sweet to set off a 5-0 run that gave them a 12-6 advantage. Iowa cut it to 15-13, but Holman tallied a kill to spark a 5-0 run that put the Big Red up 20-13. Holman and Sweet combined for a block, and Foecke added a kill during the run. The Huskers finished off the 25-17 win on Albrecht's sixth kill of the match. NU held Iowa to .075 hitting in the set.
Set 3: Stivrins notched four kills to help the Huskers to a 9-5 advantage. Iowa rallied with a 7-3 run to tie the set at 12-12. The Hawkeyes took a 15-14 lead on a kill by Claire Sheehan, but an Iowa attack error tied the set at 15-15. Stivrins and Hunter provided another block to put the Huskers back in front, and Stivrins hammered an overpass after a good serve by Townsend was mishandled. The Hawkeyes then hit wide, and the Huskers led 18-15. Iowa scored the next two points, but Albrecht and Foecke posted kills out of a timeout to gain back the three-point lead, 20-17. After Hunter dumped a kill, Foecke and Holman combined for a stuff block to make it 22-18. Maloney served an ace to gain match point at 24-18, and NU won 25-20 to finish the sweep, its 11th of the season.
Up Next: The Huskers play at No. 7 Wisconsin on Wednesday at 8 p.m.