Huskers Earn Road Win at No. 16 Purdue, 3-1
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The fourth-ranked Nebraska volleyball team earned a 3-1 (25-16, 22-25, 25-14, 25-18) win at No. 16 Purdue on Saturday night at Mackey Arena.
The Huskers (14-4, 7-1 Big Ten) rebounded from their first conference loss of the season to Wisconsin on Wednesday by stopping one of the nation's best attacking teams in Purdue (15-4, 5-3 Big Ten). The Boilermakers entered the night with the third-best hitting percentage in the nation (.341), but the Huskers held them to a season-low .134 on the night.
Nebraska, which picked up its seventh win of the season against a top-16 opponent, hit .287 for the match. Mikaela Foecke had a season-high 21 kills, just one off her career high, and hit .476 as she had just one error in 42 attacks. Annika Albrecht had 13 kills, seven digs and two service aces, and Briana Holman had nine kills and three blocks while Lauren Stivrins had seven kills and four blocks. Jazz Sweet tacked on six kills.
Kelly Hunter coordinated the attack with 44 assists and added 13 digs for her sixth-straight double-double. Kenzie Maloney added 12 digs.
Purdue was led by Sherridan Atkinson's 15 kills. The Huskers held Purdue All-American Danielle Cuttino to 14 kills on .087 hitting.
Set 1: Nebraska led 4-2 before Purdue ran off five straight points to go up 7-4. The Boilermakers increased their lead to 9-5 before Nebraska could side out. Kills by Sweet and Stivrins helped cut the deficit to 11-9, and an Albrecht kill out of the back row brought NU within 12-11. After Purdue took a 13-11 lead, Nebraska took over with a 14-3 run to finish the set in dominating fashion. Holman teamed up with Sweet for a stuff block to tie the set at 13-13, and Holman added a kill on the ensuing rally for a 14-13 Husker lead. After a Purdue timeout, Foecke and Albrecht tallied kills and Purdue committed a pair of errors to put the Huskers up 18-14. The Boilermakers then committed two more hitting errors around an Albrecht kill. A block by Sweet and Holman made it an 11-1 run and 22-14 in the set. The Huskers claimed the 25-16 win with Sweet and Stivrins adding kills to close it out. After a sluggish start, NU ended the frame with an efficient .333 hitting percentage while holding Purdue to .069.
Set 2: Purdue held the early edge again, taking an 8-4 lead. A kill and block by Holman cut it to 8-6, and later a big swing by Albrecht and a Purdue ball-handling error cut it to 11-10. Purdue went back ahead by four at 18-14 after an ace serve, but Sweet and Albrecht recorded kills to cut the deficit to 18-16. A Purdue hitting error allowed the Huskers within 18-17, but the Boilermakers got a sideout and an ace to go up 20-17. Back-to-back Husker blocks, both involving Stivrins, made it 20-19, and the Huskers tied it 21-21 with kills by Foecke and Holman. The teams traded sideouts until a kill by Atkinson gave Purdue set point at 24-22, and the Boilermakers tied the match with a 25-22 win.
Set 3: Hunter and Stivrins set the tone with a block to open the set, and Albrecht served an ace for a quick 2-0 lead to get the Huskers off on the right foot. NU took a 6-4 lead after winning a lengthy review that Purdue made contact with the antenna. A kill by Albrecht and a pair of errors by Purdue made it 9-5 Big Red. Later, Foecke terminated from the back row for a 13-8 Husker lead. That started a 5-0 run that had the Huskers in front 18-9. Another 4-0 spurt put the Huskers up 23-13 with Foecke pounding two kills and Holman adding one. Foecke ended the set at 25-14 on an ace. The Huskers held Purdue to .000 hitting in the set.
Set 4: Nebraska set out to finish the job with a 5-0 run to open the set. Stivrins and Foecke extended the lead to 7-1 with kills. Purdue pulled within 10-7, but Albrecht connected on her 10th kill and Foecke tacked on her 17th for a 12-7 advantage. After Purdue scored two straight points, Stivrins contributed two kills and Albrecht and Foecke each had another to pull the Big Red to a 17-11 lead. Purdue chipped away to within 21-17, but Holman terminated and two straight points for a 23-17 edge. Albrecht gained match point at 24-17, and the Huskers completed the 25-18 win on an Albrecht kill.
Up Next: The Huskers return home for a pair of matches next weekend. Nebraska will host Northwestern on Friday at 7 p.m. and Illinois on Saturday at 7 p.m.