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Huskers knock off Wildcats behind Stivrins’ big night

Huskers knock off Wildcats behind Stivrins’ big night
Courtesy/NU Media Relations

EVANSTON, Ill. – The No. 3 Nebraska volleyball team swept Northwestern 25-19, 25-12, 25-23 in its first Big Ten road match of the season on Friday night at Evanston Township High School.

The Huskers (12-1, 3-0 Big Ten) pulled away midway through the first two sets for decisive wins. In set three, the Huskers trailed most of the set and were down 23-20 before mounting a 5-0 run to finish off the match. 

Jazz Sweet had a match-high 12 kills on .346 hitting and had five blocks. Lauren Stivrins had 10 kills on 10 swings, becoming the third player in Nebraska history to have a perfect 1.000 hitting percentage with at least 10 kills. Mikaela Foecke and Lexi Sun each added eight kills. 

Nicklin Hames had 32 assists and 15 digs, and Callie Schwarzenbach posted six blocks. The Huskers outhit Northwestern (10-5, 0-3 Big Ten) .265 to .143. 

Ella Grbac led Northwestern with eight kills. 

Set 1: An early 7-3 Husker lead became 7-6 after a brief Northwestern run. But Foecke and Sun smashed kills, and Hames dumped one to make it 10-6 Huskers. Nebraska led 14-10 but again sloppy passing allowed the Wildcats back within one, 14-13. Sweet answered with her fifth kill to keep the Huskers in the lead, and a block by Hames, an ace by Densberger and block by Foecke and Stivrins made it 19-13 Huskers after a 5-0 run. Nebraska won 25-19 with five kills from Sweet and four from Sun. 

Set 2: After falling behind 3-1, Nebraska went on a 7-2 run to take an 8-5 lead with three kills by Stivrins. After Northwestern cut it to 15-12 to force a Husker timeout, Foecke terminated twice and served three aces, and Stivrins blasted three more kills as the Huskers finished the set on a 10-0 run to win 25-12. The Huskers held Northwestern to .000 hitting, and Stivrins had six kills on six swings. Nebraska had four aces in the set, three by Foecke.

Set 3: The Wildcats used a 5-0 run to take an 8-4 lead early in the set. The Huskers clawed back to take a 13-12 lead with two blocks by Sweet and Schwarzenbach and kills by Sun, Foecke and Sweet. But Northwestern responded with a 4-0 run to go back ahead, 16-13. The Wildcats led 20-16 before kills by Stivrins and Sun trimmed the deficit to 20-18. Northwestern still led 23-20 when back-to-back kills by Sweet cut it to 23-22. Northwestern hit wide on the next rally to tie the score at 23-23, and an ace by Sun gave the Huskers match point at 24-23. Sweet and Schwarzenbach ended the match with another block, as the Huskers finished set three on a 5-0 run to win 25-23. 

Up Next: The Huskers continue their road trip at unbeaten No. 7 Illinois on Saturday at 7 p.m. The match will be televised on BTN, streamed on BTN2GO.com and will air on Husker Sports Network radio affiliates, Huskers.com and the Huskers app

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