NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – The 14th-ranked Nebraska volleyball team finished a perfect first weekend of Big Ten play with a 25-15, 25-20, 25-11 sweep of Rutgers on Saturday night at College Avenue Gym.
The Huskers (9-3, 2-0 Big Ten) got 12 kills from Annika Albrecht and 11 kills from Mikaela Foecke on .579 hitting with no errors for their second straight sweep. All eight of Nebraska’s wins this season have been sweeps. NU hit .376 as a team and held Rutgers (5-9, 0-2 Big Ten) to .135.
Kelly Hunter had 35 assists and moved to sixth all-time in career assists at NU with 3,205. Lauren Stivrins had eight kills on .400 hitting, while freshman Chesney McClellan made her first career start at middle blocker and had seven kills on .462 hitting. She also had a team-high three blocks on the night. Four Huskers finished with at least seven kills and each hit better than .340.
The Huskers had a 39-33 advantage in digs with Sydney Townsend and Kenzie Maloney leading the way with nine each.
Set 1: McClellan opened the set with a pair of blocks, one solo and one with Jazz Sweet. Nebraska built a 10-7 lead on consecutive kills by Foecke and Albrecht. Foecke and McClellan added back-to-back kills for a 13-8 lead, and then they accomplished the same feat to make it 15-9. Sweet and Foecke connected for kills before a Rutgers hitting error gave NU an 18-11 lead. A Stivrins kill increased the lead to eight at 19-11. Albrecht hammered a free ball after a great effort by Townsend and Hunter to keep a rally alive, and Rutgers hit wide to make it 22-12. The Huskers hit .400 in the 25-15 victory. Foecke had six kills on .750 hitting.
Set 2: Stivrins helped the Huskers to a 9-4 lead with three kills and a pair of blocks. Nebraska went up 13-5 after kills by Hunter and Foecke. After Rutgers scored three in a row, McClellan terminated for sideout and a 14-8 lead. Rutgers battled back to within 18-15 after a 6-2 run, but Foecke posted back-to-back kills to restore a 20-15 advantage. Rutgers pulled within three again at 22-19 before a service error and hitting error, and Nebraska had set point. The Huskers won 25-20 after another Rutgers hitting error. NU hit
Set 3: Nebraska jumped out to an 11-4 lead as McClellan tallied three kills. Olivia Boender entered the match and posted a kill for a15-8 lead, and Albrecht added her 10th of the match to make it 18-9. Townsend set Hunter for a kill, and Albrecht tacked on two more kills for a 24-11 lead. NU won 25-11 after Rutgers hit long.
Up Next: The Huskers return home to the Devaney Center for three straight Big Ten matches, beginning with No. 1 Minnesota on Friday at 5 p.m. Former Husker standout Jordan Larson will have her jersey retired at the match. Nebraska will turn around and host No. 5 Wisconsin on Saturday at 7 p.m.