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Husker Middles Set Tone in Sweep of Michigan

Husker Middles Set Tone in Sweep of Michigan
(Nick Burkhardt/Huskers.com)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The No. 5 Nebraska volleyball team handed Michigan just its second sweep of the season with a dominant 25-19, 25-15, 25-13 victory over the Wolverines on Friday night at Cliff Keen Arena.

The Huskers (14-2) hit .362 and held Michigan to a season low .074 hitting percentage. Nebraska swept its 11th match of the season, and seven of the 11 have come on the road.

Kayla Caffey had a season-high 10 kills on .769 hitting with four blocks. Lauren Stivrins tallied 10 kills on .714 hitting with seven blocks. The middle blocking duo combined for 20 kills on .741 hitting without an error to go with 11 blocks.

Jazz Sweet posted nine kills with four blocks, and she hit .533. Madi Kubik had six kills, four blocks and nine digs and served three aces. Lexi Sun chipped in six kills, seven digs, two blocks and two aces.

Nicklin Hames had 31 assists and three digs as their Huskers hit for their second-best efficiency of the season (.362). Kenzie Knuckles had a match-high 16 digs with four set assists and two aces.

Nebraska had big advantages in blocks (11-5), kills (43-25), assists (37-24) and aces (7-3). Nebraska sided out at 75.5 percent to just 47.9 percent for the Wolverines.

Jess Mruzik had 12 kills to lead Michigan (4-7).

Set 1: Michigan held a 9-8 lead when NU scored four in a row with two kills by Stivrins, one by Kubik and a block by Stivrins and Sweet. The Huskers led 18-17 before going on a 4-0 run to take control of set one. Kubik and Stivrins had a block, and Knuckles served an ace before Sweet terminated a kill. Stivrins and Hames posted kills down the stretch to seal the victory, 25-19. Nebraska outhit Michigan .375 to .231. The Huskers had four blocks while Michigan had none in the first set. Stivrins had four block assists herself, while Kubik and Sweet each tallied two.

Set 2: The Huskers gained separation from an 8-8 tie with a 6-2 run that made it 14-10 Huskers. Caffey, Stivrins and Kubik recorded kills, and Knuckles and Kubik both served aces. Leading 15-12, the Huskers went on a 6-0 run to take a 21-12 lead. Caffey had two kills and a block with Sweet, and Kubik added a kill. After Michigan sided out, Caffey continued her dominance with two more blocks – one with Sun and one with Sweet – and Sweet tacked on a pair of kills as the Huskers won 25-15.

Set 3: The Huskers bolted to a 7-2 lead with Stivrins tallying two kills and Kubik serving a pair of aces. Sweet connected for back-to-back kills to lift the Big Red to a 14-6 lead, and Stivrins posted back-to-back kills to make it 19-9. Nebraska completed the sweep at 25-13. Nebraska hit .364 in the final set and stifled the Wolverines to .000.

Up Next: The Huskers are scheduled to play Penn State on Thursday, April 1 and Friday, April 2. Both matches are slated for 8 p.m. start times.

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