LINCOLN, Neb. – The No. 7 Nebraska volleyball team shut down Northwestern in a 25-18, 25-7, 25-18 sweep on Wednesday night in front of a crowd of 8,026 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
The Huskers (19-3, 11-2 Big Ten) had 13.5 blocks and held Northwestern to a -.054 hitting percentage for the match. It was Northwestern’s lowest hitting percentage of the season and marked the Huskers’ best defensive outing since Nov. 4, 2017 against Indiana (-.062). On the offensive side of the net, Nebraska hit an efficient .326, guided by Nicklin Hames’ 40 assists.
Lexi Sun had 11 kills and hit .455, and Madi Kubik, Lauren Stivrins and Jazz Sweet each had 10 kills. Kubik added nine digs and four blocks, and Stivrins had eight blocks and hit .353 on the night. Sweet hit .412 and had a career-best six blocks.
Nebraska had a 45-19 advantage in kills and a 44-33 edge in digs. Nebraska’s 13.5 blocks was a season high for a three-set match.
Nia Robinson had six kills to lead the Wildcats (10-15, 1-12 Big Ten).
The next two Husker matches are on the road, beginning at Iowa on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Set 1: Nebraska opened up a 5-1 lead to begin the match, and a couple of kills each by Sun and Sweet gave the Huskers a 12-9 advantage. Nebraska led 15-10 at the media timeout after Kubik and Sun notched kills before a Northwestern hitting error. After Northwestern got a sideout, Kubik terminated before Schwarzenbach and Hames teamed up for a block that made it 17-11. Kubik put the Huskers up seven, 21-14, and Nebraska won the set by seven, 25-18. Nebraska held Northwestern to .000 hitting in the set.
Set 2: The Huskers began set two with a 4-0 run, including a block by Sun and Schwarzenbach. The lead became 11-2 after Schwarzenbach and Sweet combined for four kills, and Stivrins posted two blocks and a kill on three straight rallies. Kills by Sun, Stivrins and Kubik helped the Big Red to a 16-4 lead, and Nebraska went up 22-6 after Kubik and Sun combined for five kills in a span of six rallies. Nebraska won 25-7, its most decisive set win since Sept. 15, 2018 against Missouri State (25-4). The Huskers hit .538 in the set and forced Northwestern into a -.129 hitting percentage.
Set 3: Northwestern got out to a 5-3 start, its first lead of the match. The Huskers fought back with an odd-angled kill by Kubik and a tip by Stivrins to take a 6-5 lead. Knuckles then served an ace, and Stivrins took over with three kills and two blocks with Sweet in a span of five rallies, and the Huskers led 12-5. Another kill by Stivrins increased the lead to 10 at 18-8, and Nebraska led by as many as 11 before ultimately winning the third set, 25-18.