Photo by Pat Radigan
25-11, 25-15, 25-16
Stivrins – 9
Stivrins – 1.5
Foecke – 9
Story by Pat Radigan
Huskers serve way to dominant offensive effort against Maryland
It was a career-night for Nebraska from the service line, a factor that completely undid Maryland’s 6-2 system, in a three-set beatdown at the Devaney Center.
Kelly Hunter scattered four service aces and Kenzie Maloney added three of her own, both career highs, to keep Maryland out of system and limit the Terps to just .081 hitting over three sets. The Huskers took advantage, and survived second-set turbulence to make it a quick night of work in running their record to 14-1 in Big Ten action.
“Our strategy every game is to serve really tough,” Hunter said. “We just go back there, try to take a deep breath, and stick it with your hand contact. Hopefully the ball moves, and it was moving tonight.”
Freshman Lauren Stivrins led Nebraska with 9 kills on 11 swings, with Briana Holman adding 7 kills to give NU’s middles a combined .591 hitting mark. The Huskers got 8 kills each from outside hitters Mikaela Foecke and Annika Albrecht to add balance.
On top of the hot hitting, Nebraska limited Maryland’s top hitter to a -.048 mark by forcing 5 errors, and only allowed one service ace to drop for the Terrapins as Maryland struggled to string together points.
The only pressure for Nebraska came in the second set, with Maryland able to take a 10-6 after a contested touch call gave the Terps a kill. Cook challenged, and after a lengthy review the call was upheld. With Cook still unhappy on the NU bench, his team responded.
Albrecht got a kill on the next point to break Maryland’s momentum. Freshman Hayley Densberger, who sat out the last match due to a coach’s decision, was then inserted back into the lineup and led an 8-0 run from the line. Even without serving an ace, Densberger’s aggressive serving allowed NU to get back in control and cruise to the 2-0 lead.
“It looks like she has her confidence back,” said Cook, adding that he went to the freshman after a solid week of showing that confidence in practice.
But no matter who was at the line for Nebraska, there was little Maryland could do to keep up, despite hitting above .100 for the first time in the third set. Nebraska’s didn’t quite match the .571 it posted in game one, but the Huskers managed to rattle off 13 kills at a .345 hitting pace in the decisive set to seal the win.
With state volleyball in town this weekend, Nebraska now has a few days to recover before Rutgers comes to Lincoln for a Sunday afternoon matchup.