Photo by Pat Radigan
25-8, 25-11, 25-13
Foecke – 12
Holman – 2.5
Maloney – 11
Townsend – 11
Story by Pat Radigan
Nebraska moves to 15-1 in Big Ten play to remain tied for the top spot in the conference
Nebraska allowed just 32 points over three sets, which ties the program record for points allowed in the 25-point scoring era, and hit .480 to sweep Rutgers in an an hour and 17 minutes on Sunday afternoon at Devaney. Mikaela Foecke hit a career-best .800 behind 12 kills on 15 swings, without an error, while Rutgers managed just .092 to fall to 0-16 in Big Ten action.
The win moves Nebraska to 15-1 in the conference, and moved the Huskers back into a tie with Penn State for the top spot in the Big Ten with four matches to go.
In addition to the impressive hitting numbers, Foecke also served 3 of NU’s 9 aces in the match. Foecke’s third ace of the night came as part of a 3-0 spurt to break a tie in the third set, and caused Rutgers to take a timeout with Nebraska up 7-4. Sydney Townsend added a pair of aces as part of a service run later in the set, and forced Rutgers final timeout, before serving another point out of the break to push the lead to 18-9.
From there, freshman Sami Slaughter added a pair of kills off the bench, and fellow frosh Anezka Szabo came in on match point to record the final kill and put away a 25-13 win in the third.
Slaughter finished with a kill on each of her 4 swings over two sets, while Szabo, who played club volleyball with Slaugher in South Dakota, got her first kill during Big Ten play to put the final touches on the win when her swing bounced off the block and out.
Annika Albrecht added 8 kills and 6 digs, and came up with 6 of her kills in the first set as part of Nebraska’s dominant offensive effort. The Huskers hit .615, and put away 16 kills without committing an error. Rutgers had just 6 kills, but had that offset by 4 hitting errors as the Scarlet Knights struggled to keep up.
Rutgers upped their effort to hit .154, and ‘cut’ the Huskers hitting to .526 in the second. It still did little to change the score, though, as Nebraska ended the set with a 14-5 run.
Lauren Stivrins had 7 kills, hit .600 and chipped in a solo stuff and two block assists. Fellow middle Briana Holman added 5 kills and 5 block assists of her own. The duo helped the Huskers register 8 total blocks over three sets, and set the tone Nebraska’s dominance at the net with emphatic kills and the ability to put away overpasses as Rutgers struggled to handle NU’s serving.
Next up for Nebraska is a return to the road, when Nebraska travels to take on Ohio State next Friday in Columbus.