A first set challenge then a sweep of Creighton.
Omaha. — After dropping a heartbreaking five-set match on Sunday to Florida during the finale of the Runza/AVCA Showcase at the Qwest Center, the No. 7 Nebraska volleyball returned to Omaha on Tuesday night to post hard-fought sweep of the Creighton Bluejays (26-24, 25-18, 25-15) in front of a sold-out crowd at the D.J. Sokol Arena.
Jordan Wilberger came off the Husker bench to give Nebraska a boost in her first action of the year, as put away eight kills on just 13 swings (.615) and added five blocks, including one solo stuff. Sydney Anderson contributed her first double-double of the year with 20 assists and 10 digs, while Brooke Delano led all Husker attackers with 10 kills.
Playing at the Sokol Arena for the first time in program history, the Huskers got out to a slow start in set one as Creighton took the first two points and continued to build its lead throughout the set, including six-point leads at 18-12 and 20-14. With the Jays knocking on the first-set door at 23-18, the Huskers dug deep with a 6-1 run to tie the score at 24 apiece. Following a Creighton timeout, Tara Mueller continued to control the Jays' defense with her serve to force Creighton into committing two errors and give the Huskers set one, 26-24.
Hannah Werth and Delano carried the Huskers' attack in set one with four kills each. Neither squad attacked well, as the Huskers hit .176 and Creighton hit .093.
Creighton again started hot in set two with a 3-0 run, before the Huskers answered with a 5-0 run of their won, including two kills from Mueller. Creighton took back the lead at 9-8, but Werth put up a solo stuff of Karisa Almgren to square the score at 9-9. The teams traded points until 17-17, when Nebraska went on 4-0 run to take the lead 21-17. After the teams traded service errors, Delano served NU to the win behind a two blocks from Wilberger and a kill from Gina Mancuso.
The Huskers' found their rhythm both offensively and defensively in set two as they hit at a .342 clip, while holding Creighton to just .049 hitting. After recording only one block in set one, NU stepped up the pressure with four blocks in the second stanza.
Nebraska started set three with a 2-0 lead behind kills from Werth and Wilberger, marking the first time all night at that the Huskers scored the first point of a set. Following Creighton's first point of the set, Nebraska went on an 8-2 run to take the lead 10-6, with Delano adding three more kills during the run.
The Jays did not go away quietly, as they answered back with three straight points, before a well-placed back-corner kill by Wilberger ended the run. The Jays added two more points, but the Huskers responded fast with a 6-0 run to take the lead 17-8. The duo of Mancuso and Wilberger continued to give support off the bench as the two each produced a kill and added two blocks over the run. The Huskers ended up being too much over the long haul, as they took set three 25-15 to produce their fourth straight sweep in the series.
The Huskers will now take tomorrow off before heading to Provo, Utah, on Thursday for the BYU Tournament at Smith Fieldhouse. Nebraska and host-school BYU will play on Friday at 8 p.m. (Central), before the Huskers face Cal Poly (1 p.m.) and Idaho State (6 p.m.) on Saturday. Fan can catch both days' action on the 25-station Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and Twister 93.3 FM in Omaha. Outside the state, live audio will be streamed for free on Huskers.com.
Source: University of Nebraska Athletic Dept.