Big hits result in a sweeep of the Jayhawks
Lawrence, Kan. — The No. 5 Nebraska volleyball team (21-2, 13-1) extended its all-time record over the Kansas Jayhawks to 86-0-1 Wednesday night with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-19) victory at Horejsi Family Athletics Center.
The Husker offense was on fire all night as they hit a season-best .423 (50-9-97), their best performance since they hit .433 at Kansas last season on Nov. 21. Hannah Werth and Brooke Delano led a balanced attack with Werth posting a match-high 13 kills and Delano adding 12. Lindsey Licht, Morgan Broekhuis and Tara Mueller all chipped in eight kills apiece, while Lauren Cook and Sydney Anderson combined for 46 assists.
Nebraska's defense was just as strong as they out blocked KU 8-3 while Kayla Banwarth led all players with 17 digs. Banwarth is now just two digs shy of breaking Jennifer Saleaumua's school record of 1,568 digs.
The Huskers took control in the first set with a 5-0 run after the Jayhawks took an early 5-4. The duo of Werth and Delano fueled the run with a combo block and each added a kill while Mueller added an ace to help NU take a 9-5 lead they would hold the rest of the set. The Huskers continued to add points over the next 16 rallies with three separate multiple-point runs to take 18-12 lead and force a second timeout from Kansas.
The teams split the first six rallies out of the break before Kansas scored on two straight to cut the Husker lead to four, 21-17, resulting in a timeout from Head Coach John Cook. Nebraska found its rhythm with consecutive kills from Licht, Mueller and Delano along with a combo block from Licht and Delano to put away the first set 25-17.
Nebraska was nearly perfect in the set with 17 kills and just one error on 34 attacks (.471), while NU held Kansas to .200 hitting (15-7-40). Delano and Werth each posted four kills while Cook and Anderson combined for 14 assists.
Set two was a back-and-forth battle early with the eighth tie of the set coming at 10-10. Nebraska then got on a roll with four straight points, including kills from Werth and Delano, to take a 14-10 lead, which resulted in KU's first timeout of the set. A Nebraska error ended the run out of the break, but the Huskers then went right back to scoring points with a 6-0 run as Werth served five straight points, including an ace, to put Nebraska up 20-12.
The Jayhawks were only able to score twice more down the stretch and Nebraska coasted to a 25-14 win to take a 2-0 lead heading into intermission. Delano added four more kills in the second set while Cook chipped in 11 assists and Banwarth dug seven KU attacks.
Set three was again close early with the two squads tied at 8-8 before Nebraska got two straight kills from Werth to take a 10-8 lead. Kansas cut the lead to one at 11-10 following a kill from Allison Mayfield, but they would get no closer as Nebraska answered with a 3-0 run to push its lead to 14-10.
With Nebraska still holding a five-point cushion, 20-15, Kansas was able to cut the Husker lead to with a kill and a Husker error. The Huskers let the Jayhawks get no closer as they ended the set on a 5-2 run to win 25-19 and earn their eight road win of the season.
Nebraska will stay on the road with a Noon match on Saturday in Lubbock, Texas, against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. There will be now TV coverage of the match, but a free live stream will be available on TexasTech.com. Fans can also listen to all of the action with John Baylor on the 25-station Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and Twister 93.3 FM in Omaha. Fans outside the network will also be able to catch the live audio feed for free on Huskers.com.
Source: University of Nebraska Athletic Dept.