The Huskers overcome another first-game loss and defeat the Sooners.
Norman, Okla. — The No. 3 Nebraska volleyball team stayed undefeated in Big 12 play Wednesday night with a hard-fought 3-1 win (18-25, 25-17, 25-17, 26-24) over the Oklahoma Sooners at the McCasland Field House.
Lindsey Licht led the way with 15 kills on 36 swings (.361) and added eight blocks, while Tara Mueller also hit double-figure kills with 10.
Sydney Anderson posted a team-high 24 assists and Lauren Cook chipped in 22 more to help the Huskers hit .276, while the Kayla Banwarth's 15 digs and Brooke Delano's career-high 10 blocks held the Sooners to .149 hitting.
The Huskers took an early 5-4 in set one, but then Nebraska got sloppy and committed four errors during the next six rallies, resulting in a 10-5 Oklahoma lead. After a kill from Cook ended the Sooners' streak, Morgan Reynolds and Brianna Barker put away back-to-back kills to extend the OU lead to 12-6.
Nebraska responded with two straight points to get within four, but it would be short lived as Oklahoma took six of the next eight rallies to take a commanding 18-10 lead and force Head Coach John Cook to take his second timeout of the set.
The Sooners continued to score kills out of the break, as they pushed the lead to 22-10, before Nebraska scored on three straight rallies to cut the lead to single digits and force an Oklahoma timeout. The Huskers kept the comeback going following the timeout with four of the next five points to get within six and force a second Sooner timeout with Oklahoma up 23-17.
Nebraska could get no closer as Sarah Freudenrich made sure the Sooners would take the set as her back-to-back kills gave Oklahoma a set one win, 25-18.
The Huskers were their own worst enemy in set one with five attack errors and two service errors, while only hitting .114.
Oklahoma jumped out to a 4-2 lead in set two, but Delano took over for the Huskers with a kill and a pair of blocks on consecutive plays to swing the lead in Nebraska's favor at 5-4. After a kill from Oklahoma's Suzy Boulavsky tied the set at 5-5, Nebraska ran off another 3-0 run, including an ace from Hannah Werth, to extend their led to 8-5. The Sooners then gave the Huskers five free points via attack errors, while Licht and Mueller each added kills to push the Huskers' lead to eight points at 15-7.
The Huskers kept the pressure on and a second straight kill from Licht extended the Husker lead to double-digits for the first time in the set at 20-10. The Sooners would get as close as seven down the stretch, but the Huskers took the set 25-17 to tie the match at 1-1.
Nebraska found its rhythm at the net in set two with a .312 hitting percentage, while the Husker defense held Oklahoma to .057 hitting.
Licht fueled the Huskers early in set three with four of the Huskers' first five points off of three kills and a combo block with Allison McNeal. Delano then followed with a block and two kills on three of the next four rallies and Oklahoma contributed an error to push the Husker lead to three at 9-6, resulting in a Sooner timeout.
Unlike set two where the Huskers pulled away, the Sooners responded with four straight points out of the timeout to tie the set at 10 apiece. The Sooners failed to take the lead as two blocks from Jordan Wilberger, along with two Sooner errors and a kill from Mueller pushed the Husker lead to four at 15-11.
Following a second timeout from Oklahoma, Sallie McLaurin got the Sooners within three before Banwarth served six straight points, including an ace, to give the Huskers a 22-14 cushion. During the run, Delano added two blocks while Cook dished out assists to both Licht and Mueller. Delano and Broekhuis combined for a block and each added a kill over the next six rallies secure the set for Nebraska, 25-17.
The Husker attack stayed hot in set three and hit .333, as Cook and Anderson combined for 12 assists. Defensively the Huskers put up seven stuffs as a team, as Delano doubled her block total to eight with four stops in the set.
Oklahoma jumped out to a 4-0 lead in set four before a kill from Gina Mancuso got Nebraska on the board. The Sooners continued to add to their lead with eight of the next 13 points, resulting in a 12-6 advantage.
With the Sooners still holding a five-point lead at 14-9, Nebraska came alive with a 4-0 run, capped by an ace from Cook, to cut the Sooner lead to just one. Oklahoma would respond with the next two points, but the Huskers swung right back as the duo of Licht and Mueller combined for three straight kills to tie the set at 16-16.
With the set still tied at 18-18, the Sooners tried to pull away with a 3-0 run, resulting in a timeout from Cook. The Huskers answered the call out of the break with a 3-0 run of their own, including consecutive kills by Mancuso from Anderson, which resulted in a Sooner timeout.
After the teams exchanged the first four rallies out of the set, Anderson assisted on a kill from Broekhuis to put the Huskers at match point, 24-23, and force a timeout from Oklahoma.
The teams traded points out of the break before Mueller ended the Sooners night with her 10th kill of the night to secure a Nebraska win 26-24.
After playing its last two matches on the road, Nebraska will return to the NU Coliseum for a match against the No. 13 Texas Longhorns on Saturday at 3:30 p.m., with the match carried nationally by Fox Sports Net. In Lincoln on Time Warner Cable FSN is on channel 37(SD)/120(HD), while on DirecTV it is channel 671 and is channel 418 on Dish Network. Fans can also listen to all of the action with John Baylor and Diane Mendenhall on the 25-station Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and Twister 93.3 FM in Omaha, as well as Huskers.com.
Source: University of Nebraska Athletic Dept.