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September 28, 2016
Top-Ranked Huskers Silence
No. 24 Illinois
               1   2   3 
Illinois (24) 18  22  21 
NEBRASKA (1)  25  25  25 

Champaign, Ill. — The top-ranked Nebraska volleyball team finished its three-game road stretch to open Big Ten play with a 25-18, 25-22, 25-21 win at No. 24 Illinois on Wednesday before 2,911 fans at Huff Hall.

Nebraska (12-0, 3-0 Big Ten) took care of business with a .302 hitting percentage to just .202 for Illinois. The Husker back row was dominant, as NU put together a 47-33 advantage in digs. The Huskers won their 28th straight match overall and 11th straight road match, equaling their longest road win streak since 26 straight from 2003-2005.

Kadie Rolfzen had 12 kills, nine digs and three blocks with a .391 hitting percentage. Mikaela Foecke had nine kills, and Briana Holman and Andie Malloy each had eight. Amber Rolfzen posted six kills and a match-high six blocks, leading the Big Red to a 9-7 blocks advantage. Kelly Hunter had 38 assists, seven digs and four kills.

Justine Wong-Orantes led the Huskers with 11 digs, while Annika Albrecht had 10.

Illinois (9-5, 2-1 Big Ten) saw its seven-match win streak come to an end. Jacqueline Quade led the Fighting Illini with 14 kills.

Photo Courtesy Stephanie Carpenter/Nebraska Communications
Kadie Rolfzen had 12 kills, nine digs and three blocks.

Set 1: The Huskers used a 7-0 run to gain an 11-3 advantage, keyed by two Malloy kills, two blocks by the Rolfzen twins and an ace by Wong-Orantes. After Illinois got within 13-8, five different Huskers struck for consecutive kills to give NU a 17-8 lead via a 5-0 run. Illinois strung together three straight points to cut the score to 21-17 before the Rolfzens' third block of the set ended the rally. A Hunter kill earned set point for NU at 24-17, and the Huskers won 25-18 on a block by Amber Rolfzen and Malloy. Nebraska hit .265 and shut down the Illini attack to .097 hitting.

Set 2: Holman and Kadie Rolfzen struck early, and Malloy and Holman teamed up for a stuff and 3-0 lead. Illinois rallied and took its first lead of the match at 7-6 and then built a 15-11 lead thanks in part to three kills by Quade. But the Huskers answered with a 9-2 run to go ahead 20-17. A Kadie Rolfzen kill and ace brought the Huskers back within 15-14, forcing an Illinois timeout. Another Kadie Rolfzen kill evened the set at 16-16 before Illinois hit into the net to make it 17-16 Huskers. After Illinois drew even, Foecke terminated on three straight rallies for a 20-17 edge. The Huskers maintained the lead the rest of the set and finished off the 25-22 win after an Amber Rolfzen/Malloy block and Illinois hitting error.

Set 3: Nebraska battled back from an early deficit to tie the set 5-5 on a dump by Hunter. A series of great digs by the Huskers led to a Kadie Rolfzen kill that made it 8-7 Big Red. A kill by Foecke and an Illinois hitting error pushed the Huskers' lead to 10-7. An Amber Rolfzen kill put the Huskers in front 15-12 at the media timeout, and after the timeout Hunter and Amber Rolfzen stuffed an Illini attack to make it 16-12. Holman powered home a kill to maintain the four-point lead at 20-16. Nebraska used a timeout after its lead was cut to 23-21, and Foecke notched a solo stuff after the break for match point at 24-21. Holman finished off the sweep.

Up Next: The Huskers play their Big Ten home opener when No. 19 Ohio State visits Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. match. Fans are reminded that the start time was changed from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to accommodate those coming from the 2:30 p.m. football game. The match will be televised on NET and carried on the Husker Sports Network.

Source: University of Nebraska Athletic Dept.