LINCOLN, Neb. – The No. 1 Nebraska volleyball team swept Iowa State to kick off the Nebraska Invite Friday night at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. A standing-room only crowd of 8,301 packed the arena for the Huskers’ home opener.
The Huskers (3-0) picked up steam as the match went on in the 25-20, 25-17, 25-12 sweep of the Cyclones (2-2).
Nebraska produced 12.5 blocks, including a career-high seven by setter Kelly Hunter. The Huskers hit a season-high .389, including .583 in set three, and held Iowa State to .044 hitting. Although the Huskers had 13 service errors, they put down five aces and had just eight attacking errors in 90 attempts.
Mikaela Foecke, Kadie Rolfzen and Briana Holman each had nine kills. Holman had four blocks and Rolfzen had three. Amber Rolfzen had seven kills and six blocks, as the two Husker middle blockers combined for 16 kills, 10 blocks and a .448 hitting percentage.
Hunter added 31 assists to her seven blocks, and Justine Wong-Orantes had 12 digs.
The win was the 19th straight for the Huskers, the longest win streak for the program since 2008.
Set 1: After falling behind 3-0, the Huskers rallied with a kill and ace from Foecke, a kill by Kadie Rolfzen and an ISU hitting error to take a 4-3 lead. Foecke added another kill, and a block by Hunter and Amber Rolfzen, and a kill by Annika Albrecht helped push the Huskers’ lead to 12-7 via a 5-0 run. Holman powered down a kill and then combined for a block with Amber Rolfzen to make it 22-17 Big Red. The Huskers closed out the set, 25-19, on two kills by Malloy. After a slow start offensively, NU finished the set with a .344 hitting percentage to just .133 for ISU.
Set 2: Again the Huskers fell down 3-0 to begin the set, but kills by Holman and Malloy, and then a combo block by the two Texas natives put the Huskers up 4-3. Holman then teamed up with Kadie Rolfzen for a stuff to make it 5-3. After an ISU timeout, Malloy rose up for a solo block to make it a 6-0 Husker run. The Cyclones rallied from down 9-5 to tie the set 9-9. After a timeout, Amber Rolfzen was in on three straight blocks – two with Hunter – and added a kill to give NU a 14-10 lead. The Huskers extended the lead to 19-11 with another kill and block by Holman, as well as two kills by Foecke. The Huskers closed out a 25-17 win with kills by Holman, Kadie Rolfzen, Amber Rolfzen, Hunter and Foecke down the stretch. The Huskers had 7.5 blocks in set two and held Iowa State to .000 hitting.
Set 3: Nebraska set out to finish the match in three sets by taking a 14-6 lead after a 6-0 run, thanks in part to three early kills by Amber Rolfzen. The Huskers pushed the margin to double-digits at 18-8, and Hunter served an ace to build it to 19-8. Nebraska hit a season-best .583 in the final set to roll to the 25-12 win and the sweep.
Up Next: The Huskers host Oregon State on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The Beavers defeated Syracuse 3-0 in the first match on Friday. Saturday’s match will be streamed live at Huskers.com with a HuskersNSide subscription. Husker IMG Sports Network will carry the match on HSN affiliates (including 107.3 FM in Lincoln and 105.9 FM in Omaha) and on Huskers.com.