LINCOLN, Neb. – The second-ranked Nebraska volleyball team swept its second match of the day on Friday, topping Denver 25-23, 25-17, 25-12 in front of a crowd of 8,177 at the Devaney Center on Friday night. Earlier in the day, the Huskers swept High Point in their first match of the Ameritas Players Challenge.
Nebraska (6-0) finished its win over Denver (6-2) with a dominant 25-12 third set, just as it did against High Point (25-8) in the morning. The Huskers tallied 11 blocks in the match, their most in a three-set match since 13 against Ohio State on Nov. 23 last season. Lauren Stivrins had six blocks to go with six kills, and Jazz Sweet had four blocks and five kills. Nebraska held Denver to a -.021 hitting percentage, also its best defensive performance since Nov. 23 against Ohio State last year.
Libero Kenzie Knuckles had a match-high 11 digs.
Set 1: The teams went back and forth early with neither team able to gain a two-point advantage until a Denver net violation made it 10-8 Huskers. Sweet tipped a kill to the floor and Denver hit long to extend NU’s lead to three, 12-9. Kills by Schwarzenbach and Stivrins increased the margin to four, 15-11, and forced Denver’s second timeout. The Huskers led 19-14, but Denver ran off a 4-0 run to get within 19-18. After a Denver four-hit violation, Sun stuffed a Denver attack to make it 21-18 Big Red. The Husker defense came up big again with a block by Stivrins and Sweet for set point at 24-20. Denver fought off three set points before the Huskers sealed the set, 25-23, on a Stivrins kill. Both teams committed eight attacking errors, with the Huskers holding a slight edge in hitting, .135 to .083.
Set 2: The Huskers scored a 13-2 run on Megan Miller’s serve after Denver opened the set with the first two points. The Pioneers committed six unforced errors during that stretch, and Stivrins had three blocks and one kill. Hames added a pair of kills to take the Huskers to the 13-4 lead. After Denver got within 13-7, Kubik tacked on a couple of kills and Sun had one as well as the Huskers went up 20-11. Denver cut it to six, 22-16, after a 5-2 spurt. But Sweet put down a kill and Denver hit wide to make it 24-16. Kubik finished the set at 25-17 with her fifth kill of the night. NU held Denver to .000 hitting in set two.
Set 3: The Husker defense picked up where it left off, posting five blocks to open the third set with an 8-2 spurt. Sweet, Stivrins, Schwarzenbach and Sun were all in on two each. NU pulled away with a 7-0 run that made it 21-7. Sun served the run, and Kubik, Schwarzenbach and Sweet all had kills during that stretch. The Huskers finished off the 25-12 win for the sweep, hitting .444 in the final frame while limiting Denver to -.161 hitting.
Up Next: Nebraska wraps up the tournament against Loyola Marymount on Saturday at 1 p.m.