No. 7 Nebraska handed Iowa its fourth straight 3-0 defeat on Saturday night as the Huskers made short work of the Hawkeyes in Iowa City.
The Huskers (20-3, 12-2 Big Ten) got stronger as the match played out, taking down Iowa (9-16, 3-11) 25-21, 25-18, 25-14 to improve to 30-0 all-time against the Hawkeyes. Nebraska hit .420 and had just 10 attack errors, tied for the second-lowest total of the season behind the eight errors Nebraska had at Rutgers. The Huskers out-blocked the Hawkeyes nine to two.
Junior outside hitter Lexi Sun led everyone with 14 kills on .444 hitting. Freshman outside hitter Madi Kubik had nine kills on .333 hitting, eight digs and an ace in her first trip back to her home state as a Husker. Junior opposite hitter Jazz Sweet added nine kills on .350 hitting.
Junior middle blocker Lauren Stivrins had eight kills on .600 hitting and a match-high five blocks (one solo) while sophomore middle blocker Callie Schwarzenbach chipped in five kids on .364 hitting and four blocks. Sophomore setter Nicklin Hames finished with 36 assists, seven digs and two kills on two attempts. Freshman libero Kenzie Knuckles added seven digs and two aces.
The first set featured 13 ties and five lead changes. The Hawkeyes led by as much as two six different times but the Huskers never let them pull away. After trading 4-0 runs early, neither team strung together more than two straight points until the Huskers turned a 20-all tie into set point with another 4-0 run served by Knuckles. Knuckles missed on her fourth serve but the Huskers closed out the set on the following rally with a kill by Stivrins.
Nebraska hit .333 in the first led by Sun with eight kills. Iowa hit .273 with just three attack errors, all three of which came on Nebraska blocks.
After Nebraska took the first set on a kill by Schwarzenbach, the Hawkeyes responded with four in a row to take their largest lead of the night. It didn’t last long, however, as Nebraska responded with an 11-2 run with both of Iowa’s points coming on Nebraska service errors.
The Hawkeyes finally got a kill down and followed it with a pair of aces to cut its deficit from six to three, but that’s as close as they got. The Huskers took control with a 7-1 run that gave them a 21-12 lead and they cruised into the intermission from there to take a 2-0 lead into the locker room.
— Nebraska On BTN (@NebraskaOnBTN) November 10, 2019
Nebraska hit .542 in the set with 14 kills and jus one attack error on an Iowa block. The Hawkeyes hit minus-.067 but had four aces. Sun tacked four more kills on to her total to lead the attack.
Nebraska opened the third set with a 5-1 run then stretched it out with a 7-1 spurt to take a 13-4 lead. A 4-0 run served by Hames gave Nebraska its first double-digit lead at 18-8 then the Huskers pushed their lead to 11 at 23-12 and 24-13. Stivrins closed out the sweep with a kill.
Nebraska hit .440 in game three and held Iowa to .083. Sweet led the Huskers with four kills on seven swings.
Nebraska will continue its road trip on Wednesday at Michigan State. First serve in East Lansing is set for 6 p.m. on the Husker Sports Network. The Huskers beat the Spartans in four sets on Oct. 11.
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.