The No. 1 Nebraska volleyball team took a midweek trip to Champaign, Illinois on Wednesday night for a match against the No. 24 Illini and the Huskers were all business, knocking off their hosts in three sets (25-18, 25-22, 25-21).
Nebraska snapped a seven-game winning streak by the Illini on Wednesday night. The Huskers (12-0) are the only undefeated team left in Division I volleyball, and the Huskers have swept 9 of their 12 opponents including four top 25 teams.
After an early 2-2 tie, the first set was all Nebraska as the Huskers ripped off a 9-1 run to take control and cruised from there. The Huskers lead grew as high as 11 at 18-9 before Illinois made a rally that was far too little, far too late. Nebraska took the first set thanks to a balanced attack featuring 15 total kills, with six different players notching two or more kills.
The second set was the most competitive of the match featuring seven ties and four lead changes. The Illini built up a 14-10 lead midway through the set, but the Huskers responded with a 10-3 run to take the lead for good. Junior setter Kelly Hunter focused on feeding her hitters as left sides Mikaela Foecke and Andie Malloy recorded five and four kills, respectively, and right side Kadie Rolfzen added five more.
Illinois led for the first several points of the third set, but Nebraska again took control with a 4-0 run that put the Huskers up 10-7 and Nebraska led the rest of the way.
Nebraska out-hit Illinois .302 to .202 and out-dug the Illini 47 to 33 behind 11 digs from Justine Wong-Orantes. Kadie Rolfzen led the Nebraska attack with 12 kills on .391 hitting and pitched in nine digs, three blocks and an ace.
Nebraska will return to Lincoln to begin a three-game home-stand on Saturday against Ohio State.
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.