No. 6 Nebraska improved to 29-0 all time against Iowa with a sweep over the Hawkeyes in Iowa City on Wednesday night.
Nebraska (19-6, 10-5) beat Iowa (13-13, 5-10) 25-15, 25-22, 25-12. The Huskers held the Hawkeyes to a season-low .070 hitting, just besting the .071 they hit against the Huskers in Lincoln in October. Nebraska hit above .300 in all three sets and finished at .333 thanks in part to just eight total attack errors.
Senior outside hitter Mikaela Foecke posted a match-high 13 kills on .344 hitting to go with eight digs, three blocks and an ace. Sophomore outside hitter Lexi Sun recorded 12 kills on .400 hitting to go with her 11 digs and two aces. Freshman setter Nicklin Hames posted another double-double with 30 assists and a team-high 17 digs.
The Hawkeyes suffered a big blow before the match even began as news broke that outside hitter Cali Hoye, who had 11 kills and nine digs against the Huskers on Oct. 3 in Lincoln, will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.
Nebraska got off to a quick start, leading 5-2, but the Hawkeyes answered to tie it up at 5-all. Iowa tied it again at 6-6, 7-7 and 8-8 before taking its first lead at 9-8. The Huskers jumped back in front 11-10 but the Hawkeyes responded with two straight points to take an 12-11 lead.
The Huskers dominated the rest of the way, closing the set on a 14-3 run to win by 10. The Huskers forced nine attack errors by the Hawkeyes while only committing one on their side of the net, leading to a .314 to .022 edge in hitting percentage.
Foecke put down five kills in the set and went over 1,500 for her career in the process.
Kill #1️⃣5️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ for @mikaela_foecke!#GBR pic.twitter.com/vlaZHnLNbC
— Husker Volleyball (@Huskervball) November 8, 2018
The second set looked a lot like the first except Iowa was able to build up a fairly large lead before the Huskers came storming back to win.
After a handful of ties and lead changes early, Iowa put together a 5-0 run to pull ahead 17-12, drawing a timeout from Coach John Cook. Foecke ended the run with a kill out of the timeout and an Iowa attack error on the next point made it 17-14. The Hawkeyes answered with two straight of their own before Foecke took over. She put down her 10th kill of the to spark a 4-0 run that included an ace by Foecke as well, pulling the Huskers within one.
Iowa used a timeout to regroup then snapped Nebraska’s run with a kill, but the Huskers ripped off an other 5-0 run including four straight kills by Sun to pull ahead 23-20 and closed it out from there. In total, Nebraska used an 11-3 run capped by Sun’s ninth kill to finish off the Hawkeyes and take a 2-0 lead into the intermission. The Huskers hit .325 in game two.
The third set was all Nebraska. The Huskers used an early 3-0 run to pull ahead 5-2 and led the rest of the way. The Hawkeyes scored two straight to pull within one but Nebraska answered with a 4-0 run and the lead never dipped below four again.
Nebraska continued to stretch out its lead as the set rolled on as a 4-0 run capped by an ace from Hames sent Nebraska into the third set media timeout leading 15-7. Iowa took the first point after the timeout but Nebraska scored the next seven to take its biggest lead at 22-8. Iowa didn’t fold, scoring three straight late and drawing a timeout from Cook, but Foecke finished it off on the next rally. The Huskers hit .367 and held the Hawkeyes to -.100 in the third set.
The Huskers’ road trip continues on Saturday in Ann Arbor as the Huskers face No. 15 Michigan. Maryland, who entered the day 6-8 in Big Ten play, swept the Wolverines on Wednesday night for its first road win over a ranked opponent in program history. Nebraska handed Michigan its first loss of the season back on Sept. 21 in the Big Ten opener.
First serve in Ann Arbor is set for 6 p.m.