FNBO Huskers Pay Loud & Proud ad 970 x 250

Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

No. 9 Stanford Topples No. 2 Nebraska, Hands Huskers Their First Loss

September 13, 2022

No. 2 Nebraska dropped two deuce games on Tuesday night as No. 9 Stanford handed the Huskers their first loss of the season in four sets.

The Cardinal (5-2) notched their fifth straight win over the Huskers (7-1) with a 27-25, 25-22, 19-25, 27-25 victory in front of an announced crowd of 8,385.

‘We’ve got to win close games by two points,” Madi Kubik said. “We have a poster up that says ‘Two points better,’ and it lists all of our matches that we lost by two points. So that’s the difference in that match.”

The Huskers hit a season-low .166 with three different setters running the offense. Stanford hit .211, a season-high against Nebraska’s defense.

“I thought there was some really great volleyball at times and then some ugly volleyball at times … I thought we competed really hard, we just didn’t execute at end game and play our best when it mattered most,” Coach John Cook said. “That’s something we’ve been working on and and we’ve got a lot of young players out there, first time in that big time environment and we had our chances and just couldn’t capitalize.”

Madi Kubik led the Huskers with 15 kills on .231 hitting and 15 digs. Whitney Lauenstein added 11 kills but also recorded a career-high eight attack errors, hitting just .083.

Nicklin Hames led the team with 19 assists before leaving the match in the third set with an injury. Anni Evans recorded a double-double with 12 assists and 12 digs while. Kennedi Orr added eight assists in relief after Hames went down. Cook did not yet have an update on Hames during his post-match press conference.

Stanford recorded 23 service errors, a rally scoring era record for a Nebraska opponent. Nebraska added 14 of its own for a combined total of 37, another rally scoring record at Nebraska.

“This should haunt us,” Cook said. “Here’s the other thing: they missed 23 serves, so you’ve got to give us 23 kills. We missed 14, so there’s a gap there of nine. And then we almost had as many kills as they did. But the big thing is we had three more errors … When they miss that many serves we don’t get a chance to kill balls, right? … But we made errors at critical times.

“When you hit a ball out at 24-24, they don’t have to do anything. [Kendall] Kipp doesn’t have to make a great play. They don’t have to make a great dig, we just give it to them, and that’s that’s what we did tonight. So our stud players have to learn how to be better in those situations.”

Stanford started the match with back-to-back service errors, then Lauenstein notched the first kill to give the Huskers three of the first four points. The Cardinal rallied to tie it up at 6-6, but Nebraska responded with a 5-1 run to take an 11-7 lead and create some separation. Kenzie Knuckles capped the run with an ace.

Nebraska extended the lead to six at 18-12 with a 4-1 run and drew Stanford’s first timeout, but the Cardinal responded by wining six of the next seven rallies to pull within one. Lauenstein ended the run with back-to-back kills to put the Huskers up 21-18.

Nebraska led 23-21 before the Cardinal surged ahead with a 3-0 run. Bekka Allick saved the first set point with a solo stuff on a broken play before a cross-court kill from Stanford. The Cardinal recorded their seventh service error of the set to tie it again at 25-all, but the Huskers returned the favor with their own serve into the net, then Kaitlyn Hord hit wide on set point to give the game to Stanford.

“I think it was all us,” Lexi Rodriguez said about Stanford’s rally. “I don’t think they changed anything significantly that kind of allowed them to get that many points. I think we just got a little too comfortable and weren’t really bringing the same intensity which allowed them to close that lead that we had. We’ve got to learn from that and learn how to close matches.”

The Cardinal out-hit the Huskers .283 to . 214 and recorded just two attack errors. Lauenstein led Nebraska with five kills on nine swings. Nebraska held Stanford’s star opposite, Kendall Kipp, to one kill on nine attempts, but outside hitter Elia Rubin and middle blocker Sami Francis stepped up with five kills apiece.

Stanford carried its momentum into the second set and jumped out to a 3-0 lead. The Cardinal maintained their lead until Lauenstein asserted herself with two kills and two block assists in a seven-point span. The Huskers tied it up a 11-11, 12-12 and 13-13, but couldn’t get over the hump.

Nebraska fell behind 18-14 before rallying to tie it up once again at 20-20, but again the Cardinal pushed back with a 4-1 run to earn set point. Lauenstein killed the ball on the next rally, but the Huskers hit wide after that to give Stanford the win and the 2-0 lead at the intermission.

Nebraska hit minus-.025 with 11 attack errors in the second set. Stanford added five more service errors to its tally and hit just .139, but Nebraska’s inability to terminate meant it couldn’t take advantage.

The teams played to a draw through the first 16 rallies of game three before Stanford jumped ahead then extended tis lead to 13-10. The Huskers responded with a 5-0 run to pull ahead for the first time since late in the first set. The run included kills from Maggie Mendelson, Lindsay Krause and Allick and featured Kubik at the service line.

Stanford tied it up again at 16-16, then the teams traded sideouts until Kipp hit wide to give Nebraska a 20-18 advantage. Out of a Stanford timeout, Orr replaced Hames at setter and found Lauenstein for a kill on her first rally since the Ole Miss match. The Huskers continued to roll from there and won seven of the last eight rallies in total as Lauenstein notched back-to-back aces to close it out and extend the match.

Nebraska hit .235 in the third set and held Stanford to .111. Kubik came alive with four kills on seven errorless swings. Both teams continued to miss from the service line with five errors for Stanford and four for Nebraska.

Kubik said Orr was “awesome” in the way she handled coming in cold in a tight match.

“Anytime someone comes in off the bench when we’re late into three, four or five sets is very challenging,” Kubik said. “Obviously you haven’t been warm for an hour-and-a-half, and then she’s coming in in that big of an environment and that big of a match. So a lot of respect for those guys.”

Orr started the fourth set, but Evans rotated in off the bench as Nebraska returned to the 6-2. The set saw eight ties and three lead changes before the media timeout as the Cardinal took a 15-13 lead following back-to-back kills by its outside hitters, Rubin and Caitie Baird.

Nebraska tied it up at 17-all before the teams traded service errors. Nebraska pulled ahead 21-20 thanks to back-to-back blocks by Allick, but Stanford responded with two straight points to regain the lead. The teams traded sideouts from there until Stanford earned match point at 24-23, then Krause stepped up in the clutch with a pair of kills, a big swing and then an overpass attack off the block.

Nebraska couldn’t take advantage of the set-point, however, and the Cardinal closed out the match with a 3-0 run including two kills from Kipp.

“I think Stanford made some plays,” Cook said. “Kipp’s an All-American; she got the kills. In a couple of games, we hit out and they didn’t even have to do anything, so that’s disappointing. But at the end there, we were fighting … You can’t back off and get tentative and I just thought we got a little tentative.”

Stanford out-hit Nebraska .279 to .244 in the fourth. Krause and Kubik combined for 11 kills and just one error, but Kipp came alive with seven kills on 17 errorless swings after totaling eight kills in the first three sets.

The Huskers will have four days to regroup before they hit the road to travel beyond state lines for the first time this season. Nebraska will visit No. 13 Kentucky on Sunday.

  • Never miss the latest news from Hail Varsity!

    Join our free email list by signing up below.

Hail Varsity January 2023 Cover

Never Miss Another Issue

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap