Nov 23, 2019 3:42 PM

Huskers deny #7 Minnesota comeback with dominating fifth-set finish

Posted Nov 23, 2019 3:42 PM

MINNEAPOLIS - The No. 6 Nebraska volleyball team used a dominating 15-3 fifth set to knock off No. 7 Minnesota 25-22, 25-18, 29-25, 11-25, 15-3 in front of a crowd of 5,706 at Maturi Pavilion on Friday night. 

The Huskers (23-3, 15-2 Big Ten) won their seventh straight match and picked up their 25th straight win in the month of November dating back to 2016. The Huskers won for the first time at Minnesota since 2014, led by a heroic effort in set five that ended on an 11-0 Husker run.

Nebraska had 10 kills and one error on 14 swings for a .643 hitting percentage in set five, while Minnesota hit -.200. For the match, the Huskers hit .264 while Minnesota hit .257. 

Madi Kubik led the Huskers with 20 kills and 17 digs, and seven of her 20 kills came in the decisive fifth set. Lexi Sun added 18 kills, 10 digs and three aces, and she eclipsed 1,000 career kills. Jazz Sweet racked up 12 kills. Lauren Stivrins had eight kills and four blocks, and Callie Schwarzenbach posted seven kills on .600 hitting with four blocks.

Nicklin Hames had 56 assists and 15 digs. Kenzie Knuckles also had 15 digs. Megan Miller had 12 digs and three service aces, and she served the 11-0 run that ended the match. 

NU had a season-high eight service aces, seven of which came in the first two sets. NU was out-blocked 13-8, but the Huskers had a 72-65 edge in digs and 67-56 advantage in kills. NU's eight aces were six more than Minnesota's two. 

Alexis Hart led Minnesota (20-5, 14-3 Big Ten) with 18 kills and she hit .400. Regan Pittman had 12 kills and six blocks. Stephanie Samedy added 11 kills and 10 digs. 

Nebraska's road trip continues at No. 5 Wisconsin on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. The match will be televised on BTN, streamed on FoxSports and can be heard on the Husker Sports Network. The Huskers are one game behind the league-leading Badgers in the conference standings with three matches to go.

Set 1: An ace by Hames and a pair of kills each by Kubik and Sweet helped the Huskers to a 6-4 lead. Schwarzenbach and Hames stuffed a Gopher attack, and NU led 10-5 after an ace by Hayley Densberger. Another block by Schwarzenbach, followed by kills from Kubik and Sweet, preceded back-to-back aces by Megan Miller that made it 16-11 Huskers and forced Minnesota's second timeout. Just as it did after its first timeout, Minnesota answered with a 3-0 run to pull within two, 16-14. Kubik sided out for the Huskers, and a kill by Stivrins and a Minnesota hitting error put NU back up by five, 19-14. The Huskers took their biggest lead of the set at 21-15 after kills by Sun and Kubik, but the Gophers scored three in a row to cut it in half, 21-18. Hames ended the run with a kill, but an NU service error and two blocks by Minnesota trimmed NU's lead to 22-21, but Sun and Sweet produced kills to earn set point at 24-22. Kubik put away her sixth kill from a cross-court bump set by Hames to end the set at 25-22. 

Set 2: The Huskers used a 4-1 run to turn a 3-4 deficit into a 7-5 lead, sparked by back-to-back kills by Sun. Sun added another kill and back-to-back aces as NU went up 11-7. Sweet pounded another kill before Kubik won a joust at the net to put NU ahead 14-9. Stivrins solo blocked a Minnesota attack for a six-point lead at 16-10. Nebraska remained ahead by six, 21-15, after a kill by Sun and a service ace by the junior outside hitter. Kubik tacked on two more kills for set point at 24-18, and Stivrins finished it at 25-18. NU hit .385 in the second set. 

Set 3: Minnesota scored the first three points of the set, and the Huskers could never draw even. The Golden Gophers took a 15-11 lead at the media timeout on a dump by setter Kylie Miller. After Minnesota went up 18-12, Schwarzenbach, Sun and Sweet terminated three kills in a row to pull NU within 18-15. But the Gophers came back with a 4-0 run of their own with three kills and a block, and Minnesota led 22-15. Following a Husker timeout, Sun posted a kill - the 1,000th of her career - and Schwarzenbach hammered an overpass as the Huskers cut it to 22-18. But Minnesota held on for the 25-19 win to extend the match, hitting .412 in the set. 

Set 4: Minnesota got off to another strong start, taking a 6-1 lead. A Husker service error and hitting error increased Minnesota's lead to 14-6, and the Gophers went up by 11, 19-8, after two blocks and a kill by Pittman. Minnesota won the set, 25-11, to force a fifth. 

Set 5: Nebraska held a 4-2 lead after Kubik and Stivrins terminated three kills in a row. After a Minnesota sideout, Sweet and Kubik added another pair of kills to make it 6-3 Nebraska. Following a Gopher timeout, Kubik and Stivrins stuffed a Minnesota shot, and the Gophers went in the net for an 8-3 Husker lead at the crossover. Kubik took over with three kills and a block with Stivrins, as the Huskers increased their lead to 13-3. Miller's 11-0 run to end the match continued with an ace, and Kubik sealed the victory with her 20th kill.

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Nov 23, 2019 3:42 PM
Huskers survive to top Southern in OT

Courtesy: Husker Athletics

Lincoln -- Jervay Green and Ivan Ouedraogo combined for 12 points in overtime, as Nebraska rallied for an 93-86 win over Southern Friday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena. 

Ouedraogo got the Huskers (2-2) going with two early baskets in the extra session, including a dunk which ignited a 10-0 spurt in the extra period, while Green hit a pair of 3-pointers to help the Huskers build a 10-point cushion and hold on. Nebraska went 4-of-5 from the floor in overtime.

Green finished with a season-high 22 points, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range, and six assists to lead four Huskers in double figures. Ouedraogo finished with a season-high 11 points for Nebraska, which shot 58 percent from the field, but went just 19-of-37 from the foul line. 

Cam Mack totaled 16 points and eight assists, while Matej Kavas came off the bench with 10 points, including a trio of 3-pointers for the winners, as NU set season highs in both 3-pointers (12) and 3-point percentage (57.1),

The win overshadowed an outstanding performance from Southern's Micah Bradford, who led all scorers with 31 points, including 6-of-11 from 3-point range, before fouling out in overtime. Darius Williams also had a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds for the visitors.

Southern erased a 70-65 deficit and led 80-79 after a Williams basket with 33.9 seconds left and had two chances in the final seconds of regulation after Jervay Green's free throw tied it at 80 with 15.6 seconds left. 

Bradford missed on a contested jumper, but the rebound was tipped and went out of bounds with 2.1 seconds left. Montese Blake's 3-point attempt was contested by Cam Mack and missed to force overtime where NU finally put the Jaguars away.

In the first half, the Huskers used their best 3-point shooting of the season to take a 40-38 lead into the break. The Huskers went 7-of-12 from 3-point range, as Kavas and Green combined for five 3-pointers for the Big Red. 

Leading 20-17, the Huskers went on a 13-4 spurt behind the shooting of Kavas, who hit a trio of 3-pointer in the spurt, the last giving the Huskers its largest lead of the half at 33-20. 

Southern came roaring back, using a 18-2 run behind the play of Bradford, who scored 10 of his 13 first-half points in the spurt, as the Jaguars led 38-35 after a trio of Ashante Shivers free throws with 1:13 left in the half. The lead would be short-lived, as Nebraska closed the half with five straight points. 

Southern, which shot just 34 percent in the first half, hit its first five shots from the field, turning a 42-38 deficit into a 51-46 lead after a Lamarcus Lee basket with 15:23 left in regulation. The Jaguars eventually stretched the lead to eight points twice, the last being at 59-51 before the Husker bench keyed the comeback. 

Thorir Thorbjarnarson came off the bench and drilled two straight 3-pointers as part of seven straight points, as the Huskers sliced the lead back to one. NU would eventually regain the lead at 62-61 on a Green free throw with 8:25 left. 

The Huskers seemingly regained control with six unanswered points, turning a one-point deficit into a 70-65 lead after a Mack basket with 5:30 left, but the visitors responded with seven straight points of their own to take a 72-70 lead after Burns' basket with 4:08 remaining. 

The Huskers return to action on Monday when they take on Washington State in the first round of the Cayman Islands Classic.