LINCOLN–(NU Athletics Sept. 24)–The No. 2 Nebraska volleyball team remained unbeaten with a 25-23, 25-20, 25-22 sweep of No. 12 Minnesota on Sunday night in front of 8,591 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
The Huskers (11-0, 2-0 Big Ten) have won four straight matches against ranked opponents and will face a fifth ranked foe in a row at No. 19 Purdue on Friday night. Nebraska earned its sweep on Sunday behind 13 kills and eight digs by Harper Murray and 11 kills and 10 digs by Merritt Beason.
Ally Batenhorst hit .333 on the night and finished with nine kills, and Andi Jackson posted seven kills and hit .357. Bekka Allick added five kills and three blocks.
Bergen Reilly set the Huskers to a .223 hitting percentage with 39 assists and added eight digs and a team-high four blocks.
The Huskers outkilled the Golden Gophers 47-32 and had a decisive advantage in digs, 52-36. Lexi Rodriguez had a match-high 12. Laney Choboy added eight. Minnesota had nine blocks to seven for the Huskers.
Mckenna Wucherer had 11 kills to pace Minnesota (5-5, 1-1 Big Ten). All five of Minnesota’s losses are to teams currently ranked in the top 11 of the AVCA Coaches Poll.
Set 1: The Huskers were behind 8-4 before a 4-0 run to tie it. Reilly had two blocks and Murray had two kills to make it 8-8. The Huskers went up 12-10 after two kills by Allick and one by Beason. Nebraska pushed its lead to five, 18-13, after two aces by Beason and kills by Jackson and Batenhorst. But the Golden Gophers answered with a 9-3 run to claim a 22-21 lead. A service error by Minnesota tied it, and Beason posted a solo stuff before a Murray kill made it 24-22 NU. A service error by the Huskers gave the serve back to Minnesota, but Batenhorst put the set away with her fourth kill that made it 25-23.
Set 2: NU held a 5-2 lead early but Minnesota came back to tie it at 6-6. A kill by Batenhorst started an 8-0 run that put the Huskers up 14-6. Beason and Murray had kills during that stretch. However, Minnesota went on a 5-0 run to cut Nebraska’s lead to 16-14 on the strength of three straight blocks. But the Huskers settled down after Murray earned a sideout kill. Beason followed with a kill, and Batenhorst added one between two Minnesota hitting errors, and the Huskers rebuilt their lead to 21-14. Another Batenhorst kill pushed the Huskers’ lead to 22-15, but Minnesota chipped away to get within 23-19. After a timeout, Reilly dumped a kill for set point, and a kill by Murray ended the set at 25-20.
Set 3: Nebraska led 8-5 before Minnesota rallied back to go up 10-8. The teams went back and forth and were tied 15-15 before a Nebraska service error and hitting error made it 17-15 Minnesota. The Golden Gophers led 20-18 before back-to-back kills by Beason off of assists from Rodriguez tied the set at 20-20. Murray then served an ace to make it 21-20 Huskers. After a Minnesota timeout, the Golden Gophers won a long rally to tie the score at 21-21 but then committed a hitting error for a 22-21 Husker lead. Reilly then set Jackson for a kill and a 23-21 advantage, and Minnesota used its final timeout. Taylor Landfair terminated for the Golden Gophers out of the break, but Beason won a joust to earn match point at 24-22, and Jackson put the match away with her seventh kill for a 25-22 win.
Up Next: Nebraska hits the road for two matches next weekend. The Huskers play at No. 19 Purdue on Friday at 6 p.m. (CT) and at Indiana on Saturday at 6 p.m. (CT). Both matches are set for Big Ten Network broadcasts.