No. 9 Nebraska volleyball broke its three-game losing streak by, taking down Ohio State 3-1 in Columbus, Ohio.
The Huskers advanced their overall record to 16-5, 7-4 in conference play, after a record-setting match against the Buckeyes.
The match started well for the Huskers. Both teams were quick to add points to the board as Nebraska started if off with two points and Ohio State answering with three more points. But Nebraska got some momentum and went on a 5-0 run to pull away from Ohio State with a 7-3 lead. A kill by Ohio State’s Camryn Powell ended the perfect run to give the Buckeyes another point. Nebraska tallied two more points before forcing a Buckeye timeout.
Coming out of the timeout, Ohio State began to close the gap, but Nebraska kept pushing forward and forced another Buckeye timeout, leading 20-13. Ohio State tried to close the gap again, but Nebraska pushed to take the first set 25-15. Outside hitter Lexi Sun added two more points for Nebraska and a diving play from middle blocker Lauren Stivrins earned the last point of the set.
Ohio State showed up in the second set. What looked to be an early lead by Nebraska at 5-3 turned into a four-point lead over Nebraska for the Buckeyes. Ohio State went on a 7-1 run to lead the Huskers 10-6, and continued to push the gap. Even with the lead, the Buckeyes and committed too many attack errors, allowing the Huskers to close the gap to a one-point lead at 16-15.
Nebraska was able to make a comeback and establish a 20-19 lead but was answered by Buckeyes opposite hitter Vanja Bukilic to even the score at 20-20. A kill from Sun added another point before a net violation on Ohio State was challenged by the Huskers and resulted in a replay of the point which the Buckeyes won.. But even with the close ending, Ohio State out-hit Nebraska and took the second set 25-23.
Nebraska came out strong early in the third set. After taking the first two points, the Huskers allowed two Buckeye points and then went on a 7-1 run to take a 9-3 lead.
Kills from outside hitters Mikaela Foecke and Sun, along with errors from Ohio State, pushed the score to 15-6. Nebraska’s defense continue to hold Ohio State back and the offense kept pushing, creating an even larger deficit for the Buckeyes. Another 7-1 run by the Huskers gave them the third set, winning 25-12.
The Huskers used the momentum from the third set to dominate in the fourth. Nebraska took the first three points followed by a kill from Bukilic, and then charged the Buckeyes with a 6-1 run to bring the lead to 9-3. A kill from Stivrins and attack error by Ohio State extended the lead to 11-3, and Nebraska kept trucking forward.
With great offensive plays, the Huskers allowed just six more points from the Buckeyes as they inched toward the end of the set. Nebraska pushed to a 20-8 lead and didn’t allow the Buckeyes to put up a fight. Errors from Ohio State gave Nebraska two easy points, followed by consecutive kills from Sun and setter Nicklin Hames. A kill from Witte gave OSU one last point before setter Becca Mauer sealed the fate of the game with a ball handling error, giving Nebraska a 25-9 set win.
Ohio state was outmatched in the middle of the court. Stivrins and middle blocker Callie Schwarzenbach seemed to be at the net for every kill made by Ohio State. Schwarzenbach finished with five blocks, followed by Stivrins with four. Foecke had her defensive plays with six blocks and 11 digs. Libero Kenzie Maloney held the defense down in the back with 14 digs in the game.
Stivrins dominated offensively, too. She led the game with 16 kills on 19 total attacks and hit .789 percent on the night, breaking her career-high of 11 against Missouri State in September.
Nebraska returns home to Lincoln on Saturday, Oct. 27, to face Illinois in its first home game since Oct. 10. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.