The No. 5 Nebraska volleyball team fell to No. 9 Wisconsin in five sets for their second consecutive loss Friday night.
The loss is the Huskers third in the last four matches. All three losses have come against top-10 opponents.
Senior outside hitter Mikaela Foecke led the way for Nebraska with 15 kills in the match. Sophomore outside hitter Lexi Sun added 10. Sophomores Jazz Sweet and Lauren Stivrins each had six kills. Stivrins also led Nebraska with seven blocks.
Junior outside hitter Madison Duello led the Badgers with 15 kills, and sophomore blocker Dana Rettke notched a double-double with a dozen kills and 10 blocks for Wisconsin.
Both teams struggled on offense throughout the match. The Huskers finished with a .087 hitting percentage while Wisconsin hit .114. The Badgers also had 32 attacking errors and nine service errors. Nebraska didn’t fare any better with 29 attack errors and 11 service errors.
In the first set, the Huskers doomed themselves with untimely errors. In all, Nebraska had six attack errors and seven mishaps from the service line in set one.
The Huskers further hurt themselves by falling into a 3-0 hole early until a kill by Foecke got Nebraska on the board. The Huskers climbed to within one one at 4-3, but couldn’t get over the hump to take the lead.
The Badgers eventually extended their lead to four at 10-6, but a service error put Nebraska down three and gave the Huskers the serve. An error by Stivrins, however, put Wisconsin back up four and gave the Badgers the serve right back.
Nebraska continued to battle service errors throughout the set, but climbed to within one point of the lead at 20-19, prompting a timeout by Wisconsin.
Out of the timeout, Nebraska’s seventh service error of the opening set put Wisconsin up 21-19 and out of reach as the Huskers only mustered one more point in the set. The Badgers took a 1-0 advantage after winning set one with a 25-20 victory.
The Huskers took their first lead of the match early into the second set. After Wisconsin jumped out a 2-0 lead, Nebraska responded with a 3-0 run of its own to take a 3-2 advantage. The run set a trend that would last through most of the second set.
Nebraska gained a little separation after a 5-0 scoring run put them on top 11-8. Wisconsin didn’t allow the Huskers to run away with the set, and put themselves back on top 13-12 after a 5-1 run.
Following a Nebraska timeout, the Huskers scored three straight points, including two kills by Foecke, to take the lead right back at 15-13.
Wisconsin stayed in it, and trailed just 16-15 before the Huskers took control as a 4-0 run gave them a 20-15 lead. Nebraska was able to maintain that lead as it won the second set 25-19 to even the match at one set each.
The Huskers again found themselves playing catch up to start the third set. After spotting the Badgers two points to start, Nebraska chased Wisconsin in the early goings of set three.
With Wisconsin leading 6-3, the Huskers scored five of the next six points to take a 8-7 advantage. The back and forth continued as the Badgers scored three straight to take a 10-8 lead. Nebraska responded with a 6-1 run and grabbed the lead right back at 14-11, and Wisconsin took a timeout.
The Badgers scored three straight after the timeout to tie the set at 14 and retook the lead at 16-15, but then the Huskers caught fire.
Led by Sun, Nebraska closed out the third set on a 10-1 run. The sophomore scored two kills as part of a 5-0 run that gave Nebraska a 20-16 lead. After Wisconsin’s last point of the set, another kill by Sun gave the Huskers the serve right back with her at the service line. Sun added a service ace before Nebraska closed out the set with a 25-17 victory to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
In set four, the Huskers scored the first point of a set for the first time in the match. Nebraska’s 2-0 lead would not last long, as Wisconsin went on a 4-0 scoring run to grab an early lead.
Nebraska moved back into a 7-7 tie off a kill by Foecke, but could not retake the lead. Instead, the Badgers scored five of the next six points to take a 12-8 lead. Wisconsin expanded its lead to five at 14-9 before a Nebraska timeout.
The timeout didn’t help the Huskers as Wisconsin’s lead ballooned to eight at 20-12. After the Huskers called their second timeout, however, the team scored three straight to cut the deficit to five.
That is as close as Nebraska would get to the lead and Wisconsin took the fourth set 25-17 to force a decisive fifth set.
Wisconsin carried its momentum from the fourth set into fifth by starting off with a 3-0 scoring run. Nebraska refused to back down and tied the final set up at four. A pair of kills by Wisconsin’s Molly Haggerty helped the Badgers to build their lead back up to three at 7-4. Wisconsin did not surrender that lead for the rest of the match.
Nebraska closed the lead to within one at 7-6, but would only score two more points for the remainder of the match. With their crowd behind them at full throat, the Badgers closed out the match with a 15-8 victory in set five.
The Huskers road trip concludes tomorrow against No. 3 Minnesota. First serve from Minneapolis is set for 7 p.m. The match will air on BTN.