The Huskers volleyball team finished up their weekend in Indiana with a hard 3-2 loss against the Purdue Boilermakers on Saturday. Nebraska previously took down Indiana in Bloomington the night before and were coming into West Lafayette ready for action. Purdue also played a match the previous night, taking down the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Huskers beat Purdue just over a week ago in Lincoln as well.
The Huskers finished the match with 68 kills and a hitting percentage of .210. Juniors Lexi Sun and Lauren Stivrins led in kills with 18 each, a season-high for Stivrins. The Huskers had 10 more kills than Purdue, but the Boilermakers out-blocked the Huskers 16-5. This was the third five-set match of the season for both teams.
Both teams started off in a gridlock for the first few rallies, but Purdue was able to catch the Huskers off guard with two aces and two blocks, which would give the Boilermakers a 9-5 lead. A few errors by Nebraska along with more blocks and kills by Purdue would keep them ahead, eventually stretching the lead to 17-8. After Purdue made the score 21-12, the Huskers sparked a comeback, storming all the way from behind to outscore the Boilermakers 13-2 and take the set 25-23.
Nebraska kept the run going, taking an early 4-1 lead in the second set. Purdue responded with a 12-2 run to snatch a 13-6 lead. The Huskers fought back, closing the gap to make it 10-14. The Boilermakers held Nebraska at bay, keeping the lead as the teams went back and forth for the next few rallies. Purdue was soon up 21-17 when Nebraska once again stormed back, forcing a tie at 22.
The madness only grew. After tying at 23, an extended rally resulted in Sun losing her shoe, Purdue getting a huge save and then grabbing a kill to take a 24-23 lead. The Boilermakers took the set 25-23.
Purdue started the third set on fire, grabbing a 10-4 lead. Once again, Nebraska did not go quietly as it continued to play from behind. However, Purdue closed the door on any opportunity, extending the lead to 16-9. The Boilermakers got to a 19-11 lead which then became 21-13. Another comeback was attempted by Nebraska, but Purduefinished, taking the set 25-17.
With the Boilermakers ahead in the match 2-1, the Huskers kept the war going in the fourth set. They started by taking an early 8-4 lead and held it throughout. Purdue closed the lead down, making it 19-18, thanks to a few errors by Nebraska and a long rally win for the Boilermakers. The Huskers weren’t fazed by the sudden spark as they pulled away and took the set 25-20, tying the match at two.
In the final set, Purdue came out hot with a quick 7-2 start, which soon became 11-6. Purdue took the set 15-8 and the match 3-2.
“We got stuck in that one rotation, we didn’t pass, we got aced, we made a hitting error, made another hitting error,” Cook said in a Lincoln Journal Star article. “So that’s five points right there. That blew open game five.”
The Huskers are now 16-3 on the season. Their next match will be at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1 at home against Rutgers.