Volleyball vs. Purdue
Madi Kubik spikes the ball at the game against Purdue on Oct. 16, 2019 at the Bob Devaney Sports Complex in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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.