The No. 6 Nebraska volleyball team swept Ohio State on Friday night behind a strong performance by sophomore outside hitter Lexi Sun to win its seventh match in a row.
Sun hit .522 while recording 12 kills and zero errors. She also finished with four blocks, nine digs and a pair of service aces.
The Huskers (23-6, 14-5 Big Ten) got a good performance by sophomore middle blocker Lauren Stivrins, who finished with six kills while hitting a team-best .556 and seven blocks. Senior outside hitter Mikaela Foecke finished with nine kills and digs each with four blocks.
The Huskers hit .353 as a team on the night.
Nebraska’s defense suffocated Ohio State’s offense throughout the match. The Buckeyes finished with a -.044 hitting percentage. Only two Buckeyes players who recorded an attack finished with a positive hitting percentage and four ended the match hitting -.100 or worse.
“I thought we took care of business tonight,” head coach John Cook said. “It’s tough playing a team that’s basically got nothing to lose. They were going for it tonight, but I thought we handled it real well. The serve, block and defense was really good tonight.”
The Huskers jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the first set before a 3-0 scoring run helped Nebraska extend the advantage to 8-4, prompting an Ohio State timeout. The Buckeyes scored two of the next three out of the timeout to close the gap to three at 9-6.
Nebraska slammed the door shut, however, going on a 5-0 run which included three kills and a block by Sun, and the Huskers led 14-6. Ohio State managed to trim one point off the lead over the next five rallies, but the Nebraska advantage remained at 17-10.
The Buckeyes managed to score three consecutive points — their largest run of the night — to climb to within four at 17-13, prompting Cook to use his first timeout of the match.
After breaking the sideline huddle, Nebraska completely took over, allowing Ohio State to only score two more points through the rest of the set. Sun’s ninth kill of the first set ultimately put the game away in Nebraska’s favor 25-15.
Set two saw an even start as the Huskers led 5-4, but Nebraska used a 5-1 run to go up 10-5, and the Buckeyes called a timeout.
The Huskers continued to double up the Buckeyes scores at 14-7. Ohio State scored back-to-back points to chip Nebraska’s lead back down to five at 14-9. The Huskers responded with a 3-0 scoring run to take an eight-point 17-9 lead.
Over the next four rallies, Nebraska held on to their eight-point advantage at 20-12. Three errors by Ohio State, a Sun kill and the tenth Huskers block of the night allowed Nebraska to end the set on a 5-0 run and win set two 25-12.
Set three had a similar beginning and ending as set two. The Huskers held a one-point lead at 4-3, but a 3-0 run quickly increased to 7-3. Ohio State returned the favor, however, to make it 7-6 early in the third set.
The Huskers managed to increase the lead back to two at 11-9. Nebraska virtually put the match away after this point by embarking on a 7-0 run to take a commanding 18-9 lead. This run saw four different Huskers get kills and two service aces by Sun.
Just like in set two, the Huskers closed the set on a 5-0 run with a block by Foecke sealing the deal. The Huskers won the set 25-12 to complete the sweep of the Buckeyes.
The Huskers close the regular season Saturday with a match against the Maryland Terrapins for Nebraska’s senior day. The match is set for a 7 p.m. start and will air on NET.