Nebraska volleyball swept Missouri State in front of a crowd of 8,149 to end the Husker Invite on Saturday.
The match marked the fourth-ranked Huskers’ ninth consecutive victory and snapped a three-match win streak by the Bears..
Senior outside hitter Mikaela Foecke earned a double-double with 11 kills and 11 digs. Sophomore middle blocker Lauren Stivrins also notched 11 kills on 14 swings with just one error for a hitting percentage of .714 in the match.
Sophomore outside hitter Lexi Sun finished with nine kills in her second match as a starter for Nebraska and head coach John Cook took notice of her performance.
“I think Lexi is on a mission to become a great player,” Cook said.
Sophomore outside hitter Jazz Sweet earned eight kills. Senior libero Kenzie Maloney finished with 17 digs and earned praise from Cook for her performance.
“I nominated her for MVP of the tournament tonight,” Cook said. “I thought she played really well tonight.”
The Huskers hit .500 as a team just four attack errors. Nebraska finished the match with 41 kills compared to Missouri State’s 20. The Bears in the match had a hitting percentage of -.011.
The Huskers finished the match with 13 team blocks. Freshman middle blocker Callie Schwarzenbach led the way with nine blocks, including one solo block. Sweet had five and Stivrins and Foecke each had three. Sun had Nebraska’s other solo block.
The Huskers got off to a fast start in the first set with a 4-0 lead, but errors kept Missouri State in the match. Four early service errors by Nebraska helped the Bears tie the match at 10. The Huskers finished the first set with five service errors. From there, Sweet and Missouri State’s Amelia Flynn went back-and-forth each scoring three kills for their teams that led to a tie at 14.
The Huskers then used a 3-0 run to take a lead that they wouldn’t surrender for the rest of the set. Nebraska closed out the first set in the same way it opened it with a 4-0 scoring run. A service ace by Foecke clinched set one for the Huskers by a score of 25-19.
In set two, Nebraska again got off to a hot start, but this time would not let the Bears back into the game. The Huskers jumped out to a 5-0 lead and when Sun’s solo block made it 8-2, the Bears called timeout. Nebraska would continue to roll through set two, however, leading by as much as 12 points at one point at 22-10. A kill by Sun put the set away with a final score of 25-12. Foecke, Stivrins and Sun each scored four kills for the Huskers in set two, including combining for the teams’ last five points of the set.
In the third set, the match turned into a block party for Nebraska. The Huskers’ first three points of the set came off of blocks. The Huskers scored eight team blocks in the third set en route to a 25-4 dominating showing in the third set to put the match away. The Huskers hit .696 in the final set with 16 kills on 23 swings and no errors.
“We were in such a good rhythm. Things were flowing so well for us,” Cook said.
The Huskers open up Big Ten Conference play next week against No. 19 Michigan at the Devaney Center. The match is scheduled for an 8 p.m. start on Sept. 21 and will air on the Big Ten Network.