No. 6 Nebraska took down No. 15 Michigan 4-1 in Ann Arbor, extending their winning streak to four games.
The match started with even play. Neither team took a large lead, as two points was the largest lead both teams held in the beginning of the set. Nebraska trailed Michigan until a service ace from setter Nicklin Hames tied the match 7-7. Michigan then took off on a 13-7 run, escaping the grasp of the Huskers and bringing the score to 20-14. Nebraska’s defense was lacking in the first set and allowed five more points for Michigan to take the first set 25-15.
Nebraska allowed four service aces from Michigan, the most in a set all year, and hit .118 percent with six attack errors in the first set.
Nebraska took over the second set quickly, asserting a three point lead at 6-3. Michigan tried to close the gap and pass the Huskers early, with kills from outside hitters Carly Skjodt and Paige Jones, but Nebraska continued to push. The Huskers never led in the first game, but never trailed in the second.
While the Huskers didn’t finish well in the first set, they pulled it together to end the second. A block by Jazz Sweet and Callie Schwarzenbach made a block to bring the game to 20-17, moving the game toward the end of the set. Lexi Sun hit a kill to add one more Nebraska point before forcing a Michigan timeout. Michigan answered with a kill but Sun hit another kill, followed by one from Mikaela Foecke to bring the game to 23-19.
Lauren Stivrins hit one more kill. She and Nicklin Hames then teamed up to block Skjodt and earn the set point, 25-20.
The third set continued with Michigan asserting its dominance quickly with a 6-2 run to take an early lead. The Huskers responded with a 5-1 run, starting with a kill from Stivrins, to take the lead 9-7. After Nebraska took two-point lead, Michigan began to come back and took over the lead in the third set 12-10.
After an intense 9-9 even run for the teams, Skojdt brought the game 20-19 with the Wolverines leading. A big block by Stivrins evened the score again, but Skojdt hit another kill to take the lead again. Whatever Nebraska did, Michigan seemed to answer. Two kills from Sun pulled the Huskers ahead, but Jones hit two kills for Michigan to take back the lead.
An attack error by Sweet gave Michigan another point and prompting Capri Davis to enter the game and earn a point for Nebraska, score now 24-23. Play continued to be intense with points going back and forth, but two kills from Foecke ended the set 28-26.
Nebraska took the lead early in the fourth set at 9-4 with kills from Foecke, Stivrins and Sun. A block from Sun earned another point for Nebraska, but the Wolverines answered with a 3-0 run and forced a Nebraska timeout, Huskers leading 11-7.
Another even 9-9 run brought Nebraska to 19-17 with a kill from Foecke. Two kills from Sun brought it to a three-point game, but Michigan came back and tied 21-21. A block from Hames gave them the lead, but a challenge for a net violation overturned the call and gave Michigan the point. Stivrins answered with another kill and a service ace to take back the lead 23-22.
Sun extended the lead to 24-22, but Michigan answered to tie the game 24-24. Sun hit another kill to reach the match point, and Sweet and Schwarzenbach blocked a kill from Jones to take the fourth set 26-24.
Foecke led the game with 22 kills and only two errors, hitting .465 percent on the night. She accounted for 26 of Nebraska’s 79 points and had a solo block of her own.
Stivrins had the second-highest hitting percentage for Nebraska at .280 percent on 25 attacks. With five total blocks and two service aces, Stivrins truly played her part in the game against Michigan.
The Huskers head to West Lafayette, Indiana to take on the Purdue Boilermakers Friday, Nov. 16. Game time is 6 p.m. and coverage will be broadcasted on BTN Plus.