The No. 4 Nebraska volleyball team took on Central Michigan and New Mexico on Friday, Sept. 14, winning both for their seventh and eighth straight wins. Head coach John Cook earned his last few wins in these two games to earn his 700th win as head coach.
Nebraska vs. Central Michigan: 3-0
The Huskers had an easy, three set match against Central Michigan Friday morning. The Huskers gave the first point to the Chippewas with a service error by freshman setter Nicklin Hames, but Central Michigan returned the favor with a service error of their own. With a tied score, the Huskers went on a 3-2 run dominated by kills from sophomore outside hitter Jazz Sweet.
The Huskers continued to dominate as they led 15-10 after a media timeout later in the set. Senior outside hitter Mikaela Foecke dominated the second half of the set, bringing in four points at the end of the set.
Nebraska led near the end of the set 22-18 and secured the last few points through errors. Central Michigan’s Lyza Myers finished the set with an attack error to give Nebraska the first set.
Nebraska had a stronger defense in the second set, holding New Mexico to 11 points. After a 5-0 run to start the set, senior defensive specialist Kenzie Maloney ended the run with a service error. That didn’t slow the Huskers. Sophomore middle blocker Lauren Stivrins took control of the second set, hitting five of the seven attempted attacks.
The Huskers went on a 10-5 run to bring the score to 20-9. Central Michigan was able to add another four points, but it wasn’t enough as they continued to make errors. Sophomore middle blocker Anezka Szabo ended the set with a kill to bring the score to 25-13 at the end of set two.
The Huskers finished strong in the third set. Once again, the Huskers took an early lead and held the Chippewas to 11 points in the set. Schwarzenbach made defensive and offensive plays, providing points in both. Sophomore defensive specialist Hayley Densberger served two aces to bring the score 21-9. An attack error on Central Michigan and three kills by Stivrins brought home the final points for the Huskers, ending the third and final set 25-15.
Nebraska vs. New Mexico: 3-1
The first set started off evenly. After an early kill by New Mexico’s Lauren Twitty, the Lobos kept it going and held a steady lead over the Huskers during a 7-5 run. New Mexico led 13-10 before committing a service error to give Nebraska the ball. Foecke later had a big block to tie the score at 16-16. Three attack errors by New Mexico and a service ace by Hames forced the Lobos to call a timeout with the Huskers leading 18-16.
Nebraska led for a few points but a net violation on Sweet brought the game to a tie. An attack error by the Huskers gave New Mexico the lead, 23-22. After two successful attacks by New Mexico, the Lobos took the first set against the Huskers, 25-23.
The Huskers came back stronger the second set with a better defense. New Mexico took an early lead 4-3, but Nebraska stepped up and overcame it with a 6-1 run. The Huskers gave New Mexico two more points with errors, but Nebraska played smart defense and earned five points on attack errors before a Lobos timeout.
After the timeout, the Huskers scored eight points to New Mexico’s three and held the lead 22-11. Two service errors by the Lobos gave Nebraska the last few points they needed before a block by Stivrins secured the second set for the Huskers, 25-12.
In the third set, both teams held their own in the beginning. The Lobos led early, but the Huskers came back to tie it 8-8.
Errors by Nebraska midway through the set helped New Mexico mount a comeback. After leading most of the third set, the Lobos closed the lead to one point, trailing 20-19. Sophomore outside hitter Lexi Sun ended the set at 25-20 with a kill setup by Densberger.
Nebraska started the fourth set strong by taking the first three points with a kill by Foecke and two New Mexico errors. Nebraska secured three more for itself while only giving up two and forced the Lobos into an early timeout.
Nebraska continued to dominate and allowed only four points while continuing to win eight of their own points. After Cook challenged a call, the Huskers took two more points to lead 21-8. The Lobos couldn’t catch up and Nebraska took the fourth set on a long serve by Morgan Schreckler ending the fourth, 25-11.
Nebraska takes on Missouri State to finish the Huskers Invite on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m.