The No. 6 Nebraska volleyball team dropped its non-conference finale to fifth-ranked Louisville Saturday night, falling 3-0 (17-25, 20-25, 18-25) in front of 8,286 fans at the Devaney Center. With the loss, the Huskers are 6-3 (0-0 Big Ten) on the season, while the undefeated Cardinals improve to 10-0 (0-0 ACC).
No Husker finished with a double-digit kill tally, but Whitney Lauenstein had a team-leading nine on the night. Ally Batenhorst chipped in five more kills with three blocks, and Kalynn Meyer and Callie Schwarzenbach matched her with three blocks off the bench.
Nicklin Hames had 21 assists with six digs, two blocks and a service ace.
Louisville’s Anna Stevenson totaled a match-high 11 kills on .588 hitting with six blocks. Anna DeBeer and Aiko Jones each put up 10 kills, and DeBeer posted a match-best seven blocks. Amaya Tillman also had six stops as UL outblocked NU, 12.5-7.
Tori Dilfer finished with 34 assists, guiding the Cardinals to a .255 hitting performance. Nebraska came in at a season-low .046.
Louisville hit .324 and had five blocks while holding Nebraska to .116 in the opening set. Lauenstein led NU with five kills on eight swings with no errors to hit .625, while Stevenson had five kills on seven attempts (.714) with three blocks for UL.
The Huskers never led in the set, and Louisville went up 8-4 early after a 4-0 run stopped by a Madi Kubik kill. After two UL errors and a block by Hames and Schwarzenbach, the Cardinals got a Claire Chaussee kill and two stops from Tillman and Jones to bring on a Husker timeout at 13-9. From there, NU went on a 4-1 run — all on kills — to pull within one. A 4-1 spurt with two kills and a solo block by Stevenson later put the Cardinals ahead 20-15. UL outscored NU 8-2 to close the set at 25-17.
Down 6-3, Meyer came off the bench to deliver a kill and two blocks with Batenhorst to pull NU within one by 7-6. A Lindsay Krause kill and a Hames/Schwarzenbach stuff block knotted the set at 9-9 before NU took its first lead of the night, 11-10, on another Krause kill and a Hames ace serve. Louisville regained the lead at 15-13 on three straight NU errors, but a service error coupled with kills from Meyer and Batenhorst put it back in NU’s control at 16-15. The Cardinals rattled off five straight to go up 21-17 before Meyer halted their run on a solo block. Batenhorst added a kill, and a UL attack error prompted a timeout at 22-20, but the Cardinals ended the set on a 3-0 run.
Batenhorst had four kills in the second set, and Meyer had two kills and three blocks. Jones accounted for five kills and three blocks for Louisville.
Neither team could gain more than a two-point advantage until late in the third set. With NU trailing 10-8, Lauenstein registered back-to-back kills — the latter her final of the night — to lock it at 10-10. She and Kayla Caffey teamed up for a block to give NU a 11-10 edge.
UL then used a 5-2 stretch go to up 15-13 before a media timeout, and a kill by Sun and a Cardinal attack error tied it once more at 15-all. The Huskers went ahead for the last time at 17-16 on a Batenhorst/Schwarzenbach block, but Louisville – which hit .375 in the third set — pulled away from there. Seven straight points started a 9-1 run riddled with seven Husker errors, capping it at 25-18.