Nebraska Volleyball Sweeps Creighton

A stellar defensive effort helped the No. 3 Nebraska volleyball team take care of business Wednesday night, sweeping No. 19 Creighton 3-0 (25-14, 25-22, 25-16) at the CHI Health Center Omaha. With the win, the Huskers remain undefeated at 6-0 this season, while the Bluejays take their first loss and drop to 6-1.

A crowd of 11,279 was on hand, marking the largest crowd for an NCAA regular-season match this year and the 10th-largest regular-season, volleyball-only crowd in NCAA history.

Lexi Sun led all players with 11 kills and added four digs and two blocks. Madi Kubik finished with nine kills, six digs and two stops, and Kayla Caffey totaled eight kills on .462 hitting with three blocks.

Nicklin Hames tallied her fourth straight double-double with 30 assists and 12 digs on the night.

The Huskers finished with 69 digs as a team for their second-highest total of the season and their best mark in a three-set match. Lexi Rodriguez accounted for a match-high 17 scoops, and Keonilei Akana had 13 more along with three service aces — both season-best numbers. Kenzie Knuckles added another eight digs for her season high.

Callie Schwarzenbach paced Nebraska with six blocks and chipped in a pair of kills.

Creighton was led by eight kills from Jaela Zimmerman, and Naomi Hickman put up a match-high seven blocks.

NU hit at a .177 clip, while CU was held to .053 as a team. Both squads finished with nine blocks, and the Huskers added five aces.

Set 1
A trio of Zimmerman kills accounted for three of CU’s first four points as the Jays went up 4-2. The Huskers took their first lead at 7-6 after completing a long rally on a Sun kill. With NU on a 5-1 run, Sun quickly terminated twice more, forcing a Bluejay timeout before pushing it to 11-7. The Huskers stretched their lead to 19-10 with a 6-0 run as a pair of Kubik kills sandwiched a Caffey/Lauenstein block, followed by three CU miscues. Kubik’s match-leading sixth kill of the set finished it off at 25-14.

Behind Kubik’s six kills and another five from Sun at a .556 clip, NU hit .282 as a team while holding CU to .068.

Set 2
CU assumed a 7-2 lead to open the second game before Schwarzenbach and Kubik teamed up for a block, Whitney Lauenstein tallied a kill and a Bluejay error trimmed it to two. The Jays scored on the next two plays, prompting a Husker timeout. Out of the break, Caffey registered a kill and Knuckles added another from the back row, again pulling NU within two.
Nebraska tied it at 13-13 with the help of two Sun kills and a Sun/Schwarzenbach stop before a 4-0 run put the Jays ahead. Again trailing by four, Caffey and Kubik fired three straight kills to prompt a timeout with CU up 18-17. Another backrow kill from Knuckles, an Akana ace serve and a Caffey/Kubik block powered an 8-0 run with Akana at the service line for a 22-18 Husker lead. After a Caffey kill brought it to set point, a Bluejay service error put it away for NU, 25-22.

Kubik and Sun both carried nine kills through the first two sets, and Caffey had another seven.

Set 3
Ally Batenhorst stepped up in the third set with five kills, three digs and a block. Schwarzenbach was led the charge at the net with four blocks in the set as NU outblocked the Jays 5-2.

With the score locked at 4-4, Batenhorst put down back-to-back kills to spark a 7-0 run. It was part of an 11-2 stretch for the Huskers, who extended their lead to 15-6. They doubled up CU at 18-9 with the help of a Sun kill and a Hames service ace. Back-to-back blocks from Schwarzenbach and Krause continued the run at 5-0 and as NU cruised to a 20-9 advantage. After an Akana ace pushed it to set point at 24-13, CU made a late push to prompt a Husker timeout at 24-16. Out of the break, Caffey capped the match with a final kill to secure the sweep.

Noting Tonight’s Match
-Nebraska improves to 20-0 in the all-time series with Creighton, including 17-0 in the John Cook era.
-Tonight marked NU’s 12th sweep of CU since 2000.
-Tonight was also the Huskers’ first win over a fellow ranked opponent this season.

Up Next
Nebraska welcomes No. 20 Utah on Saturday, Sept. 11, with first serve set for 7:30 p.m. at the Devaney Center.

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