GRAND ISLAND, Neb. – The Nebraska volleyball team defeated Kansas, 3-1 (26-24, 18-25, 25-16, 25-17), on Saturday in a spring exhibition match in front of a sold-out crowd of 6,117 at the Heartland Events Center.
Madi Kubik had 20 kills on .311 hitting, and Whitney Lauenstein had 12 kills and eight blocks to lead the Huskers to victory in their only spring match of the season. Nebraska had an edge in hitting percentage (.180 to .127) and out-dug the Jayhawks, 64-57.
Freshman middle blocker Bekka Allick had six kills and five blocks for the Big Red. Nicklin Hames earned the start at setter for the Big Red and had 38 assists to go with eight digs. Keonilei Akana had a match-high 18 digs, and Lexi Rodriguez had 15.
Kansas was led by former Husker Anezka Szabo, who had 12 kills and hit .455.
Set 1: Kansas took an 11-7 lead after a 4-0 run to separate from a 7-7 tie. A pair of aces by Hames, a solo block by Lauenstein and a kill by Kubik pulled Nebraska back even at 13-13. The Jayhawks scored the next three to go up 16-13. The Huskers fought back to tie it again with Allick providing a solo block and Kubik firing another kill from the left pin. The Huskers went ahead 18-17 on another Kubik kill, but Kansas regained a 20-19 lead. Lauenstein and Schwarzenbach combined for a block to tie the score at 23-23. A great up by Hames to keep a rally alive led to Kubik and Allick stuffing a KU attack for set point at 24-23. Kansas tied the score at 24-24, but Lauenstein provided another set point opportunity with a kill from the right side. Kubik terminated her eighth kill of the set for the 26-24 win.
Set 2: Kansas jumped out to a 4-0 lead and build the advantage to 12-4, forcing a Husker timeout. Allick produced a pair of kills and then stepped back to the service line, and Schwarzenbach terminated twice on the slide to help NU get within 13-10. Lauenstein struck down two kills to keep the Huskers within three, 17-14. But the Huskers committed three unforced errors to lead to a 22-15 Kansas lead. The Jayhawks ended the set on top, 25-18, to tie the match at 1-1.
Set 3: Nebraska took a 10-7 lead after kills by Allick, Batenhorst and an ace by Akana, and the Huskers led 15-14 at the media timeout after a kill by Kubik. After the timeout, Kubik connected for two more kills, and Lauenstein blocked a KU attack to make it 18-14. The Huskers increased the lead to five at 21-16 after kills by Lauenstein and Kubik, and Allick put down a kill to make it 22-16. Kubik then served back-to-back aces to make it 24-16, and Batenhorst tooled a block for a 25-16 win.
Set 4: Kansas led 6-3, but kills by Kubik and Allick pulled Nebraska level at 7-7. Back-to-back blocks by Lauenstein put the Huskers up 10-8, and she fired a kill down the line to make it 11-9. Kansas tied the score, 13-13, before Kubik posted her 20th kill to make it 14-13. Allick put the Huskers up 15-14 at the media timeout. Kansas scored the next two points to go up 16-15, but four Kansas errors two kills by Lauenstein put NU back on top, 21-16, via a 6-0 run. The Huskers closed out the match with a 25-17 win.