The No. 9 Nebraska volleyball team notched its ninth straight win Wednesday night on the road, sweeping Iowa 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 26-24) at Xtream Arena. The Huskers maintain their hold on the top spot in the Big Ten with a record of 15-3 (9-0), while the Hawkeyes drop to 2-17 (0-9).
Madi Kubik led the Huskers in kills for the ninth straight match, totaling 13 alongside five digs and two blocks. Lauren Stivrins joined her in double figures with a season-high-tying 11 kills on .667 hitting with one block.
Lexi Rodriguez notched 17 digs and had two service aces for the night. Nicklin Hames had a double-double effort with 39 assists, 11 digs and two aces. Kenzie Knuckles finished with a team-leading three aces and added six digs.
The Huskers hit .266 to Iowa’s .215 and also had the advantage in kills (46-43), assists (45-42), aces (8-3) and blocks (8-3). The teams had an identical 55 digs each.
Iowa’s Courtney Buzzerio finished with a match-high 14 kills, and Addie VanderWeide had 10 more with 11 digs for a double-double. Mari Hinkle had 16 digs.
Nebraska and Iowa were nearly even in the opening set, as the Huskers hit .342 with two attack errors and the Hawkeyes hit .341 with four miscues. Stivrins had five kills on .625 hitting with no errors, and Kubik and Krause each added four more kills apiece. NU had two service aces, while Iowa committed four service errors.
Tied at 6-6, the Huskers broke through with a 9-4 stretch, including four straight to take a 15-10 lead. The Hawkeyes got within two at 20-18, but NU held them at bay, and a Knuckles ace took it back out to a four-point margin at 22-18. A Stivrins kill capped the set, 25-21.
Iowa had nine kills on their first 14 swings with no errors to start set two, with VanderWeide tallying four kills early to help the Hawkeyes to a 9-4 lead. Ally Batenhorst got a kill out of the NU timeout, which spurred a huge 12-1 run. Hames served back-to-back aces for an 11-10 edge and an Iowa timeout, and the Huskers kept it up out of the break, using a Caffey/Krause block, two kills by Batenhorst and another by Kubik to go up 16-10.
After Iowa got three points back, a Caffey kill and another ace from Knuckles put it on track for the Huskers at 18-13. The Hawkeyes later staved off set point four times, but Kubik terminated from the back row to seal it, 25-22. It was her sixth kill of the set and 10th of the night.
Down 12-9 in the third set, NU won the next five points with a Caffey/Kubik block, a Knuckles ace and kills from Kubik and Krause to lead 14-12 at the timeout.
Iowa put up a fight, regaining the lead with a 5-1 spurt. Two Stivrins kills powered a quick 3-0 Husker run that put them back in the lead, 18-17. After Iowa tied it once more, Stivrins went to work again with a kill and teamed up with Lexi Sun for a block to go up 20-18.
The battle tied three more times up to 23-23, the last time on a Krause kill. She and Caffey put down a block to bring it to match point, but the Hawkeyes knotted it again on a Hannah Clayton kill. An Iowa attack error pushed it to match point a second time, and Rodriguez put it away with an ace to secure the sweep for Nebraska.
Noting Tonight’s Match
-Nebraska leads the all-time series with Iowa 35-0, including 22-0 in the John Cook era.
-The Huskers have registered sweeps in four straight meetings with the Hawkeyes.
-NU has a 13-0 advantage over Iowa on the road and has won 34 consecutive road sets against the Hawkeyes dating back to 1987. The Huskers are 2-0 at Xtream Arena.
-Nebraska’s nine-match win streak is its longest since 13 straight from Nov. 2 – Dec. 13, 2018.
-The Huskers’ sweep of the Hawkeyes is their 10th 3-0 win of the year and fourth in a row.
Nebraska takes on No. 7 Purdue on Saturday, Oct. 23, with first serve set for 8 p.m. at the Devaney Center. The match will be broadcast on KBBN 95.3 FM with coverage on the Huskers Radio Network beginning at 7:30.