No. 3 Nebraska volleyball wins 14th match in a row, improves to 28-0 all time against Iowa

No. 3 Nebraska volleyball wins 14th match in a row, improves to 28-0 all time against Iowa
Nebraska's Callie Schwarzenbach spikes the ball at Iowa's Taylor Louis, left, and Hannah Clayton. (CHRIS MACHIAN/THE WORLD-HERALD)

LINCOLN — Senior All-American Mikaela Foecke had a match-high 20 kills on .459 hitting to pace three Huskers in double figures as Nebraska won its 14th match in a row, beating Iowa 25-10, 23-25, 25-15, 25-11 on Wednesday night at the Devaney Center.

Foecke’s night highlighted one of the Huskers’ best offensive matches of the season, notwithstanding a letdown in Game 2. NU hit .373 on the night and added 11 service aces and 10 blocks to improve to 28-0 all time against the Hawkeyes.

Jazz Sweet added 15 kills on .300 hitting, while Lexi Sun had 13 kills hitting .385 and added 13 digs for her second double-double of the year.

Taylor Louis had 12 kills and Cali Hoye added 11 for the Hawkeyes, which hit .071 with 24 attack errors on Wednesday.

Senior libero Kenzie Maloney added 12 digs for Nebraska, while freshman setter Nicklin Hames put up 47 assists to go with 11 digs for her ninth double-double of the season.

Game 1: The Huskers’ attack started hot with nine kills on the team’s first 12 swings. With Nebraska leading 9-7, Lexi Sun landed a sharp roll shot to start a 4-0 run. Nicklin Hames’s ace put NU up 13-7 and forced an Iowa timeout.

The run would grow to 9-1 with Callie Schwarzenbach and Jazz Sweet teaming up for the Huskers’ first block, followed by two straight points from Sun on an ace and a tip out of the back row that Iowa couldn’t control. The Hawkeyes burned their final timeout of the opener with the Huskers on top 18-8.

Sun and Mikaela Foecke each would have four kills on five swings in Game 1 as Nebraska hit .789 on 15 kills without an error. Nebraska added five aces in the opener, with the set’s final two points coming on service winners from sophomore Hayley Densberger.

Iowa hit .190 in Game 1 led by three kills apiece by Taylor Louis and Cali Hoye.

Game 2: The Huskers couldn’t maintain the pace, coming undone with self-inflicted wounds to drop its first set against the Hawkeyes since 1987.

NU committed eight attack errors and five serving errors, including a pair of costly miscues on the set’s final two rallies.

Nebraska’s serve receive couldn’t keep up the momentum early in Game 2 as the Huskers’ poor passing prevented the in-system ease of the first set. Nebraska committed hitting errors on four of its first 15 swings of the set, pushing Iowa to an 8-4 lead.

The Hawkeyes led 12-8 before Nebraska responded with three straight points, pulling within 12-11 on a transition kill by Sun. Kills by Sweet and Foecke gave NU the lead at 16-15, but Iowa came back with the next four points, going up 19-16 on a setter dump by Brie Orr and forcing Nebraska’s final timeout.

Iowa led 23-20 before Nebraska mounted a final charge. A double block by Sweet and Schwarzenbach pulled NU to within one, and Iowa’s Hannah Clayton was called for a lift to knot it 23-23.

But two final Husker errors gave Iowa the set. Sun served just wide coming out of a timeout, and on the Hawkeyes’ only set point, Sweet committed her fourth hitting error of Game 2.

Sweet did have seven kills in the set as Nebraska put up 17 kills to Iowa’s 11. Foecke added six kills in the set.

Louis had four kills in Game 2 for Iowa, which out-hit NU .267 to .209.

Game 3: Two early kills by Sweet and another by Foecke got Nebraska out to a 5-2 lead in the third set, and the Huskers quickly assumed command. Sweet and Foecke added back-to-back kills followed by an Iowa hitting error to grow Nebraska’s lead to 9-3.

Later, Lauren Stivrins served a 5-0 run that contained two blocks by Schwarzenbach to make it 15-6 Nebraska.

Nebraska rolled from there, hitting .333 in the set led by five more Foecke kills. Sweet added three kills, and the Huskers’ four blocks factored in to Iowa’s nine hitting errors in the set.

Hoye led the Hawkeyes with five Game 3 kills, but Iowa had one fewer kill than errors to hit negative-.026 as Nebraska took a 2-1 lead to Game 4.

Game 4: After Iowa took the first point of the fourth, the Huskers quickly put the hammer down to ensure the match wouldn’t go to a fifth. NU responded with the next seven points including two straight aces by Sun.

Maloney and Stivrins would later add aces to put the Huskers into double digits, and a Sun kill capped a 3-0 run to put NU up 14-6.

Stivrins’s back-to-back solo blocks would highlighted Nebraska’s 8-0 run to end the match, which Foecke sealed with her 20th kill.

The Huskers have won 18 straight Big Ten matches going into Saturday’s 7 p.m. contest against No. 5 Minnesota at the Devaney Center.

Iowa (10-6, 2-3 Big Ten)…..10 25 15 11

At No. 3 Nebraska (14-1, 5-0)…..25 23 25 25

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