LINCOLN, Neb. – The No. 4 Nebraska volleyball team swept Maryland 25-14, 25-21, 25-18 on Saturday night at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
The Huskers (4-0) got 12 kills on .308 hitting from sophomore Madi Kubik, who also contributed three aces and paced a decisive run in the third set to help the Huskers pull away.
Riley Zuhn set a new career high in kills for the second night in a row with 11 and did so on .500 hitting. Lauren Stivrins, Kayla Caffey and Lexi Sun all had eight kills each. Caffey hit .538 and added a match-best five blocks. Sun had two aces and eight digs.
Nicklin Hames set the Huskers to a .337 hitting percentage. She had 29 assists with a team-leading 10 digs. Kenzie Knuckles chipped in eight digs, seven assists and an ace. Keonilei Akana had two aces to go with four digs.
The Huskers had a 7-6 edge in blocks and 34-31 advantage in digs. Nebraska had 49 kills to just 26 for Maryland (0-6). The Terrapins hit .169 for the match, including .000 in the opening set. NU out-aced Maryland 8-3. Erika Pritchard had 10 kills for Maryland, though the Huskers limited her to .138 hitting on the night.
Nebraska is back on the road next weekend for a pair of matches at Rutgers. The teams will play on Friday and Saturday at 3 p.m. (CT) both days. The matches will not be televised but will be streamed on BTNPlus.com and can be heard on the Husker Sports Network.
Set 1: The Huskers led from start to finish in a dominant first set. Back-to-back blocks by Caffey, one with Zuhn and one with Sun, put the Big Red in front 14-8. After three straight Maryland points, Zuhn terminated a pair of kills around a Maryland hitting error to put NU back up by six, 17-11. After a Maryland kill, Zuhn tallied her fifth and sixth kills of the set, and Knuckles served an ace as the Huskers built a 21-12 lead. Akana fired an ace, and the Huskers finished off the 25-14 win. Nebraska outhit Maryland .458 to .000 in the first set. Zuhn had six kills on .714 hitting, and Caffey had four blocks.
Set 2: Maryland held the upper hand early with a 10-8 advantage and led 14-13 when Kubik battled to win a kill for the Huskers and then served an ace to put Nebraska up 15-14 at the media timeout. A block by Hames and Stivrins made it 16-15, but Maryland scored the next two points to regain the lead. The Huskers battled back to lead 19-18 after consecutive Maryland errors, and Sun served up an ace to make it 20-18 and force Maryland to take a timeout. Kubik posted two more kills to keep NU ahead by two, and Stivrins terminated after a free ball to put NU up by three, 23-20. Another kill by Stivrins earned set point, and a Maryland hitting error clinched the 25-21 win for the Huskers.
Set 3: An 8-0 run highlighted by two kills and two aces by Kubik put the Huskers up 14-5 as they searched for the sweep. After Maryland stopped the run, the Huskers got right back to it with a kill by Hames and another from Caffey as she hammered an overpass, and the Huskers led by double digits, 16-6. Zuhn and Kubik connected for two more Husker kills, and Akana served NU’s eighth ace as the Big Red went up 22-13. The Terrapins clawed back to within 23-18 via a 5-1 spurt, but the Huskers regrouped after a timeout and finished off the 25-18 win for the sweep.