LINCOLN, Neb. – Lauren Stivrins recorded 18 kills on 20 swings as the No. 4 Nebraska volleyball team topped Maryland 25-19, 25-27, 25-19, 25-14 in the first match this season at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Friday night.
The All-American Stivrins was at her best, tallying 18 kills – just one shy of her career high – with only one hitting error for an .850 hitting percentage. Lexi Sun added 14 kills and 10 digs for a double-double. Madi Kubik also had a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs, and Riley Zuhn had a career-high nine kills with four blocks.
Nebraska hit .248 and held Maryland to .167. The Huskers improved defensively as the match went on. After Maryland hit .286 and .257 in the first two sets, respectively, the Huskers held the Terrapins to .135 and .000 in the final two frames.
The Huskers aced Maryland seven times and committed eight errors, while Maryland had three aces to 10 service errors. NU had a 56-46 advantage in digs. Maryland had a 10-9 edge in blocks. Erika Pritchard had 13 kills for Maryland (0-5).
The teams will play the second match of the series on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The match will be broadcast on Big Ten Network, streamed on FoxSports, and can be heard on the Husker Sports Network.
Set 1: Kenzie Knuckles and Keonilei Akana served aces early as the Huskers built a 7-3 lead. Five different Huskers connected for kills as NU went up 15-8 at the media timeout. Stivrins then tallied a pair of kills to help keep NU up by seven, 18-11, and Hames served the Huskers’ fourth ace of the set before a kill by Sun made it 22-13 Big Red. The Terrapins scored three in a row to slice the deficit to six, but a pair of Maryland service errors boosted the Huskers to set point, and Nebraska won 25-19 on Stivrins’ fourth kill. Maryland outhit Nebraska .286 to .261 in the set, but Nebraska made up the difference in the serving game. Nebraska had four aces and one error, while Maryland had one ace and five errors.
Set 2: Back-to-back kills by Caffey helped the Huskers take a 10-7 lead. After Maryland tied the score at 12-12, Stivrins recorded three kills and Kubik had one as the Huskers went ahead by three again, 16-13. Maryland answered back with a 5-1 spurt to take an 18-17 lead. Sun dropped a kill to the floor to tie it at 18-18, but a service error by the Big Red and a block by the Terrapins put them up 20-18. After a Husker timeout, Sun and Kubik terminated to level the score again, and Caffey and Zuhn stuffed a Maryland attack for a 21-20 Husker lead. Kubik added another kill to make it 22-20, and the Huskers had two set points before Maryland tied the score at 24-24 with a kill and an ace by Erika Pritchard. Nebraska gained another set point after a Maryland service error, but the Terrapins scored the final three points of the set to take the 27-25 win.
Set 3: The Huskers built an 11-8 lead with Sun providing a pair of kills and a block. Maryland cut it to one, 15-14, but Stivrins smashed a kill to start a 6-0 run that also included kills by Kubik and Sun and a block by Hames and Stivrins. Sun added another kill, and freshman Anni Evans subbed in for the first action of her career and served an ace to make it 23-16. The Huskers finished the set on top, 25-19. NU sharpened up defensively in the third set, holding Maryland to .135 hitting.
Set 4: Zuhn had a pair of kills and a block with Callie Schwarzenbach to help NU to a 5-2 lead to begin the set. Stivrins pounded her 16th kill before a block by Sun and Schwarzenbach made it 12-8 Huskers. A kill by Sun and an ace by Hames increased the Huskers’ lead to 16-10, and Maryland took a timeout. Schwarzenbach stuffed a Maryland attack for a 17-10 advantage, and the Huskers pulled away to a 25-19 win to finish off the match. Nebraska stifled Maryland to .000 hitting in the final set.