#5 Nebraska Downs #14 Michigan State In Battle Of Big Ten Unbeatens

  0 Kyp Harasymowycz | October 05th, 2017 | Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, News


  • #5 Nebraska def. #14 Michigan State, 3-1 (25-19, 25-15, 22-25, 25-19)
  • Nebraska moves to 12-3, 5-0; Michigan State drops to 11-3, 4-1
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Attendance: 8406
  • Box score

LINCOLN, Neb. – In a battle of two undefeated teams in the Big Ten, Nebraska denied Michigan State’s bid for a third-straight top ten road win by downing the Spartans in four long sets (25-19, 25-15, 22-25, 25-19). The win was the Huskers’ sixth straight match victory and their sixth straight win over a top-15 opponent. The latter streak dates back to 2006.

Annika Albrecht led all attackers with 18 kills and completed her double-double with 15 digs. She also added 3 blocks, 2 aces and an assist. Other Huskers with double-digit kills were Lauren Stivrins and Jazz Sweet with 10 each. Setter Kelly Hunter also added to the double-double party with 45 assists and 14 digs. Hunter also added 5 blocks on the evening. With those 45 assists, Hunter moved to fourth place on the all-time Husker assist list. She currently has 3341 assists in her career.

Four Huskers were in double digit digs as well, with libero Kenzie Maloney leading the way with 17. Albrecht and Hunter, mentioned above, joined Sydney Townsend in double digit digs. Townsend finished with 10 digs.

For the Spartans, their service pressure failed them. The Big Ten leaders in aces ended the match without acing the Huskers while serving up 9 service errors. Brooke Kranda paced Michigan State with 16 kills. Other Spartans with double digit kills included Autumn Bailey and Holly Toliver, who finished with 11 kills each. Bailey also had a match-high 18 digs for another double-double for the Canadian. Libero Jayme Cox had 17 digs. Alyssa Garvelink had a match-high of 6 blocks on the evening. Setter Rachel Minarick finished with 33 assists and 8 digs.


Courtesy of Nebraska Athletics

LINCOLN, Neb. – The fourth-ranked Nebraska volleyball team continued its impressive run through the beginning of its Big Ten schedule with a 3-1 (25-19, 25-15, 22-25, 25-19) win over No. 14 Michigan State on Wednesday night in front of 8,406 spectators at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.

With the win, the Huskers (12-3, 5-0 Big Ten) took over sole possession of first place in the Big Ten standings a quarter of the way through the conference season. Michigan State, the only other unbeaten team in Big Ten play entering the night, dropped to 11-3 overall and 4-1 in conference play.

The Huskers won their sixth match in a row and their sixth straight match against a top-15 opponent, matching the most consecutive wins by NU against top-15 teams in a season since 2006.

Nebraska hit .217 in the match and held Michigan State to .147. The Huskers have held their first 15 opponents this season under .250 hitting. The last time they accomplished that feat was in 2007. NU also won the serving battle against the Big Ten’s leader in aces per set entering the match. The Huskers served five aces and gave up none to MSU, which also committed nine errors at the service line. The Huskers outblocked the Spartans, 11-7.

Annika Albrecht produced yet another dominant performance with 18 kills and 15 digs while hitting .333 and adding three solo blocks and two aces. She has double-digit kills in seven straight matches and has double-doubles in back-to-back matches for the first time this season.

Lauren Stivrins had 10 kills and four blocks, and Jazz Sweet provided an offensive spark with 10 kills on .318 hitting. Mikaela Foecke added nine kills and 10 digs, and Briana Holman had eight kills and two blocks.

Kelly Hunter had 45 set assists and 14 digs for her third straight double-double and fifth of the season. With her 45 assists, Hunter passed both Val Novak and Sydney Anderson on NU’s career assists chart, as she now sits in fourth place with 3,341. She also had a season-high five blocks. Five Huskers were in double digits in digs, led by libero Kenzie Maloney with 17. Sydney Townsend had 10.

Brooke Kranda led Michigan State with 16 kills but hit just .190 against the Big Red.

Set 1: Nebraska rallied from a 5-3 deficit to a 7-5 lead after a 4-0 run keyed by the serve of Foecke. A kill by Sweet and a block by Albrecht and Stivrins doubled the lead to four at 10-6. Sweet added another kill, followed by a solo block by Albrecht to force a Michigan State timeout with the Huskers up 12-8. After the timeout, Stivrins posted a kill and Albrecht killed a back-row set from Townsend for a 14-8 lead. The Spartans then hit long to make it 15-8 Nebraska, capping a 5-0 Husker run. The Spartans answered with a 5-0 run of their own to get back within 15-13 before committing a service error. Albrecht served an ace on the next rally, and then Michigan State hit into the antenna. Another tough serve by Albrecht forced Michigan State into sending over a free ball, and Stivrins terminated for a 19-13 lead. Holman smacked a kill and teamed up with Sweet for a block to put the Huskers ahead by seven, 22-15. The Huskers put the set away, 25-19, with another kill by Sweet and two by Albrecht. The Huskers held the Spartans to just .098 hitting.

Set 2: Sweet and Albrecht continued their impressive matches with a kill by the freshman and a solo block by the senior to put the Huskers up 7-6 early. The Spartans hit for a couple of errors around a Foecke kill, and NU led 10-7 at a Michigan State timeout. Later, Holman and Albrecht each added a pair of kills to make it 15-10 Huskers. Nebraska dominated the rest of the way with Sweet and Stivrins each tallying two more kills and Albrecht serving her 117th career ace to move into a tie for ninth in school history. The Huskers won 25-15 after finishing the set on a 13-5 run. NU was even better defensively in the second set, limiting Michigan State to .047 hitting.

Set 3: Hunter, Foecke and Stivrins opened the set with kills for the Huskers, and Maloney served her second ace of the night for a 5-2 advantage. Michigan State drew even at 8-8 before committing a service error. Hunter then took over with a kill, a solo block and a combined block with Stivrins. After that, Stivrins and Albrecht recorded kills, and the Huskers led 14-8 after the 6-0 run. But Michigan State went on an 11-5 run to tie the set at 19-19. Albrecht and Rachel Minarick traded kills, and then the Spartans served long to put NU back up, 21-20. A Husker hitting error squared the set again before Kranda terminated to put MSU up 22-21, its first lead since 1-0 to begin the set. The Spartans went up by two, 23-21, after a block, and the Huskers used a timeout. A double-contact call on Michigan State gave the Huskers the next point, but Michigan State got set point on a soft kill and won 25-22 on a Husker hitting error.

Set 4: After falling behind 3-1, Nebraska scored five points in a row via two Albrecht kills, one each by Sweet and Holman and a Holman/Foecke block. The Spartans cut it to 7-6, but Albrecht got a kill to put Hayley Densberger at the service line. Densberger served the next four points with Albrecht tacking on her 14th kill and Sweet her ninth, and the Huskers led 12-6. With a 13-8 lead, the Huskers got kills from Stivrins and Foecke and a solo block by Stivrins to help them to an 18-8 lead after a 5-0 run. Although the run ended on a service error, Hunter and Stivrins added another block, and Foecke smashed a kill to make it 20-10. Holman and Sweet pounded kills to help NU to a 22-12 lead, but the Spartans attempted to make things interesting with three straight points to get within 22-15. Albrecht got the Huskers out of the rotation with another kill, but Michigan State pulled within 23-18 after back-to-back kills by Kranda. Nebraska used a timeout to regroup, and Albrecht earned an immediate sideout for match point. She finished off the match at 25-19 with her 18th kill.

Courtesy of Michigan State Athletics


No. 14 Michigan State had its six-match winning streak snapped on Wednesday night by No. 4 in Nebraska, 3-1 (19-25, 15-25, 25-21, 19- 25)

MSU is now 11-3 overall and 4-1 in Big Ten action, while the Huskers are now 12-4 and the league’s only unbeaten team in Conference play, 5-0.

The match was a showdown between the Big Ten’s two last unbeaten teams in Conference play: the teams entered the game with identical 4-0 Big Ten records. The teams engaged in lengthy rallies with entertaining defensive battles, as each team had just over 163 attempts. MSU hit just .147 in the match, coming on stronger as the match went on after committing 16 errors in the first two sets combined.

THe Huskers dialed up five service aces in the match, while MSU was held without one but had nine service errors on the night. Nebraska also held an 11-7 edge in blocks .217

MSU attempted a comeback down 2-0, taking the third set 25-22 after trailing by as many as six points.

The Spartans are back in action on Saturday at Jenision Field House, hosting No. 7 Wisconsin in a rematch of an opening-night 3-2 MSU victory in Madison.



  • Autumn Bailey had 11 kills and added 18 digs, her ninth double-digit dig performance of the season and fourth double-double. She also led MSU with a .200 hitting percentage.
  • Holly Toliver had 11 kills and finished with 14 digs for her second double-double in 2017.
  • Brooke Kranda had 16 kills .STATS AND STORYLINES 
  • MSU had a six-match winning streak snapped, dating back to the end of non-conference play.
  • The match was the 1,000th in the head coaching career of Cathy George
  • The win was the seventh straight for the Huskers in the series. MSU trails by a 2-18-2 margin all-time.
  • The last two meetings were 3-2 battles going the way of the Huskers in extra points in the fifth set.GAME REPLAY
  • SET ONE: A 4-0 run by the Huskers broke open a 5-5 deadlock in the first set, but Brooke Kranda responded with back-to-back kills to trim it back to a two-point deficit at 10-8. MSU called a timeout trailing 12-8, but Nebraska came up with three straight points out of the break to pull ahead 15-8. The Spartans rallied for three straight points to trim it back to four at 15-11, at which point the Huskers called their first time out. A Foecke attempt long and a kill by Kranda got MSU back within two at 15-13, but the home team countered with a 4-0 run to push it back to six at 19-13. Another kill by Sweet made it 23-16, the largest lead of the frame for the Huskers, who then got set point on a kill by Albrecht. A kill by Bailey started off a 3-0 run to fend off set point, but a kill by Albrecht sealed the six-point win for the home team. Albrecht had five kills to lead her team, while Brooke Kranda had four kills and Autumn Bailey and Holly Toliver each had three. Nebraska hit .175, while MSU hit .098 (12-7-51). Nebraska finished the frame with 26 digs, while the Spartans had 19, led by Bailey’s seven.
  • SET TWO: The teams were engaged in a point-for-point battle in the second and tied at 7-7, entertaining the capacity crowd with entertaining rallies. Foecke gave the Huskers their first two-point edge of the frame, and followed by a Spartan hitting error, MSU called a timeout trailing 10-7. A 6-2 run for the home team allowed them to pull ahead by six, 18-12. The Huskers won the race to 20 on a service ace by Albrecht, and MSU called time out. Nebraska kept its foot on the gas and got to set point at 24-13, but a block and a kill by Garvelink held off the Nebraksa win before a kill by Foecke closed it out. MSU committed nine errors against 11 kills in the frame to hit .047, and got three kills each from Bailey, Kranda, and Toliver.
  • SET THREE: MSU went on a 3-0 run to tie up the third set at 8-8, on a Toliver service run. The Huskers countered with a 6-0 run to build a six-point advantage at 14-8, and with the home team holding a 17-12 edge, MSU went on a 5-2 run to trim it to a two-point game, using a pair of Toliver kills and a kill and a block from Garvelink. After a Nebraska time out, the Huskers committed back -to-back errors, tying the game at 19-all. The teams traded points to stand in a 21-21 tie, and the Spartans took their first lead with a kill from Kranda followed by a block by Garvelink and Minarick, making it 23-21. Nebraska called time out to regroup, and then won a lengthy rally to trim the MSU lead to 23-22. Kranda got MSU to set point on a nice roll shot that fell between four Huskers, and a Holman shot long gave MSU the third set 25-22. MSu turned around its fortunes by hitting .294 to the Huskers .095, and put three blocks on the board, all from Alyssa Garvelink. Kranda led MSU with five kills, while Bailey and Tolvier each had three .
  • SET FOUR: MSU went up 3-1 in the fourth, but the Huskers reeled off five straight to double up the visitors 6-3. The Husker lead reached five, 11-6, after back-to-back hitting errors for the Spartans, and the visitors called time out. A 5-0 Husker run turned a five-point edge into a seemingly insurmountable 10 at 18-8. Hitting better than .400 in the frame, Nebraska was energized by their home crowd. Despite a sizeable deficit, the Spartans refused to roll over, using a 6-2 run to make it 23-18 on a and a block each from Tompkins and Kranda to make it 23-16. Kranda terminated a second straight to trim it to five, at which point Nebraska called time out. A kill by Albrecht out of the break got match point for the Huskers, but Kranda came back for a tool off the block to once again keep MSU in the game. A sharp-angle shot by Albrecht ended the Spartan comeback effort to close out the Husker victory.


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