No. 1 Nebraska rolled through Gonzaga in a three set sweep. The Huskers have won 24 straight sets, sweeping all teams they have played this year, their longest streak sine 2010.
Nebraska posted a .442 hitting percentage, holding the Bulldogs to .108 hitting.
Mikaela Foecke out down 12 kill on a .455 hitting percentage. Kadie Rolfzen contributed seven kills and picked up a match-high 13 digs.
Imani Wimbush led Gonzaga with six kills on the night.
Courtesy of Nebraska Athletics
LINCOLN, Neb. – The top-ranked Nebraska volleyball team captured its second sweep of the day on Friday, topping Gonzaga 25-15, 25-12, 25-11 in front of 8,277 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
Nebraska improved to 8-0 on the season with its 24th straight win overall. The Huskers have also won 24 consecutive sets dating back to the season opener against Florida, their longest streak since 2010.
Mikaela Foecke led the Huskers with 12 kills while hitting .455. The NU offense was sharp again with a .442 hitting percentage. Nebraska has hit at least .300 in seven of eight matches and averaged .485 in the two matches on Friday. The Husker defense was equally impressive, limiting the Bulldogs (6-3) to .108 hitting.
Andie Malloy and Briana Holman each had eight kills, while Holman added three blocks. Amber Rolfzen also had three blocks along with five kills. Kadie Rolfzen had seven kills and a match-high 13 digs. Kelly Hunter chipped in 36 assists, five kills and five digs, as well as three aces. Justine Wong-Orantes had 10 digs, while Annika Albrecht had eight.
Set 1: The Huskers battled back from a 4-2 deficit to take a 6-4 lead behind the serve of Foecke. The Huskers used their block to extend the lead to 10-7, as Amber Rolfzen was in on two of the 3.5 blocks in the set. Five Huskers tallied at least two kills in the set as NU continued to pull away for the 25-15 win. The Huskers outhit the Bulldogs .406 to .133.
Set 2: After Nebraska went up 4-1, Gonzaga came back for a 6-5 lead. A Malloy kill on an overdig put the Huskers back up 8-7. Another Malloy kill and a pair by Albrecht pushed the Huskers to a 13-9 lead. An ace by Sydney Townsend made it 15-10, and back-to-back kills by Holman and an ace by Hunter made it 20-12. After a Gonzaga timeout, Nebraska finished off the final five points to conclude the set on a 9-0 run, capped by a smash by Foecke. The Huskers hit .400 and got five kills and two blocks from Holman in the set.
Set 3: NU went on a 5-0 run to take an 11-5 lead with Albrecht serving. She started it with an ace and then Foecke blasted two kills, along with an Amber Rolfzen block. After Gonzaga briefly ended the run, Foecke struck for two more kills to help NU to a 15-7 lead. Nebraska pulled away down the stretch for the 25-11 win and the sweep.
Up Next: The Huskers finish non-conference action in the final match of the Ameritas Players Challenge when they face Creighton Saturday at 8 p.m. The match will be televised on NET and streamed at BTN2GO.com. The match will also air on Husker Sports Network affiliates, including 107.3 FM in Lincoln and 105.9 FM in Omaha.
Courtesy of Gonzaga Athletics
LINCOLN, Neb.—The Gonzaga University volleyball saw its toughest competition yet during the 2016 season Friday, losing to Creighton and No. 1 Nebraska on day one of the Ameritas Players Challenge at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Match One: Creighton 3, Gonzaga 0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-16)
The Zags began the day with an 8:00 a.m. Pacific (10 a.m. Central) match against Creighton. An early Hawaiian connection gave GU a 0-3 lead in the first as Imani Wimbush smashed home three kills; she was assisted by fellow Honolulu native Tiyana Hallums on each. Gonzaga held the first set lead until a 10-10 tie, when Creighton strung two points together for their first advantage of the match. Over the next seven points, the Zags kept in touch with two kills from McKayla Ferris and two Creighton errors, but a 5-1 Bluejay run gave CU a four-point lead late in the frame, the set’s final margin.
The second set started off even tighter, seeing nine tie scores and five lead changes. After a five-point run from Gonzaga, the two sides traded leads and tie scores up to a 13-13 tie. Creighton then pounded four straight kills for a 17-13 lead. A kill from Emmy Allen, block from Paige Folger and Payton Mack, and a Bluejay error pulled the Zags within one, but the Bluejays again established a four-point margin. Gonzaga ripped off another three straight points to come within one once more, but Creighton took four of the final five points for another 25-21 set victory.
In the third set, Gonzaga saw another early run, taking a 3-7 advantage, but Creighton saw a six-point run of its own later in the frame for a lead of its own. Down 13-11, the Zags were unable to string together points for the rest of the set, eventually falling 25-16 in the frame for their first three-set loss of the year.
Match Two: No. 1 Nebraska 3, Gonzaga 0 (25-15, 25-12, 25-11)
In the nightcap against Nebraska, the Zags again took an early lead in set one. After Nebraska won the match’s first two points, the Zags got four straight points on kills from Wimbush and Folger and a block from Folger and Allen. The Cornhuskers then countered with a four-point run of their own for the 6-4 lead. Wimbush landed a kill – one of her team-best six on the night – to bring the Zags back within one. Gonzaga stayed within three points until the middle of the frame, when the Huskers landed four straight kills to extend their lead to 15-8, and they eventually took the set by 10 at 25-15.
The second set against the Cornhuskers started off as the closest of the match, but the Huskers ended on a nine-point run to account for the lopsided score. The frame saw two lead changes and five tie scores, the latest coming at 8-8 after a kill by Ferris. Nebraska took the next two points for a lead, but Mack found the floor for the first time Friday night to make it 10-9, the slimmest margin for the rest of the frame.
In the third, Nebraska used a five-point run to establish a 11-6 advantage. Folger ended the run with a kill, but the Zags strung together multiple points just once more – back-to-back kills by Hallums and Katelyn Oppio – en route to a 25-11 loss to end the match.
- Both Creighton and Nebraska played far into the NCAA Tournament last season. The Bluejays reached the Sweet 16 while the Cornhuskers won the national title, defeating Texas 3-0 in the championship match. Nebraska is currently ranked No. 1 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll while Creighton is receiving votes after beginning the year ranked.
- Senior Morgan Douglass saw her first full match as libero Friday against Creighton, tallying seven digs, an ace, and an assist. She first donned the different-colored jersey this season for two sets Sept. 10 versus Southern Utah. Hallums, meanwhile, played in the rotation, earning her first official start of the season. She had begun each of the previous seven matches as libero.
- Wimbush’s six kills against Nebraska led Gonzaga in that category Friday night. It’s the first time this season Wimbush led the team in kills. She posted 12 kills on the day while Folger, Ferris, and Allen each landed 13. Folger’s .276 attack percentage over the two matches topped the roster.
Gonzaga (6-3) will look to end the Ameritas Players Challenge on a high note Saturday, Sept. 17 with a neutral site contest against Montana State. That match will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific (Noon Central), again at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln.
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