No. 4 Nebraska holds off Minnesota
Husker defense holds Gophers to .168 hitting percentage
LINCOLN, Neb. -- No. 4 Nebraska used a balanced and gritty effort on Wednesday to defeat No. 19 Minnesota 3-1 (17-25, 25-18, 25-15, 25-16). The Huskers had three players tally double-digit kills on the night.
Gina Mancuso, Morgan Broekhuis and Hannah Werth all notched 14 kills against the Gophers, guiding NU to 60 total kills as a team. Mancuso and Werth had 16 and 17 digs, respectively, giving Mancuso her 11th double-double of the season and Werth her eighth. Lauren Cook had 47 assists and 12 digs on the night for her 14th double-double of the year.
Brooke Delano tallied nine kills on 23 attacks for a hitting percentage of .348, while adding eight blocks. Jordan Wilberger came off the bench for six kills on 12 attacks and also had five blocks on the night. Lara Dykstra helped NU defensively with 14 digs.
The Huskers notched a .275 hitting percentage for the match, while Minnesota hit .168. Nebraska out-blocked the Gophers 13-6 and out-dug Minnesota 71-62.
The Gophers came out hot in the first set, going up 7-5 on a kill by Hailey Cowles. Nebraska tied it up at 10 and 11, but Minnesota then took a 17-13 lead on a kill by Katherine Harms. The Huskers could not find an answer and ended up dropping the first set, 25-17.
Broekhuis had four kills in the first set, while Werth had three and Mancuso and Delano both had two. Cook tabbed 10 assists, while Mancuso had four digs. The Huskers hit just .105 in the first set, while Minnesota hit .308.
Nebraska came out with new life in the second set, taking an early 7-4 lead on a kill by Broekhuis. Another kill by Mancuso put NU ahead 19-13, as five-consecutive Nebraska points then gave NU a 22-13 edge. The Huskers went on to take the second set 25-18 on a match-point kill by Broekhuis.
In the second set Broekhuis and Werth led the team with four kills each, as Mancuso had three. Cook had nine assists and four digs, while the Huskers tallied four team blocks and a hitting percentage of .343. Minnesota hit .231 for the set.
A dominant effort in the third set put Nebraska up 10-2. A kill by Wilberger allowed Nebraska a 16-7 lead and forced Minnesota to use a timeout. The Huskers stretched their lead to 10 at 20-10, and did not look back. Nebraska went on to take the third set 25-15.
Werth recorded five kills on eight attacks in the third set, as Mancuso had four kills and seven digs. Cook guided NU offensively with 14 assists, helping Nebraska to a .325 hitting percentage. Both Werth and Dykstra had five digs, guiding Nebraska to a team total of 20. The Huskers' three blocks helped hold Minnesota to a .091 hitting percentage.
The momentum was completely with the Huskers in the fourth set as they went up 6-3 on a kill by Delano. Minnesota came back to tie the set at eight and again at 11, but Nebraska used a four-point streak to go up 15-11. The Huskers pieced together four consecutive points again for a 20-13 advantage late in the fourth set. A kill by Mancuso clinched the 25-16 fourth-set victory for Nebraska and helped them take the match 3-1.
Mancuso led NU with five kills on 11 attacks in the fourth set, as Delano had four kills of her own. Cook notched 14 assists as NU hit .333 and had 24 team digs. Minnesota hit just .089 had had only 15 team digs and one team block.