NEBRASKA WINS IT IN FIVE 🌽
WHAT A MATCH! It wasn't always pretty, but the Huskers pulled out a huge five-set win over the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday night. The Huskers showed some serious grit, finding a way to pull out the win despite a ton of errors that were sloppy at times. Head coach John Cook after the match said the theme of this team, this year, has been to be "two points better." And that is exactly what they were able to do in this match.
Madi Kubik led with 16 kills on .196 hitting, staying consistent throughout the match. Nebraska's defense, though, kept them going. The Huskers block came up big, led by the freshman Bekka Allick who posted eight total blocks. Both teams were plagued with errors — Nebraska had 22 attacking errors to OSU's 25, and the Huskers notched 15 service errors to OSU's 20. So the fact that the Huskers were able to scrape out a win while so high in error shows a lot — but even more so, the fact that Ohio State can go to five sets with a top-five team while posting 50-plus errors is even more impressive.
The Buckeyes were led by Jenaisya Moore, who had an incredible night. She posted 21 kills on .300 hitting — the best hitting percentage of any hitter on the night by far. Here is how it went down in the fifth set:
With the Buckeyes up 11-9, the Huskers went on a 3-0 run to take the lead. Whitney Lauenstein was a huge spark — starting the run with a BIG swing and then following it up with a solo block on the very next play. The Huskers defense at this point of the match was INSANE. Lexi Rodriguez was absolutely laying out for balls and keeping her team in the game. At this point, the Nebraska crowd was on its feet. It was the Buckeye's 20th service error of the match, though, that gave Nebraska match point. Then, the Huskers did it behind a monster play from their leader, when Kubik went up for a huge solo block to seal the victory.
Nebraska takes fourth set 25-20
We are headed to five!!! The Huskers showed some fight as they took the fourth must-win set by a score of 25-20.
Madi Kubik has been the one consistent player for Nebraska all night, and quite frankly, all season. She is the ONLY Nebraska hitter hitting above .200 on the match, as we see a plethora of errors from everyone. She was a huge spark and came up with some big points towards the end of the must-win fourth set — when her team needed it most. Kubik is up to 15 kills, followed by Lindsay Krause with eight (but on .000 hitting).
The Huskers went on a 4-1 run to close out the fourth set and force a fifth. The story of the night has been errors, so let's see how the fifth set shakes out.
OSU takes 2-1 lead with a big set 3 win
The Buckeyes have taken a 2-1 lead on the match with a big 25-19 win in set 3. The Huskers again hit under .100 on the set. Jenaisya Moore has been lighting it up, with 13 kills. Emily Londot follows with 12 kills and Gabby Gonzalez chipped in 10. The Buckeyes are out-digging the Huskers with 54 digs on the match to Nebraska's 37.
The OSU domination continued into the back half of the set, as they went up 17-10. They consistently kept the lead until Nebraska went on a 4-0 run to get within two, down 20-18. But the Buckeyes answered back immediately with a 4-0 run of their own to pick up set point. The two teams then alternated service errors and the Buckeyes took set 3. The Huskers will now face a must-win fourth set.
OSU leads in set 3
The Huskers opened up set 3 with a dominating 5-0 run, with it all going in their favor. But, out of a timeout, OSU went on an 11-3 run to take an 11-8 lead. The Huskers were up 8-7 before OSU scored four consecutive unanswered points for the lead. The set has been really sloppy, though. A lot of attacking errors across the board. The Huskers are hitting -.133 in the third set.
We are tied up 1-1, OSU takes set 2
What a set two. The end of that set went down to the wire as the Huskers just wouldn't go away. OSU finally won the set 26-24, but had to fight for every single point. The Huskers were much higher in error this set, and are now hitting a low .096 on the match.
The Buckeyes were the first to 20, when the Huskers went on a 3-0 run to get within three — with OSU up 20-17. Londot kept working to get the Buckeyes within two of set two, up 23-18, but Nebraska again went back-to-back-to-back to get within two. OSU called a timeout, and Jenaisya Moore tooled one off the block to give the Buckeyes set point. The Huskers did not give in, though, with a huge Kubik kill and Whitmey Lauenstein kill to get within one, before Lexi Rodriguez had a huge service ace to tie it up at 24. The Buckeyes picked up their fourth set point and then finally got it done when Kubik sent one wide.
We are pretty even in set 2
We are point-for-point in set two. There have been countless ties as the two teams practically alternate points. Lindsay Krause and Madi Kubik have been leading the way for the Huskers big-time, with five kills apiece. Jenaisya Moore is up to eight kills on a little over .200 hitting for the Buckeyes. OSU has minimized the errors in the second compared to the first, which is why the score is so even right now. The Buckeyes took a one-point lead right before the 15-point break — up 15-14.
Nebraska takes 1-0 lead
Nebraska takes a 1-0 lead on the match after a 25-22 win in the first set. The Buckeyes never once took the lead in the entire set. Ohio State racked up nine attacking errors and seven service errors. They actually had 14 kills compared to the Huskers eight, but Nebraska out-blocked OSU.
The Buckeyes went back-to-back with a Jenaisya Moore kill and Emily Londot block to get within two late in the match — down 22-20. Out of a timeout. Whitney Lauenstein came up with a huge block for the Huskers. Londot hammered one down for the Buckeyes, but then followed that up with a service error to give the Huskers set point. Moore fought off one set point, but then yet another service error gave the Huskers set one.
Check out this monster block from Lindsay Krause ⬇️
Nebraska leads mid-way through set 1
The Huskers are in the drivers seat right now, about mid-way through the set. The Buckeyes are significantly struggling with errors, both attacking and service errors. In turn, they are hitting a low .091 to Nebraska's .263. The Huskers offense is looking balanced so far, with three players with two kills. Nebraska took a 19-14 lead on a 6-2 run.
Nebraska vs. Ohio State, previewed
You'd think maybe the Buckeyes would get a break after their crazy-difficult non-conference schedule. But no, they play in the Big Ten and have Nebraska right out of the gates. The Buckeyes are 5-4 on the season, and when you look at how tough their schedule has been, you might honestly understand it. They did pull out three good wins over Louisville, BYU and Georgia Tech, and just when it seemed like they were on the rise, they were just swept by Pitt last weekend. They did open up Big Ten play with a straight sweep over Iowa, however. Nebraska too is looking for a big ranked win. They likely did not take kindly to losing to Stanford in Week 4. They followed it up with a sweep over Kentucky, and remained as a top-three team in the country. But a win over a top-10 team would further solidify that spot.
It is also important to note that the Huskers have been without Ally Batenhorst, who was big for them last season as a freshman. Whitney Lauenstein has been on absolute fire offensively, and Kaitlyn Hord had a big game for the Huskers last week. Ohio State has one of the best setters in the nation in Mac Podraza.
Nebraska is 17-9 all-time against Ohio State, though the Buckeyes have won the last two matches. Ohio State beat Nebraska in Columbus last year on Nov. 6, 27-25, 25-21, 25-23. The Buckeyes also won in Lincoln on March 13, 2021 in five sets. The Huskers are 6-5 against Ohio State in matches played in Lincoln.
How to watch
Who: No. 3 Nebraska vs. No. 7 Ohio State
Where: Bob Devaney Sports Center, Lincoln Nebraska
When: Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. ET
How to watch: BTN+
Nebraska ranks No. 3 in latest Power 10
Current AVCA rankings