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Nebraska Athletics | October 22, 2016

No. 1 Nebraska takes care of No. 4 Wisconsin in 3 sets

  Nebraska showed why it is No. 1, displaying top form in a sweep of Wisconsin.

LINCOLN, Neb. — The top-ranked Nebraska volleyball team put together one of its most dominant performances of the season in a 25-21, 25-22, 25-15 sweep of No. 4 Wisconsin before a season-high crowd of 8,476 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Friday night.

Nebraska (17-1, 8-1 Big Ten) never trailed in the sweep and hit .330 against the Badgers (15-3, 7-2 Big Ten), who had been holding opponents to a .163 average this season. The Huskers limited Wisconsin to .179 hitting.

The Huskers are 6-0 in their last six matches against top-five opponents dating back to last season, the longest stretch in school history of consecutive wins against top-five teams. Nebraska also has swept its last three top-five opponents, which has never been done in NU history.

Amber Rolfzen's career-high 16 kills came on .609 hitting, and her fellow middle blocker Briana Holman had seven kills and six blocks on .400 hitting. The Husker middles combined for 23 kills on .526 hitting. 

Kadie Rolfzen chipped in nine kills and eight digs, and Mikaela Foecke pounded seven kills. Andie Malloy struck for six kills and three blocks, and Kelly Hunter had 41 assists to lead the Husker attack.

Justine Wong-Orantes had 15 digs and Annika Albrecht had eight to lead the Huskers to a 48-38 edge against the Big Ten's top digging team entering the match. NU outblocked Wisconsin 10 to 5.5 

Tionna Williams had 11 kills for the Badgers. 

Set 1: Nebraska built a 7-4 lead by forcing four Badger attacking errors early in the set. Wisconsin drew even at 10-10 before kills by Kadie Rolfzen and Holman restored a two-point lead at 12-10. After Wisconsin again tied the set at 12-12, the Huskers got two more kills from Kadie Rolfzen and one from Malloy for a 15-12 lead at the media timeout. An Amber Rolfzen tip kill after a timeout immediately forced a Badger timeout with the Huskers ahead 16-12. The Huskers turned to Amber Rolfzen throughout the set, and her fifth kill on her fifth swing, followed by a Kelly Hunter kill made it 21-16 Big Red. An ace by Hunter increased the lead to 23-17, but the Badgers scored the next four points to cut it to 23-21. After a timeout, Nebraska got a clutch dig from Albrecht to keep a rally alive, which Kadie Rolfzen terminated for set point. The Badgers hit wide to give NU the 25-21 win. 

Set 2: Amber Rolfzen's eighth kill on her eighth swing gave the Huskers a 7-5 lead in the second frame. A kill and subsequent ace by Foecke made it 10-7 Huskers, and a pair of stuffs by Hunter and Amber Rolfzen helped build a 16-11 NU lead. Amber Rolfzen posted her 10th kill to put the Huskers up 21-15. The Badgers pulled within 22-19 with a 4-1 run, but a stuff block by Hunter and Amber Rolfzen out of a timeout gave the Huskers a 23-19 edge. Amber Rolfzen gave NU set point, 24-20, and the Huskers earned the 25-22 victory after Wisconsin hit long. The Huskers had five blocks in the set. 

Set 3: A Holman kill and Badger hitting error, followed by a Holman and Foecke block gave the Huskers a 3-0 start. Nebraska piled on to the tune of a 9-1 lead with Holman adding two more kills and three more blocks. The Huskers never let the Badgers get closer than five points the rest of the way and hit .464 in the final frame. 

Up next: The Huskers host No. 3 Minnesota on Sunday at 1 p.m. on Big Ten Network. The Golden Gophers survived in five sets at Iowa Friday night. 

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