The No. 6 Nebraska volleyball team swept the Hawkeyes for the second time in a week as they cruised to a 25-14, 25-17, 25-14 three-set victory in Coralville Friday night. They improved to 37-0 all-time against Iowa.
Sophomore Kennedi Orr replaced junior Anni Evans as the second setter for the Huskers. It proved well as they outperformed Iowa in every statistical category. They outhit the Hawkeyes .330 to .093, out-dug them 55 to 34, and led in kills 44 to 27. Orr finished with 11 assists and eight digs.
“I was really proud of her tonight… Hopefully, we are going to build on this and Kennedi’s going to keep rising like a rocket,” head coach John Cook said postgame.
After a few back-and-forth rallies to begin set one, the Huskers took control. They ripped together a 7-0 run to jump ahead 13-5. The Hawkeyes responded, going on a 4-0 run of their own to cut the lead to 18-12 and force Nebraska to call a timeout. The Huskers cruised late, winning five of the final six points. Sophomore outside hitter Lindsay Krause finished the set off with her third kill of the night and Nebraska took the first set 25-14.
Iowa stayed with Nebraska early as it was tied 7-7. Senior outside hitter Madi Kubik recorded two kills to help the Huskers to a 3-0 run, to giving them a 13-10 edge. The Hawkeyes bounced back with three straight points to tie it at 13.
Freshman middle blocker Bekka Allick stepped up late, firing two blocks and a kill en route to a 5-0 Husker run to give them a 19-14 lead. It was all Nebraska the rest of the way. Sophomore outside hitter Ally Batenhorst finished off set two with a kill and the Huskers took the 25-17 win.
The Huskers started out hot in the third set, going on a 5-0 run to take a 6-1 lead and force Iowa to call a timeout. Nebraska continued to roll as another 3-0 run gave them a 15-10 advantage and forced the Hawkeyes to burn their final timeout.
Kubik pounded her 13th kill to extend the Husker lead to 22-12. Batenhorst came up clutch late, recording the final two kills to give Nebraska a 25-15 win in set three.
“They did a nice job tonight and took care of business,” Cook said.
Kubik led the Huskers offensively with 13 kills and .407 hitting percentage. Batenhorst also performed well, finishing with 11 kills. Krause rounded out the kills category with 10 and was the most efficient Husker hitter, hitting .471 on the night. Sophomore libero Lexi Rodriguez led defensively with 19 digs.
The Huskers will wrap up the regular season with three straight games at home. Everything is on the line in the final weekend of Big Ten play. Nebraska currently sits in seoncd place in the conference title race, one game behind Wisconsin. They will have a chance to finish on top as they host the Badgers and the Minnesota Golden Gophers this weekend.