The No. 3 ranked Nebraska volleyball team picked up its fifth-straight sweep with a win at Purdue on Wednesday night. Led by a career-high 12 kills from freshman middle blocker Bekka Allick on an outstanding .612 hitting percentage, the Huskers improved to 17-1 overall and remain the only undefeated team in the Big Ten at 9-0.
Senior Nicklin Hames dished out 21 assists while junior Anni Evans added 16. Allick praised the setters postgame for feeding her the ball.
“(My setters) put the ball right where I needed it,” Allick said. “If there was an error, they were giving it right back. It was just trust in each other.”
It was a back-and-forth battle throughout the first set, as neither side held larger than a one-point lead midway through. The Huskers jumped out first, going on a 4-0 run to take a 15-12 lead. Nebraska struggled behind the service line as they recorded five service errors in the set. They were able to overcome that, going on another 4-0 run late to give them a 21-17 advantage.
Allick stepped up late, recording three kills in four rallies to give the Huskers set point at 24-19. Sophomore outside hitter Ally Batenhorst finished off set one for Nebraska with the final kill to give them the 25-21 win.
The second set started similarly to the first with both teams trading side-outs. Nebraska then caught fire, going on a 5-0 run behind two kills by Batenhorst to take an 11-8 lead. The dominance continued throughout the set as a block by Allick and sophomore outside hitter Lindsay Krause gave the Huskers a 19-12 lead, their largest of the set.
While it looked like Nebraska would run away with set two, the Boilermakers responded with three straight kills to cut the lead to 20-15 and force a timeout by the Huskers. Allick came up once again for Nebraska, pounding her 10th kill of the night to give them the 25-20 win in set two.
Nebraska took control early in set three, going ahead 7-1. Sophomore outside hitter Whitney Lauenstein was a huge factor in that run as she recorded two kills, a block and an ace. Purdue responded with a 3-0 run of their own, which included two blocks, to trim the Husker lead to 9-5.
The Nebraska offense sparked late as Allick recorded her 12th kill of the night to give the Huskers a 20-12 lead. The Boilermakers didn’t back down, going on another 3-0 run to cut it to 23-16. The Purdue attack gave up a crucial point in the end, firing long on match point to give Nebraska the 25-18 win and the 3-0 sweep.
“I thought we played steady enough to win. We made enough plays to win but it wasn’t always pretty,” Nebraska head coach John Cook said. “Any time you win against a ranked team like this 3-0 at their gym, especially this gym, it’s a pretty good night.”
The Huskers were able to shut down Freshman Eva Hudson. She entered the match leading the Big Ten in kills per set and had won five Big Ten Freshman of the week honors and three player of the week honors. Hudson was the presumptive freshman of the year heading into this match.
“Bekka Allick may have something to say about that,” Cook said.
Senior outside hitter Madi Kubik added nine kills on the night while Batenhorst chipped in seven. Kubik also led the Huskers defensively, as she and sophomore libero Lexi Rodriguez both tallied nine digs.
Nebraska continues its three-game road stretch as they take on the Illinois Fighting Illini on Saturday. First serve is set for 6 p.m. in Champaign, Illinois.