Lincoln, NE- Coming off a big homecoming football win Saturday, it was John Cook’s volleyball team looking to steal the spotlight on Sunday afternoon. After a slow start, the Nebraska Cornhuskers would go on to beat the Michigan Wolverines 3-1 and stay undefeated at home.
In the first set, the Michigan Wolverines jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead, which led to a timeout by Cook. A quick kill by Hayley Thramer seemed to get the crowd into it, but the Michigan defense stood its ground against the strong attacks of Hannah Werth and Gina Mancuso. A huge comeback by the Huskers would fall just short, led by Kelly Murphy who had five kills, as the Wolverines took the first set 25-21.
“It was (today’s game) was similar to last night, this is exactly what I told myself, now I know how Bo (Pelini) felt.” Cook said after the match. “We got blocked five times, we just couldn’t do anything.”
In a complete role reversal it was all Nebraska in the second set. The Huskers came out on fire jumping to an early 5-0 lead. Claire McElheny of Michigan tried to lead a comeback with nine kills, but the team of Broekhuis and Mancuso was too much as they combined for 16 kills in the second set. Freshman Meghan Haggerty continued to impress as she tallied 4 kills in the set. The Huskers registered a .548 hitting percentage in the second set, while Michigan was at .067. John Cook’s squad took the set 25-13.
“I think they realized they needed to crank it up a gear, Lauren gave us a big run and that gave us confidence, Gina got hoy, Morgan got hot…We just got the crowd into it, got the momentum and we were off from their.” said Cook.
It was more of the same in the second set as the Huskers attack was on fire. Jumping out to an early 4-0 lead, Nebraska would never look back, controlling the set most of the way. Claire McElheny was big again for Michigan with 10 kills but Broekhuis and Thramer were just too strong as they combined for 22 kills. Nebraska registered 13 blocks, while Michigan had eight. The Huskers would go on to take the set 25-17.
For the third straight set the Huskers would jump out to a quick 4-0 lead. This was far from easy though, as most of the set was back and forth. The Wolverines came out with a strong attack and challenged the Huskers defense down to the wire. Three straight points at the end of the match, would seal the deal for Nebraska as they would go on to take the set 25-21 and the match 3-1.
Nebraska will take on Purdue, this Friday in West Lafayette, Indiana.