Huskers sweep Red Raiders

After losing their first home game since 2004 against UCLA Sunday, the eighth ranked Huskers battled the Texas Tech Red Raiders in their first Big 12 Conference game of the season Wednesday night at the Coliseum.

Set 1

          The first two points of the set canceled each other out as a kill into the net from Texas Tech was quickly followed by a service error from Sydney Anderson.  A triple block from Lindsey Licht, Jordan Wilberger, and Hannah Werth was only one of three blocks for the Huskers in the opening set. Nebraska led the entire first set but the Red Raiders were able to stop Wilberger with only three attacking attempts. One of the best points of the game came right after a Texas Tech time-out where the Huskers managed to dig the ball out of the net after a bad pass and sent it flying back over to the Red Raiders who couldn't respond. There was a hole in the center of the court for Nebraska this set and Texas Tech seemed to find that spot often as the Huskers' defense struggled to cover it. Brooke Delano led the Huskers with four kills and 5.5 points for the set. After three tries, the Red Raiders gave Nebraska their final point, 25-16.

Outstanding Player: Brooke Delano

. Set 2

            The second set didn't start off the way it should have after the Huskers' easy win in set one.  With two huge blocks during the first point and another in the second, Texas Tech was able to steal the momentum from the red and white. Four hits, a long tip from Anderson, and wide attacks from Mueller and Licht, didn't help Nebraska's 3-7 score. Newcomers Allison McNeal and Kaitlynn James, were pulled off the bench to try and put an end to the Huskers' trailing score. They had their shining moments but their lack of on-court experience made it difficult for them to hold up strong blocks against the Red Raiders' dominating kills. Texas Tech's blocks put Mueller and Licht at unusual negative hitting percentages proving that the Red Raiders found a way to stop some of Nebraska's best players.  Throughout the set, Nebraska kept climbing closer to Texas Tech's points and a kill from Wilberger to tie the set at 14 was what the Huskers needed to get them fired up. Hitting and service errors from Texas Tech gave Nebraska the points they needed. A kill from Wilberger in front of the ten foot line and an ace from Mueller put the Huskers up 21-20. Nebraska and Texas Tech battled back and forth for the last few points but Nebraska grabbed the win with a much needed kill from Delano to end the set 25-23.  

                                  Outstanding Player:  Brooke Delano

                                                          Set 3

            A completely different Nebraska team came out to play the third set and there was nothing that Texas Tech could do to stop them. Fundamental errors from the Red Raiders put the Huskers up 4-0. Werth was consistent at breaking through the block on the outside and earned a .500 hitting percentage. An ace from Delano put Nebraska up 13-5 and forced the Red Raiders to take a time-out. James came into the game and earned her second kill of the night while Megan Pendergast came off the bench with something to prove. Pendergast's six consecutive serves sent Texas Tech fighting just get the ball back over the net in one hit. When she was done, Pendergast had brought the Huskers to a 22-7 advantage. Mancuso was strong in the back row and had numerous kills from the middle back position, a spot Texas Tech wasn't expecting her to hit from. She had one of the highest hitting percentages of the game at .750. Delano slammed down a kill to end the third set quickly, 25-11.

           

Outstanding Player: Hannah Werth

Outstanding Off-Bench Players: Megan Pendergast, Gina Mancuso

 

Overall

          Consistency wasn't Nebraska's strong point in this game, especially in the second set. There were good times, followed by many bad times and that trend seemed to follow them until the third set. Mueller was silent for the majority of the game and her stats prove it. She was negative in attacking percentage the second and third sets and had no blocks in those sets either. Delano seemed to take over for her and had many strong hits throughout the night. She seemed to be the reliable attacker and kept her team fighting when it seemed like Texas Tech would take the second set. McNeal and James came off the bench with enthusiasm when Nebraska was doing their worst and proved that they have the ability to add points when needed most. With more playing time, they will be two players to watch in the future. Pendergast's serving was the highlight of the evening and was exactly what the Huskers needed after such a tough second set. She received a standing ovation from the crowd; something Delano told her hadn't been since Jordan Larson broke a serving record. With much tougher Big 12 teams on their schedule, Nebraska will need to step up their defense and work on the fundamental elements like passing and serving. 

 

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