COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 2 Nebraska volleyball team avenged its only loss of the season by beating No. 19 Ohio State 3-1 (25-20, 25-20, 23-25, 27-25) in front of 2,608 fans at St. John Arena Friday night.
The Huskers (15-1, 6-1 Big Ten) beat the Buckeyes (12-7, 2-5 Big Ten) for the first time since 2013, snapping a string of three straight losses to OSU. In doing so, Nebraska won its 12th straight road match, its longest road winning streak since 2003 to 2005.
Kadie Rolfzen tied her career high with 21 kills with just two errors for a .413 hitting percentage. She also had 11 digs for her 44th career double-double. With her 21 kills, Rolfzen moved to No. 8 on NU’s career kills chart with 1,379.
Andie Malloy had 11 kills and two blocks, and Mikaela Foecke chipped in 10 kills, six digs and three blocks. Amber Rolfzen had eight kills and three blocks, and Briana Holman had seven kills and four blocks.
Kelly Hunter had 44 assists and a career-high 19 digs, as well as three kills. Justine Wong-Orantes recorded a season-high 23 digs and surpassed 1,600 for her career, joining Kayla Banwarth as the only Huskers to do so. Annika Albrecht had 10 digs, while Kenzie Maloney had nine, as the Huskers posted an 83-71 advantage in the category.
Nebraska outhit Ohio State .239 to .225 and had a 5-3 edge in aces. Ohio State had nine blocks to seven for the Huskers.
Ohio State got 19 kills and seven blocks from All-American Taylor Sandbothe. Audra Appold had 11 kills.
Set 1: Nebraska went on a 7-0 run to gain an 8-3 lead. Wong-Orantes served the run, while Kadie Rolfzen had a pair of kills and a block with Holman, and Amber Rolfzen and Malloy teamed up for a block. A solo stuff by Foecke and consecutive kills by Amber Rolfzen put the Huskers ahead 14-6, forcing Ohio State to use its second timeout of the set. The Huskers were holding OSU to -.267 hitting at that point. The Buckeyes trimmed an 18-11 deficit to 18-15 before committing a service error. An ace by Albrecht made it 22-17 Huskers. Kills by Kadie Rolfzen and Foecke gave NU set point, 24-18, and Holman ended the set in the Huskers’ favor, 25-20.
Set 2: The Huskers trailed 5-2 before a bad set by OSU and two kills by Malloy tied the set 5-5. A kill by Hunter that came after a video replay set off a 7-0 Husker run that would see them take control. A stuff block by Foecke and Holman evened the set at 9-9 before an ace by Hunter gave the Huskers their first lead of the set, 10-9. Holman and Kadie Rolfzen tacked on kills, and after OSU’s second timeout, the run extended to 7-0 with an OSU error and Foecke kill, making it 14-9. Kadie Rolfzen and Malloy later added kills to put the Huskers in front 17-10, pushing the Huskers’ spurt to 10-1. After the Buckeyes closed the gap to 21-18, Holman knocked home a kill, and she later combined with Kadie Rolfzen for a block and set point, 24-19, and Malloy pounded a kill for the 25-20 Husker win.
Set 3: After the Huskers took a quick 3-1 lead, Ohio State rallied to go ahead 5-3. Amber Rolfzen brought the Huskers within 9-8 with her fifth kill, but OSU answered with six straight points to go up 15-8. A service error ended the run, and Foecke followed with a kill to cut it to 15-10. Kadie Rolfzen cut the deficit to four, 16-12, with back-to-back kills, and a Malloy kill reduced the Buckeyes’ lead to 17-14. A dump by Hunter cut it to 19-17, but the Buckeyes won the next two rallies for a 21-17 lead. A kill by Foecke and an OSU attack error put the Huskers back within two at 22-20. The Huskers won another review to get within 22-21, as the officials ruled an attack by Kadie Rolfzen hit the floor. The Huskers drew even, 23-23, on another kill by Kadie Rolfzen, but Ohio State earned set point on a kill by Sandbothe and won 25-23 on an ace by Luisa Schirmer.
Set 4: OSU setter Taylor Hughes, who did not have a kill through the first three sets, struck for three kills early in set four to help OSU to an 8-5 lead. Albrecht and Sydney Townsend served aces to help the Huskers get even at 9-9, and Foecke blasted a kill for a 10-9 lead. Foecke and Holman then hammered down kills to make it 13-11. Ohio State tied it 13-13 after a successful challenge gave the Buckeyes a kill, but Kadie Rolfzen came right back with her 19th kill for a 14-13 lead. The teams traded sideouts until a kill by Schirmer gave OSU a 17-16 lead. Amber Rolfzen got a kill off the slide and with Townsend stepping to the service line, Ohio State hit long to put the Huskers back in front, 18-17. Foecke placed a shot just inside the back line to make it 19-17, and the Buckeyes hit wide to make it 20-17 Big Red after a 4-0 run. Foecke’s 10th kill made it 21-18, and Kadie Rolfzen took over with her 20th and 21st kills for a 23-19 lead. Malloy grabbed match point for Nebraska at 24-21 with her 10th kill, but the Buckeyes scored three straight to tie it 24-24. After two sidedouts, Malloy regained match point for the Huskers with a kill and then served her first ace as a Husker for the 27-25 win.
Up Next: The Huskers travel to face Maryland on Sunday at Noon (CT). The match will be carried on Huskers Sports Network affiliates, including News Channel Nebraska 1600 AM, 105.5 FM.