Huskers Stuff Ducks to Advance to NCAA Regional

Nebraska-Volleyball-HuskersLincoln – An outstanding night from Kadie Rolfzen and the Husker block powered the eighth-seeded Nebraska volleyball team to a 3-0 sweep over 25th-ranked Oregon in a second-round NCAA Tournament match Saturday night in front of 8,012 fans at the Devaney Center.

With the 25-22, 25-19, 25-22 win, Nebraska (25-6) advances to next Friday’s NCAA Regional Semifinal at the Devaney Center against either No. 9 seed San Diego or Arizona.

The Huskers, who swept a ranked opponent for the fifth time this season, stuffed the Ducks 13 times on Saturday, holding the fast-paced Oregon offense to a .144 attack percentage. Nebraska hit .291 as four players hit .333 or better and six Huskers had at least five kills.

Kadie Rolfzen, essentially making her postseason debut after playing only the back row in Friday’s win over Fairfield, produced match-high totals of 15 kills and 17 digs. Rolfzen hit .333 on the match while recording her 12th double-double of the year. Her twin sister Amber produced five kills and Kelsey Robinson totaled eight kills. Middle blockers Meghan Haggerty and Cecilia Hall combined for 11 kills on only 20 swings, highlighted by five kills on eight error-free swings from Hall, who hit .625. Haggerty and Hall also contributed six blocks apiece. Setter Mary Pollmiller recorded five kills and dished out 36 kills, just missing a double-double with nine digs.

Liz Brenner led Oregon (20-12) with 14 kills. Canace Finley added seven kills, while Lauren Plum totaled 35 assists and Amanda Benson recorded 11 digs.

In set one, Oregon used an early 5-1 run to build a three-point lead. The teams then traded sideouts for the next 11 rallies before Nebraska closed to within one at 11-10, pulled even at 12-12 and regained the lead at 13-12, forcing a Duck timeout. Nebraska extended its run to 6-1 after the timeout, and the Huskers stretched their lead to three at 21-18 following their fifth block of the set. Nebraska pushed its advantage to four before the Ducks won consecutive points to trim the lead to 23-21 and force a Husker timeout. A Brenner kill following the timeout pulled Oregon within one before a Pollmiller kill and a block gave the Huskers a 25-22 opening set win. NU recorded six blocks in the set and received five kills from Kadie Rolfzen.

Set two featured nine ties in the first 18 rallies, as neither team led by more than one until the 20th rally of the set. Nebraska trailed eight times early, but took the lead with five consecutive points as part of a larger 13-3 run gave the Huskers a 21-12 lead. The Ducks committed five hitting errors during the run, while Robinson had three kills in the spurt. Oregon cut into the nine-point lead with a 7-2 run that trimmed the lead to four, but Nebraska won the final two rallies of the set to earn a 25-19 victory. NU had five more blocks in the second set and produced 16 kills on a .317 hitting percentage.

Oregon won four of the first five rallies of set three, and the Ducks still led by three at 11-8. Nebraska then won four of the next five rallies to tie the set at 12-12. The Huskers took their first lead of the set three rallies later and led 18-14 following an 8-2 run that was capped by back-to-back Kadie Rolfzen kills. Three straight Oregon points quickly trimmed the lead to one before the Huskers answered with five straight points to take a 23-17 lead. The Ducks continued to fight, winning four straight rallies to pull within two. Nebraska ended the run with another Kadie Rolfzen kill, then closed out the 25-22 win on the Huskers’ second match point.