Posted 7 months ago
By Robert Lovell
The White won the first three sets (25-10, 29-27, 25-19) before the Red captured set four by a score of 25-19. Five Huskers finished with double-figure kills in the match, led by a trio of outstanding performers on the White squad. Junior Meghan Haggerty produced a match-high 16 kills on just 32 swings, while also totaling a match-high seven blocks. Classmate Alicia Ostrander produced 15 kills on .316 hitting, while freshman Annika Albrecht impressed in her debut, recording a double-double with 14 kills and 11 digs. Libero Justine Wong-Orantes added a match-high 21 digs for the White squad.
Leading the Red was junior Kelsey Fien and sophomores Melanie Keil and Kadie Rolfzen. Fien finished with 11 kills while Keil added 10 kills on 16 swings, hitting .562. Rolfzen produced a double-double with 11 kills and 10 digs. Sophomore Amber Rolfzen led the Red with 13 digs, while junior Cecilia Hall totaled a team-high five blocks.
The White squad led the match in nearly every category. The White produced 13 more kills, five more digs and three more blocks than the Red. The White team hit .270 on the match with 11 blocks, while the Red squad attacked at a .156 clip with eight blocks.
In the true intra-squad scrimmage, the Red team featured Fien, Hall, Keil, the Rolfzen twins, senior Mary Pollmiller and sophomore libero Alexa Ethridge. The White squad included Haggerty, Ostrander, Albrecht and Wong-Orantes, along with sophomore Kelly Hunter, redshirt freshman Kira Larson and true freshmen Maddie Haggerty and Sydney Townsend. Freshman Olivia Boender sat out the match with an injury.
Nebraska also switched up its setters, as Pollmiller played with the Red squad in sets one and two, with Hunter playing for the Red in sets three and four.
The White team jumped out to an early 8-2 lead in set one and never looked back. Meghan Haggerty accounted for the first four points of the set with two kills and two blocks. Four of the Red’s first eight attacks were stuffed with Haggerty totaling four kills and Larson adding three blocks. A pair of kills and a block from Albrecht stretched the lead to 12-4 and the White continued to cruise behind Albrecht. Albrecht recorded her fourth kill on set point to close out a 25-10 victory. Albrecht finished the set with four kills on five error-free swings. White enjoyed a 5-2 edge in blocks in set one and an 11-4 edge in kills, hitting .409 compared to -.233 for the Red. All five White players who had an attack produced at least one kill, while Wong-Orantes produced seven digs.
The second set was much tighter as neither team led by more than two until the Red used a 5-1 run to grab a 13-10 advantage. The teams then traded sideouts until the White won four straight rallies to tie the set 17-16 lead on a Larson block. The Red came back to take a 19-18 lead but the back-and-forth set continued with the White regaining the lead at 20-19 on an Albrecht solo block. Albrecht’s 10th kill of the match gave White three set points at 24-21 but the Red fought back with three straight points to tie the set. The Red team earned its first set point at 26-25 following an ace from Keil. The White pulled even on a Haggerty kill following a timeout before Ostrander gave the White squad another set point at 27-26. The fifth match point proved to be the charm as an attack error gave White a 29-27 win. Albrecht led all Huskers with six kills in set five, while Haggerty put down five kills on eight swings and Ostrander added four kills. The Red out-hit the White .171 to .159 but four service errors hindered the Red’s chances to even the match.
Set three was tight as well. Fueled by a pair of kills from Pollmiller – who switched teams before set three – the White squad won three straight points to grab a 10-7 lead and force a Red timeout. The White held its small lead until three consecutive kills – including two from Keil – tied the set at 16. Following a timeout, the White won five consecutive rallies, grabbing a 21-16 lead on an Albrecht ace. The Red would get no closer than four down the stretch, as Larson closed out the set with a kill. The White hit .267 in the third set, compared to an .057 mark for the Red. Ostrander had six kills on 11 swings for the White, while Keil delivered four kills on seven swings with one block for the Red.
Despite White’s 3-0 lead, a fourth set was played. The Red team did not take its first lead until 15-4, but the squad closed the set on an 11-5 run to win the set. The Red hit .444 in the set, producing 18 kills on 36 swings. Kadie Rolfzen put down six kills on six swings, while Keil had five kills on six attacks. Haggerty led the White with five kills in set three.
Nebraska, ranked seventh in the preseason AVCA Top 25, opens the regular season on Friday at 7 p.m. against 13th-ranked Florida State at the Devaney Center as part of the AVCA Showcase.