Grand Island, Neb. – In front of a sold-out crowd of 6,006 at the Heartland Events Center, the Nebraska volleyball team put on an impressive display in a 25-13, 25-11, 25-23 sweep against Kansas State on Saturday night.
Playing against a veteran Wildcat squad that reached the NCAA Tournament last season, the Huskers came out blazing and took care of the Wildcats in three sets in NU’s only spring exhibition match of 2015.
Kadie Rolfzen had 12 kills and Alicia Ostrander had 10. Kelsey Fien had nine kills and five blocks, and Amber Rolfzen had four kills and nine blocks. The Huskers outblocked Kansas State 16-4 and outhit them .294 to .036.
Sophomore setter Kelly Hunter filled the stat sheet for the Big Red. Taking over for Mary Pollmiller, Hunter tallied 33 assists, 14 digs, four blocks and two kills.
Kylee Zumach led Kansas State with 11 kills. Grand Island Central Catholic product Katie Brand had 25 assists and six digs in her homecoming.
The Huskers took control of set one with a 5-1 run to go up 8-5. NU pushed its lead to 12-7 by smashing eight kills on its first 15 attacks with no errors. A kill by Kadie Rolfzen and three consecutive Husker blocks put NU up 21-12. Hunter and Cecilia Hall teamed up to end the set with another block, 25-13. NU hit .500 in the first set with 14 kills and just one error. The Huskers had seven blocks in the frame.
In the second set, the Huskers gained momentum about the same time they did in the first set. After falling behind 3-1, the Huskers went on an 8-2 run to take a 9-5 lead after back-to-back kills by Fien. After a Wildcat timeout, Kadie Rolfzen served up an ace and Fien killed again for an 11-5 lead. Another kill by Fien and block with Hall led to a 15-8 Husker advantage. Kills by Hall and Ostrander then made it 17-9. The Huskers continued to blast away and won the set, 25-11. Through two sets, NU totaled 31 kills with just five errors.
In the third set, Olivia Boender’s kill ignited a 5-0 run to put NU up 7-3. After the Wildcats got within 9-6, Boender recorded another kill to start a 3-0 run that gave the Huskers a 12-6 lead. The Huskers went up 17-10 but Kansas State rallied to tie it 18-18. Kadie Rolfzen killed for a 19-18 lead, and an Annika Albrecht ace made it 21-18. Amber Rolfzen pasted a kill for a 22-18 lead, and Kadie followed to make it 23-18. Kansas State made it interesting by pulling within 24-23, but the match ended when Kansas State served long.