No. 2 Nebraska Stiffles Oklahoma
NORMAN, Okla. - Second-ranked Nebraska used strong blocking and a balanced attack, sweeping Oklahoma, 25-21, 25-16, 25-13, Saturday night.
The Huskers (20-0, 11-0 Big 12) hit a conference-high .340 on the night, including over .400 in each of the last two sets en route to posting their seventh straight sweep. Jordan Larson paced a Husker attack with 12 kills and 10 digs for her sixth double-double of the season, while Lindsey Licht, Amanda Gates and Tara Mueller chipped in eight kills apiece for the winners.
Nebraska's .340 hitting percentage marked the ninth time this season that NU hit over.300, as its .340 hitting percentage was its best in a conference match this season.
"I was really pleased with how we finished each set and focused on our side of the net," Nebraska Coach John Cook said. "Our focus was to get our middles and right sides to attack well, and we did a really nice job of that tonight."
Gates and Kori Cooper both enjoyed big nights, as Gates finished with a season-best .700 hitting percentage, drilling eight kills in 10 swings, while Cooper had six kills and hit .500 on the night. In all, the two middles combined for 14 kills and one error on 22 swings and seven blocks.
While NU enjoyed one of its best offensive nights of the year, the Huskers matched a season-best with 12 blocks in a three-set match, as Licht totaled five stuffs, including a trio of solos, while Sydney Anderson and Gates chipped in four blocks each. Nebraska held Oklahoma to .075 hitting, as Kayla Banwarth totaled 15 digs, while Mueller and Larson also reached double figures in digs.
Nebraska's defense keyed a strong first set, as the Huskers took charge late in a 25-21 victory. NU totaled five blocks, including three from Licht, and totaled 19 digs to hold Oklahoma to .071 hitting. NU built an early lead, using a 7-3 spurt to take a 13-19 lead after Kayla Banwarth's ace. Nebraska led 14-11, but Oklahoma came right back with four straight points, taking a 15-14 lead on consecutive aces from Caitlin Higgins to force a Husker timeout. Nebraska came back behind Licht, who had two kills and a solo stuff in a 5-1 Husker spurt, as her solo block and kill gave NU a 19-16 lead. Trailing 20-18, Oklahoma fought back scoring the next two points to tie the score at 20-all after a Sarah Freudenrich. The Nebraska would take over the set as two kills by Larson and a Mueller kill put the Huskers up 23-20 and forced the Sooners to take their second timeout. NU eventually got the lead to 24-20, as Cooper and Anderson combined for a stuff block and closed out the 25-21 victory moments later.
Nebraska put it all together in the second set, hitting. 464 as a team in 25-16 victory. Mueller led the charge with five kills on seven swings, while Larson and Licht chipped in three kills apiece. Trailing 5-4, Mueller and Cooper led a 7-1 surge with two kills apiece, as NU took a 11-6 lead after a Cooper kill. Oklahoma fought back, pulling to within 14-10, but Nebraska extended the lead to 17-10 after kills from Amanda Gates and Licht before the duo combined on a stuff block. OU got as close as 20-14, but kills from Mueller and Gates and a solo stuff by Anderson pushed the NU lead to nine points and helped send the Big Red into the locker room with a 2-0 lead.
Nebraska continued to fire on all cylinders offensively, hitting .433 in a 25-13 victory. Gates had five kills on six swings, while Larson had four kills on .500 hitting. The set was close early before Gates and Anderson sparked a 4-0 run, turning a one-point lead into a 14-9 cushion to force a Sooner timeout. Gates then continued the run, slamming home a pair of kills before Larson's kill made it 17-10 and put the set out of reach.
Freudenrich led Oklahoma (8-12, 4-8 Big 12) with eight kills, as the Sooners were held under .100 hitting in all three sets.
The Huskers wrap up their two-match road trip on Wednesday, Oct. 29, as they travel to Boulder, Colo., for a matchup with the Colorado Buffaloes. First serve from the Coors Center is set for 7:30 p.m. and the match will be carried across the state on the Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and Twister 93.3 FM in Omaha, and on Huskers.com. In addition, the match will be video streamed live on HuskersNside.
Article courtesy of Nebraska athletics.