Huskers sweep Hawkeyes on the road

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IOWA CITY, Iowa The No. 7 Nebraska volleyball team won its fourth straight Big Ten match with a 25-21, 25-18, 25-14 sweep at Iowa on Saturday night.

Nebraska (20-3, 12-2 Big Ten) hit a blistering .432 in the match - its second-best efficiency of the season - and held Iowa to .103 hitting. Lexi Sun led all players with 14 kills on .444 hitting, and Madi Kubik added nine kills, eight digs and hit .333 in her home state.

Lauren Stivrins had eight kills and five blocks and hit .600, and Jazz Sweet added nine kills with a .350 hitting percentage. Callie Schwarzenbach chipped in six kills and hit .455 while posting four blocks. All five Husker attackers hit better than .330 for the match. Nicklin Hames guided the Husker attack with 36 assists, a pair of kills and added six digs.

Defensively, Nebraska held Iowa to a -.067 hitting percentage in set two and .083 in set three. NU had a 9-2 advantage in blocks. The Huskers also out-dug Iowa, 31-25. Both teams had five aces. Sun and Kenzie Knuckles each had two for the Big Red.

Iowa (9-16, 3-11 Big Ten) got 12 kills from Griere Hughes.

Nebraska begins the final three weeks of the regular season at Michigan State next Wednesday at 6 p.m. (CT).

Set 1: Nebraska used a 4-0 run to take a 7-5 lead. Sun had two kills and combined with Stivrins for a block. The Hawkeyes answered with a 4-0 run of their own to go up 9-7. After Hames dumped a kill to the corner, Sun tallied Nebraska's next three kills to tie the score at 11-11. Iowa regained a 14-12 lead, but three kills by Stivrins and Kubik made it 15-14 Huskers before Iowa called a timeout. Iowa went back on top, 18-17, but back-to-back kills by Sun made it 19-18 Big Red. A pair of kills by Sweet kept NU in front, 21-20, and an Iowa ball-handling error put NU up two before a block by Stivrins and Kubik and an ace by Knuckles made it 24-20 Huskers. Stivrins clinched the set for the Huskers at 25-21, as NU finished it on a 5-1 run. Sun had eight kills on .353 hitting in set one. Hames had 16 assists on 19 Husker kills.

Set 2: NU fell behind 4-1, but a kill by Sweet started a 5-0 spurt that put the Huskers up 6-4. She also had a block with Schwarzenbach, and Kubik added a kill before an ace by Sun and solo block by Schwarzenbach had the Big Red in the lead. Another ace by Knuckles and an Iowa hitting error made it 9-5, and Kubik and Stivrins smashed kills to increase the lead to 12-6 after the 11-2 run. Sun unleashed four more kills, and Sweet added one as NU took control with a 21-12 lead. Schwarzenbach recorded a block with Sweet and added a kill before a solo block by Stivrins, and the Huskers won set two, 25-18, ending on another Stivrins kill. NU hit .542 in set two and held Iowa to -.067.

Set 3: The Huskers got off to a 5-1 start with kills by Sweet and Schwarzenbach, a block by Sun and Schwarzenbach, and an ace by Sun. Another block, this one by Stivrins and Kubik, preceded an Iowa hitting error and a kill by Kubik, which made it 9-3 Huskers. Kubik posted a kill and then served a 4-0 run, including an ace, to give NU a 13-4 lead. Schwarzenbach followed up a kill with a block with Sweet, and then Sweet tacked on a kill as NU went up by double digits, 18-8. The Huskers cruised to the sweep, 25-14.