No. 1 Nebraska tops No. 18 Volleyball
LINCOLN, Neb. -- The 18th-ranked Texas volleyball team saw its season-best six match winning streak come to an end as top-ranked Nebraska earned a three-game victory over the Longhorns, 30-24, 30-20, 30-26, on Saturday evening at the NU Coliseum.
Texas (12-3, 6-2 Big 12) hit a season-low .123 in the match as Nebraska hit .311, the best mark by a UT opponent this season, and the only effort above .300.
Nebraska (18-0, 9-0 Big 12), which has won the last 12 meetings between the two teams dating back to 1999, also extended its winning streak against teams from the state of Texas to 48 matches and its home winning streak to 24 matches.
The Huskers entered the match as the national leaders in blocks per game - at 4.19 per game - but collected only 10 for the match. NU was also ranked third nationally in hitting percentage and fourth in kills per game. The Huskers top the Big 12 Conference in all three categories.
Leticia Armstrong had a team-best 12 kills for Texas, and was the only Horn to reach double figures in kills. However, after the first game in which she swung for eight kills, Nebraska contained the sophomore middle blocker to just four kills in the final two games.
Christian matched a career high with 10 digs, while Kiley Hall also chipped in 10 in the loss. Alyson Jennings saw her eight-match double-figure dig streak end as she was credited with seven on the night.
Jordan Larson led a trio of players in double figures for Nebraska as she hit 13 on the night, to go with eight digs. Sarah Pavan had 12 kills and three blocks, while Melissa Elmer added 11 kills and six blocks in the victory. Christina Houghtelling had a match-high 13 digs, while Dani Busboom had 10. Jennifer Saleaumua had eight kills and six digs, as well of one of the match's two aces.
The loss was Texas' first three-game defeat of the season.
The Longhorns fell behind by three points right out of the gate in the first game, allowing the Huskers to maintain a slim advantage through the first half the game. Texas came back and tied the score at 13-13 and then took the lead on an NU attack error, but after a media timeout at 15-14, Nebraska came out and rattled off four-straight points to regain the lead for good.
UT hung close - within four points - until Nebraska came out of a Texas-called timeout and went on a 3-1 run behind two Houghtelling kills and a UT error to push its lead to six points. A Texas attack error gave the Huskers game point, and a Texas service error handed game one to the hosts.
In the second game, Nebraska used another early run and rode Elmer to set the tone for the frame. NU pulled out to a 6-1 lead, anchored by Elmer's three kills and one block, to move ahead. Texas got within four points three more times before the Huskers began to pull away.
Nebraska, continuing to ride Elmer's emergence (seven total kills, three blocks in the game), pushed its lead to eight points four different times before extending its advantage to 10 points at 28-18 with a Pavan kill. An Armstrong kill and a Saleaumua attack error pulled UT back within eight points at 28-20, but Tracy Stalls' first kill of the night gave the Huskers game point. NU took a 2-0 lead into intermission when Armstrong's slide attack sailed long on game point.
Texas scored the first two points of game three before Nebraska used a Larson kill and a UT ball handling error to tie the score. From there, the teams played through four more ties before Texas gained a one-point lead at 9-8 on an Acevedo kill. UT pushed its lead to a match-best three points behind three straight NU errors, forcing the Huskers to call a timeout. The Longhorns continued to maintain a slight lead until Elmer and Saleaumua kills tied the score at 15.
The teams played through five ties and three lead changes before a UT attack error gave NU the lead for good. An Elmer kill on an overpass put the Huskers up by two points, and coming out of a UT timeout, Nebraska went on a brief 3-1 run to push its advantage to four points at 26-22. Christian came up with three kills down the stretch to pull Texas to within three points before a Larson attack error cut Nebraska's lead down to two points. The rally was short-lived, however, as Houghtelling and Larson had back-to-back kills to gave Nebraska the game and the match.
The Longhorns return to action on Wednesday, Oct. 19, when they travel to Lubbock for a 7 p.m. match at Texas Tech.