The Nebraska volleyball team saw its season come to an end on Friday night at Hec-Edmundson Pavilion following a 3-1 loss (16-25, 25-20, 21-25, 27-29) to the Washington Huskies on their home floor.
The Huskers struggled to find a rhythm all night as they hit .173 and committed 10 service errors. Hannah Werth led the Huskers in kills with a season-high 16 kills and added 16 digs to notch her 10th double-double of the season. True freshman Morgan Broekhuis was the only other Husker with double-digit kills at 11.
Sydney Anderson piloted the Husker offense with 24 assists in her final match as a Husker, while she also added nine digs. Fellow senior Kayla Banwarth put up 17 digs and Brooke Delano added five blocks, including three solo stuffs.
Nebraska started the match on the right foot with back-to-back kills from Werth and Broekhuis, but Washington answered with its own pair of kills to even the set. The teams then met each other swing-for-swing and spilt the next 12 rallies before Kinda Carlson put away consecutive aces following a Husker error to give Washington an 11-8 lead, resulting in a Husker timeout.
Washington added one more point following the break before the Huskers won two straight rallies via kills by Jordan Wilberger and Broekhuis from Anderson. The Huskies went right back to scoring points with a 4-1 run, pushing their lead to six and forcing Head Coach John Cook to take his second timeout of the set.
Nebraska was then able to cut the lead to six on three occasions but could get no closer as the Huskies ran away with the first set, 25-16.
Washington could do no wrong in the first set as they hit .571 as a team, while Nebraska struggled to find its rhythm and hit .148. The Huskies only fault in the first came with their four service errors.
The Huskies continued to play well into the second set where they took the first three rallies before Werth got Nebraska on the board with a kill from Anderson. Washington went right back to scoring points with wins in five of the next seven rallies, resulting in an 8-3 lead and a Husker timeout.
Nebraska kept attacking and cut the Huskies’ lead to three at 11-8, but Washington responded with a kill and a block to push their advantage back to five. The Huskers stayed close and trimmed Washington’s lead to three on four more occasions and were pushed back on their first three tries, but would not be denied a fourth time.
With the Huskies up five, 18-13, UW’s Becky Perry committed a service error and then Tara Mueller took over for the Huskers. The senior from Scottsdale, Ariz., served eight straight points to put the Huskers up 22-18 as NU got two kills from Broekhuis as well as one each from Wilberger and Werth during the run.
Nebraska took three of the final five rallies to end the set on a 12-2 run and complete the comeback, evening the match at 1-1 with a 25-20 win in set two.
Washington took the lead again to start the third set, but Nebraska had a quick answer with a kill from Wilberger followed by back-to-back aces from Banwarth. The squads then split the next six rallies before Lauren Cook connected with Licht for a kill to push NU’s lead to two, 7-5.
The Huskers were able to grow the lead to three, 10-7, but Washington caught fire with a 4-0 run on the serve of Perry to retake the lead, 11-10.
A timeout from Cook slowed Perry’s momentum as she committed a service error out of the break and Werth followed with a kill to give Nebraska a 12-11 lead.
The set then became an back-and-forth battle as Washington tied the set six times before they overtook the Huskers the seventh time after a block from Carlson to take the lead 19-18. The Huskies held the lead the rest of the set, finishing it off 25-21.
Nebraska started the fourth set with a kill from Werth and an ace from Banwarth before UW got a kill from Lauren Barfield. After Washington took two of the next three rallies to tie the set at 3-3, Nebraska reeled off three straight, capped by a solo stuff from Delano, to double up the Huskies 6-3.
The Huskies responded with their own 3-0 run, but were unable to take the lead as Nebraska came back with wins in the next three rallies to take a 9-6 lead. The momentum then swung back in Washington’s favor as they won four of the next six rallies to trim Nebraska’s lead to 11-10 and forced a Nebraska timeout.
Just like in the second set, the Huskies continued to battle and eventually tied the set at 17-17, but they committed their 13th service error of the match on the next rally to put Nebraska back up one, 18-17.
Nebraska continued to hold a slight advantage until Washington got consecutive kills from Carlson and Perry to give them a 23-22 lead, resulting in a NU timeout.
The Huskers came out of the break poised on got a solo block and kill from Licht to retake the lead, 24-23, but Washington came right back with two of its own. The teams then traded the next two rallies before a Washington error and a kill from Broekhuis put the Huskers up one, 27-26.
Washington then took the next three rallies to finish the 3-1 win.
Nebraska ends the 2010 season with a final record of 29-3.