LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska volleyball team opened the 2022 NCAA Tournament with a dominant sweep of Delaware State Thursday night at the Devaney Center. The No. 2 seed Huskers never trailed in the match and won each set by double digits.
In the 25-15, 25-9, 25-10 sweep, Nebraska limited Delaware State to a -.108 attack percentage, the second-lowest opponent attack percentage by a Husker opponent in the rally-scoring era, which dates back to 2001. Nebraska had 15 blocks, and Delaware State had 12 more errors (30) than kills (18). The Hornets’ 18 kills were the second-fewest by a Husker opponent in the rally-scoring era.
While Nebraska’s defense was strong – the Huskers had 56 digs to complement their 15 blocks – NU’s offense also impressed. The Huskers hit .341 against the nation’s No. 2 defense, and Nebraska was not blocked in the match, finishing with only five attacking errors, including just two over the final two sets.
Individually, Lindsay Krause had seven of her 10 kills in the third set, as she hit .500 and was the only player in the match to reach double-figure kills. Ally Batenhorst added eight kills and had two aces and two blocks. Kaitlyn Hord produced nine blocks, while Lexi Rodriguez led Nebraska with 19 digs, and she also served two aces. Kennedi Orr and Anni Evans each had 10 assists.
Alondra Maldonado led Delaware State with eight kills, while no other Hornet had more than three kills. All five Delaware State players who took more than six swings hit negative on the night.
Set 1: After a back-and-forth start to the set, the Huskers pulled away with a 6-1 run to go up 15-9. Krause and Hord had two blocks, and Hord had a kill before a Kubik ace. Delaware State cut it to 16-13, but Nebraska closed the set on a 9-2 run. Krause, Batenhorst, Allick and Mendelson had four kills in a row to push the lead to 20-13, and Maisie Boesiger ended the set on a three-point serving run, including an ace. Nebraska hit .250 and held Delaware State to .024.
Set 2: NU got off to a 5-0 start with kills by Kubik, Batenhorst and Krause. But the Hornets answered with four straight to get within one. With Nebraska ahead 9-8, Allick and Mendelson blocked a DSU attack and started an emphatic 16-1 run to finish the set. The Huskers had runs of 5-0, 7-0 and 9-0 in the set. Nebraska hit .545 in set two, while Delaware State hit -.156.
Set 3: The Huskers continued their dominance by sprinting to an 8-2 lead with Whitney Lauenstein and Hord recording a pair of blocks and Kubik tallying two kills. A kill by Krause helped the Huskers increase their lead to eight, 11-3, and after two DSU points, Nebraska scored seven points in a row via two Mendelson/Hord blocks and three kills by Krause. The Huskers finished off the sweep with a 25-10 win, outhitting the Hornets .290 to -.211 in the final set.
Up Next: Nebraska will face Kansas at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in the second round. The Jayhawks defeated the Miami Hurricanes, 25-17, 25-18, 25-20, on Friday afternoon. The match will be streamed on ESPN+ and can be heard on the Huskers Radio Network, Huskers.com and the Huskers app.