LINCOLN, Neb. – The No. 5 Nebraska volleyball team fell 3-1 (21-25, 25-21, 21-25, 19-25) to No. 3 Wisconsin on Friday night in front of 8,255 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
The Huskers fell to 24-4 overall and 16-3 in the Big Ten, while Wisconsin improved to 24-3 overall and 18-1 in the Big Ten. The Badgers clinched the outright Big Ten championship with the win.
Kaitlyn Hord had a season-high 13 kills and hit .500 for the Huskers to go with four blocks. Lindsay Krause had 12 kills on .370 hitting, while Ally Batenhorst contributed 10 kills. Bekka Allick had nine kills to go with a match-high six blocks.
The Badgers hit better than the Huskers (.235 to .200) and had two more kills (57-55). Wisconsin also served three more aces and committed one fewer service error. Blocks were even at 10-10, while the Huskers had a 66-62 edge in digs.
Devyn Robinson had 16 kills and hit .323, while Sarah Franklin had 12 kills for Wisconsin.
Set 1: A slow start put the Huskers in a 4-0 hole to begin the set. Wisconsin built the lead to seven, 12-5, but back-to-back kills by Batenhorst cut it to five, 13-8. But the Badgers built the lead to 22-13 after a 9-5 spurt. Hord then started a 5-0 Husker run with a kill. Batenhorst had two kills around a block by Hord and Whitney Lauenstein, and Lauenstein finished the run with a kill. But two Husker service errors down the stretch dashed hopes of completing the comeback, as Wisconsin won 25-21.
Set 2: The teams went back and forth evenly throughout set two, but it was the Huskers who claimed a 15-14 lead at the media timeout after back-to-back kills by Krause. Wisconsin regained a 16-15 lead, however, but Krause terminated to tie the score again. Three straight attacking errors by Wisconsin preceded an ace by Rodriguez that made it 21-18 Huskers after a 4-0 run. Batenhorst added a kill and then a block with Allick to make it 23-19 Big Red, and Allick finished off the set with a kill for a 25-21 win.
Set 3: The third set was tightly contested as well with Wisconsin holding a 15-14 lead at the media break after an ace by Shanel Bramschreiber. Krause had two kills and Hord tallied one to stay even with the Badgers at 17-17, but kills by Julia Orzol and Robinson made it 19-17 Wisconsin. A pair of net violations by the Badgers kept NU within striking distance at 20-19, but kills by Robinson and Anna Smrek made it 22-19 Wisconsin. Allick answered with a kill and a block with Krause to get within 22-21, but a Husker service error was followed by an Orzol kill for set point for Wisconsin. The Badgers ended it at 25-21 with a block.
Set 4: Wisconsin led 8-4 when Madi Kubik had a two kills, and Lauenstein and Hord teamed up for a block to help the Huskers even the score at 8-8. But the Badgers scored the next six points to take a 14-8 lead. The Badgers built the lead to 19-11, but the Huskers fought back to within four, 22-18, after kills by Krause, Kubik and Hord. But NU could get no closer, as Wisconsin went on to win, 25-19.
Up Next: Nebraska hosts No. 9 Minnesota on Saturday at 8 p.m. in the final match of the regular season. The Huskers will hold their Senior Night ceremony after the match.