Nebraska vs. Colorado - NCAA Volleyball Tournament Elite Eight, 12.8.2017

Nebraska middle blocker Lauren Stivrins (26) attacks the Colorado defense in first-set action of an NCAA Volleyball Tournament Elite Eight match at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky, on Friday. The Huskers won in straight sets.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Nebraska volleyball team used long serving runs, nine ace serves and efficient attacking to quickly and easily push aside Colorado 25-19, 25-11, 25-21 in an NCAA Sweet 16 match on Friday.

The fifth-ranked Huskers have won 16 straight matches, and will now play sixth-ranked Kentucky on Saturday at 3 p.m., with a spot in the Final Four waiting for the winner. Kentucky rallied to beat BYU in five sets in the first match of the Lexington Regional.

Nebraska advanced to the Elite Eight for the sixth straight season. If they’re able to win Saturday, it would mark the first time in program history that the Huskers have made the Final Four in three consecutive seasons.

Mikaela Foecke, Kelly Hunter, Kenzie Maloney and Hayley Densberger each had two ace serves for NU.

Annika Albrecht led the Husker with 13 kills. Freshman right side hitter Jazz Sweet had nine kills with a .533 hitting percentage. That included a great start to the match where she had six kills on her first seven attempts with no hitting errors.

And even when the Huskers weren’t serving aces, Colorado was scrambling to pass the serve and get a good set. Nebraska’s tough serving helped hold Colorado to a .109 hitting percentage, well below its season average of .252.

In the first set, Nebraska had two aces serves in the first 11 rallies of the match for a 7-4 lead.

Albrecht was also good, with kills on each of her first three attempts of the set as the Huskers got out to a 17-13 lead.

Sweet just kept putting down kills at the end of the set to get the Huskers a 24-19 lead. And the Huskers’ third ace serve of the set came on set point by Kelly Hunter.

Early in the second set Maloney served a 6-0 run that included two ace serves to put the Huskers up 7-3. Later in the set, Foecke served an 8-0 run for a 18-6 lead, a remarkable string of points for a match in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

The third set was tied at 14 but Nebraska regained control with a 3-0 run. Colorado got its deficit to 23-21, but Albrecht got another kill for a 24-21 lead. Then Albrecht had an ace serve on match point.


Managing/Sports Editor

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