By NU Athletic Communications
MADISON, Wis. - The No. 6 Nebraska volleyball team fell to No. 5 Wisconsin, 3-0 (19-25, 22-25, 21-25), in its final Big Ten road match this season on Sunday afternoon at UW Field House.
Lexi Sun had 16 kills on .316 hitting to lead the Huskers, who dropped to 23-4 overall and 15-3 in the Big Ten with two matches to go.
The Badgers (21-5, 17-1 Big Ten) won their third match in a row against the Huskers and fifth in the last seven meetings. Wisconsin hit .333 and had a 4-0 edge in aces, 8-4 advantage in blocks and 48-44 edge in digs. It was the first time this year that Nebraska was out-dug by its opponent. The Badgers also had 15 more kills than the Huskers, 54-39.
The Huskers hit .241 with Nicklin Hames providing 32 assists and seven digs. Lauren Stivrins had eight kills and a pair of blocks. Madi Kubik had five kills and a team-high 15 digs, and Jazz Sweet also had five kills.
Molly Haggerty had 16 kills to lead Wisconsin. Dana Rettke added 12 kills and five blocks.
The Huskers finish Big Ten Conference play at home next weekend. Nebraska will host Maryland on Friday at 7 p.m. and Ohio State on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the regular-season finale.
Set 1: Both teams flashed great defensive plays early in the set, and Nebraska took a 9-7 lead after kills by Stivrins and Sweet. The Badgers scored four points in a row to go up 12-10 after back-to-back kills by Rettke, and Wisconsin led 15-12 at the media timeout. A UW service error and kill by Callie Schwarzenbach cut it to one, 15-14, but the Badgers pushed their lead to four, 19-15, after a block and kill by Danielle Hart and ace by Lauren Barnes. Wisconsin pulled away to take the set, 25-19.
Set 2: Sun produced three kills for the Huskers as the teams split the first 10 rallies, 5-5. Wisconsin claimed an 11-8 lead, but the Huskers fought back with a kill by Kubik and two Wisconsin errors that tied the score at 11-11. But two Badger kills and a block by Rettke and Haggerty restored a three-point Badger lead, 14-11. A couple kills by Sweet helped the Huskers trim it to 17-16, but Wisconsin went ahead 20-17 after a kill and an ace, and Nebraska could get no closer than two the rest of the way as Wisconsin claimed the 25-22 win.
Set 3: Nebraska rallied from 10-8 down to go up 12-10 after a kill by Stivrins and a stuff block by Stivrins and Hames. But the Huskers' eighth net violation of the match allowed Wisconsin to score three in a row and go back ahead, 13-12. The Badgers made it 16-14 on a solo block by Rettke, but Nebraska drew even at 16-16 after a kill by Sun and a block by Sweet and Schwarzenbach. With the match tied 18-18, Wisconsin scored via a kill and a block to go up 20-18, but Sweet terminated for sideout. But the Badgers scored four of the final five points of the set to win 25-21.