Nov. 10, 2010
LINCOLN, Neb. – It was the final time the Kansas State Wildcats and Nebraska Cornhuskers would face on the volleyball court as conference foes, and it was a match worthy of the long rivalry’s history. The Cornhuskers were able to get the sweep on Wednesday night, but the Wildcats put up a hard fight in the second and third sets to give the sellout crowd at Memorial Coliseum an exciting match.
Nebraska (23-2, 15-1 Big 12) got the win 25-9, 27-25, 25-23 as K-State (10-16, 4-11) saw a significant contribution from its freshman class. Lilla Porubek and Kaitlynn Pelger led the team in kills with nine apiece for the match. The total was a career-high for Porubek. Senior JuliAnne Chisholm added eight kills to the effort, and senior libero Lauren Mathewson posted 19 digs to come up just one shy of the 20-mark for the fourth time this season in a three-set match.
The Cornhuskers saw middle blocker Brooke Delano lead the way on offense hitting .412 with nine kills. Hannah Werth and Morgan Broekhuis each added eight to the win for Nebraska. The Cornhuskers hit .299 as a team on the night while K-State hit .104 after rebounding from a negative percentage in the first set.
The first set was all Cornhuskers as they jumped out to a 7-0 lead right away thanks three blocks and a pair of attack errors by the Wildcats. Nebraska continued to put the pressure on K-State spreading its offensive attack around as three players combined for 10 of Nebraska’s 16 kills in the set. The ‘Huskers were efficient in the opening stanza hitting an impressive .625 while the Wildcats struggled to get their own scoring going hitting negative for the set en route to the 25-9 loss.
K-State came out looking to avenge its poor showing in the first set when the second began. A quick three-point run would give the Wildcats the lead 6-3. Nebraska would respond only to see K-State score five straight to pull ahead 12-7.
The rivals continued to fight back and forth with a total of 11 ties in the set just from the 12-12 point on. Caitlyn Donahue gave K-State a set point with a stuff block to go ahead 25-24. Nebraska called a timeout and scored the next three points out of the break, however, to get the win 27-25.
A seven-point run by the Cornhuskers in the third set would open up a big 11-6 lead as the Wildcats made five errors during the run. But K-State would claw its way back into the set slowly chipping away at the lead and fighting off three match points. A block by Delano appeared to give the ‘Huskers the momentum as they held match point 24-20. K-State answered with a kill from Chisholm then a block and kill from Pelger to pull within one point. It was not enough, however, as Nebraska was able to score the next point on an error by K-State to get the win.
K-State will return home this weekend to take on the Baylor Bears at 7 p.m. from Ahearn Field House. The match is just one of three remaining home matches for the Wildcats where the fans have come out by the thousands ranking 14th in the nation in attendance this season.