LINCOLN, Neb. - The No. 2 Nebraska volleyball team swept No. 13 Penn State for the third time in a row with a 25-22, 25-22, 25-19 victory on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 8,590 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
With the win, Nebraska remained perfect on the season, improving to 17-0 and 8-0 in Big Ten Conference play. The Huskers also moved to 7-0 against ranked opponents with all seven wins coming in the past 12 matches.
Merritt Beason, Lindsay Krause and Harper Murray all finished with double-figure kills. Beason had 13 kills and hit .333. Krause matched Beason for match-high honors with 13 kills while hitting .300. Krause also tied her career high with two service aces. Murray totaled 10 kills on only 22 swings and added eight digs.
Bergen Reilly led the balanced offense with 33 assists, as Nebraska hit .269 for the match. Defensively, Lexi Rodriguez tied her season high with 18 digs, including 12 in the first set, and Andi Jackson had five stuffs as Nebraska's defense limited Penn State (13-4, 7-1 Big Ten) to just 32 kills in the match and a .117 attacking percentage.
Set 1: Nebraska started off the set with a 5-0 run with two kills by Krause and a kill by Beason and block by Beason and Allick. Krause added three kills in a row to take the Huskers to a 9-3 advantage. Murray and Krause connected on kills for a 15-8 lead, but Penn State scored three in a row to cut it to 15-11. Back-to-back kills gave the Huskers an 18-12 lead, but the Nittany Lions went on a 4-0 run to cut it to 18-16. But a Krause kill gave the Huskers a key sideout, and a Jackson and Reilly block helped put the Big Red back ahead 21-17. Beason tacked on three more kills down the stretch to close out a 25-22 win.
Set 2: After the Huskers scored first, Penn State scored eight in a row to go up 8-1. The Huskers committed four service errors early on to allow the Nittany Lions to remain ahead by seven, 11-4. Nebraska made up some ground with a Penn State service error and back-to-back aces by Krause to get within 11-7. Another Penn State service error preceded a block by Allick and Reilly that cut it to three, 12-9. Murray had back-to-back kills, the latter after two big digs by Rodriguez, to pull within 13-11. After six sideouts in a row, Penn State hit long to bring the Huskers within one, 16-15. Beason and Murray recorded kills to keep the Huskers down just one, and Reilly won a joust to draw NU even at 18-18. After a Penn State timeout, the teams sided out six straight rallies until Krause put down her 11th kill of the match for a 22-21 Husker lead, their first since 1-0. Beason and Jackson them combined for two straight blocks to earn set point at 24-21. After a Husker hitting error made it 24-22, Beason put the set away with her 11th kill of the night.
Set 3: Murray and Allick had early kills, and Jackson/Krause and Reilly/Allick each had blocks to spark the Huskers to a 7-4 lead. Krause added another kill and a block to help the Huskers go up 12-7. Jackson and Murray recorded back-to-back kills for a 17-11 advantage, and Murray smacked two more to keep NU up by six, 19-13. Allick and Beason tacked on kills as the lead went to eight, 23-15. Nebraska finished off the sweep, 25-19, on Krause's 13th kill.
Up Next: The Huskers head back to the road on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. match at Northwestern.