EVANSTON, Ill. - The No. 2 Nebraska volleyball team swept Northwestern 25-15, 25-16, 25-21 on Wednesday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
The Huskers hit a season-best .395 in the match while improving to 18-0 overall and 9-0 in Big Ten play. Merritt Beason had 13 kills and hit .323 with seven digs and three blocks, while Harper Murray had 10 kills and hit .412 and served a career-high four aces. Bekka Allick contributed nine kills on .800 hitting with a pair of blocks. Andi Jackson had seven kills and hit .667.
Bergen Reilly had 38 set assists and six digs served a pair of aces. The Huskers had nine aces in the match. Nebraska had 45 kills to 26 for Northwestern and won the digs battle, 35-26. Lexi Rodriguez had nine digs to lead the Big Red.
Northwestern dropped to 9-10 overall and 3-6 in Big Ten play. The Wildcats were held to a .125 hitting percentage for the match.
Set 1: The Huskers built a 14-6 lead with Allick registering three kills and two blocks. After Northwestern pulled within 14-10, Allick had two more kills around one by Beason for a 17-10 Husker lead. Three kills and an ace by Beason, and kills by Jackson and Batenhorst took the Huskers to set point, 24-14. A Jackson kill finished the set at 25-15. Beason had seven kills on 12 swings, while Allick had five, as the Huskers hit .483 and held the Wildcats to .136.
Set 2: An ace by Reilly and kill by Allick helped the Huskers to a 4-0 lead. Beason added a kill and Murray served an ace for a 6-2 lead, but the Wildcats pulled within 8-6. Nebraska then used a 9-4 spurt to go up 17-10. Jackson had two kills in that stretch, while Murray, Allick and Beason each had one. Northwestern pulled within 17-13, but Beason and Jackson answered with kills for a 19-13 lead. Reilly had a kill and ace down the stretch, and Murray and Beason tacked on kills as the Big Red won 25-16. Nebraska hit .542 in set two, and Northwestern hit .161.
Set 3: Nebraska led 12-11 when Beason had a kill and Jackson had a solo block to make it 14-11. Rodriguez then served Nebraska's ninth ace for a 15-11 lead. But the Huskers surrendered a 4-0 run to Northwestern and the set was tied 15-15. Murray had back-to-back kills to lift the Huskers to a 19-16 lead, and two more Murray kills made it 21-18. After the Wildcats got within 22-21, Allick and Batenhorst posted kills and Nebraska won 25-21. Murray had eight of her 10 kills in the final set.
Up Next: Nebraska will host No. 1 Wisconsin on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The match will be televised on Big Ten Network.