LINCOLN, Neb. - The No. 1 Nebraska volleyball team swept Rutgers 25-22, 25-15, 25-12 in front of a sold-out crowd of 8,692 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Saturday night.
The Huskers improved to 21-0 (12-0 Big Ten). Nebraska's 21 wins without a loss to begin the season is its most since beginning 23-0 in 2006.
Ally Batenhorst tied her season high with 13 kills and hit .545 on the night to lead the Huskers to a .384 hitting percentage. The junior also had four blocks. Merritt Beason totaled 12 kills and hit .409 with three blocks. Andi Jackson finished with eight kills on .357 hitting with six blocks. Harper Murray and Maggie Mendelson had five and four kills, respectively.
Bergen Reilly dished out 34 assists, and Lexi Rodriguez led the back row with 13 digs. Nebraska had four service aces - two by Laney Choboy - and was aced only once by Rutgers (10-12, 2-10 Big Ten).
The Huskers outblocked the Scarlet Knights 9.5 to 2 and had 17 more kills (44-27) and nine more digs (33-24).
Set 1: Nebraska turned a 6-5 deficit into an 11-7 lead thanks to kills by Jackson and Murray, an ace by Beason, and a block by Jackson and Murray. But the Huskers committed four service errors in a row to allow Rutgers to stay close at 14-12. The Scarlet Knights tied the set at 17-17, and the teams traded sideouts for seven rallies before a block by Jackson and Batenhorst gave the Huskers a two-point edge, 22-20. After a Rutgers timeout, Rodriguez bump set Beason for a kill and a 23-20 lead, but NU's fifth service error of the set made it 23-21. Batenhorst rose up for her fourth kill of the set to earn set point, 24-21, and Reilly ended the set at 25-22 with a kill.
Set 2: Beason scored six of the Huskers' first seven points via five kills and a block as NU went up 7-3. Jackson and Batenhorst added kills, and Choboy served an ace to make it 10-6. Rutgers fought back to within one, 11-10, but Murray answered with a kill and a solo block, and Beason and Mendelson added a block for a 14-10 advantage. Kills by Batenhorst and Beason added to the lead, and a block by Beason, Jackson and Batenhorst made it 19-12 Big Red. Batenhorst tallied four kills down the stretch as the Huskers pulled away to win 25-15.
Set 3: The Huskers bolted to a 13-2 lead out of the gates. Batenhorst and Jackson sparked the Huskers as Batenhorst had two kills and two blocks and Jackson posted three kills and a block. A kill by Murray and ace by Choboy pushed the lead to 17-4. Nebraska went on to finish the sweep, 25-12.
Up Next: Nebraska is on the road next week, visiting No. 13 Penn State on Friday (7:30 p.m. CT) and Rutgers on Sunday (Noon CT).