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Huskers Stifle Spartans on the Road

The second-ranked Nebraska volleyball team won its 14th consecutive match to start the season with a 3-1 (25-23, 16-25, 25-15, 25-11) win at Michigan State in front of a crowd of 8,789 fans at the Breslin Events Center on Friday night in East Lansing, Mich.


The Huskers (14-0, 5-0 Big Ten) are off to their best start to a season since beginning the 2008 campaign with a 20-0 mark. Harper Murray paced the Huskers with 12 kills, reaching double-figures in kills for the ninth consecutive match.


Lindsay Krause added nine kills and hit .381, while Merritt Beason and Andi Jackson tallied nine and seven kills, respectively.


Nebraska hit .168 to Michigan State’s .088 hitting percentage. Lex Rodriguez led the Husker defense with 13 digs, while NU edged the Spartans in blocks with a 7-6 advantage.


Set 1: A 4-0 scoring spurt had Michigan State out front with a 12-9 advantage, prompting an NU timeout. The Spartans held their biggest lead at 21-16 until a pair of kills from Beason and a kill by Murray brought the Big Red within 22-21. MSU maintained the lead with a 23-21 advantage before a Spartan error and Beason’s fourth kill of the night locked the opening set at 23. A block by Bekka Allick and Ally Batenhorst gave the Huskers set point, while Beason sent down a kill to clinch the 25-23 victory in the opening set for Nebraska.


Set 2: After trading scores to a 5-5 tie, the Spartans reeled off an 8-2 run to jump ahead 13-7. NU fought back within three after a pair of MSU errors and a kill from Murray. That would be as close as the Huskers would get, as Michigan State outscored the Big Red 12-3 for the remainder of the set to even the match at one. The Spartans outhit the Huskers .320 to -.103 while forcing nine attack errors from Nebraska.


Set 3: Nebraska jumped out to a 5-0 lead behind an MSU error, an ace from Bergen Reilly and a string of three consecutive kills by Murray. Michigan State trimmed the deficit to 7-3 until a pair of kills from Krause, a kill by Jackson and an MSU error enlarged the Husker advantage to 11-3. Back-to-back kills from Beason and Jackson grew the lead to 22-12. The Huskers reached set point behind consecutive kills from Krause and Reilly before the Spartans extended the set for two rallies with a pair of kills from Taylah Holdem. An MSU attack error clinched the 25-15 win for the Big Red to give NU a 2-1 lead through three sets.


Set 4: An ace by Murray made it a 2-0 lead before the Huskers doubled the lead to four behind a block from Beason and Allick and a kill by Krause. Nebraska grew the advantage to 11-3 after Jackson collected a kill and back-to-back aces from Krause. Jackson’s third kill of the set matched Nebraska’s largest lead in the fourth set at 23-9, while an MSU error and Murray’s 12th kill of the night clinched the four-set win for the Big Red. The NU offense worked at a blistering pace with a .500 hitting clip in the set, while Husker defense limited the Spartans to a -.158 hitting clip.


Up Next: The Huskers head to Ann Arbor, Mich., to face Michigan on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. (CT) on BTN.