The Daily Iowan

Nebraska volleyball stands tall to Iowa

Nebraska volleyball proved why it is one of the nation’s top teams in a dominating four-set victory over Iowa Wednesday night.

Taylor+Louis+spikes+the+ball+during+Iowa%27s+match+against+Michigan+at+Carver-Hawkeye+Arena+on+September+23%2C+2018.+The+Hawkeyes+were+defeated+3-1.+
Taylor Louis spikes the ball during Iowa's match against Michigan at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on September 23, 2018. The Hawkeyes were defeated 3-1.

Taylor Louis spikes the ball during Iowa's match against Michigan at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on September 23, 2018. The Hawkeyes were defeated 3-1.

Megan Nagorzanski

Megan Nagorzanski

Taylor Louis spikes the ball during Iowa's match against Michigan at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on September 23, 2018. The Hawkeyes were defeated 3-1.

Pete Mills, Sports Reporter

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Nebraska came out swinging against Iowa volleyball Wednesday night in Lincoln.

Right out of the gate, the Cornhuskers proved why they are among the top squads in the country. They came out swinging, hard. Their service game has been among the top in the country through this point in the season, and that hurt the Hawkeyes early. Nebraska ended the match with 11 service aces.

Nebraska sophomore Hayley Densberger led the charge, acing the Hawkeyes two-straight times to end the set at an uneventful score of 25-10. The Hawkeyes struggled to get its offense going in the set, with few of its top producers able to make any noise.

Iowa put up a fight early in the second set. Many of its offensive producers, who were quiet in the first set, began to get their spots. Amiya Jones, Cali Hoye, and Reghan Coyle all contributed to an early string of Iowa kills that put the squad up 11-6.

RELATED: Hawkeye volleyball ready for No. 3 Nebraska on the road

Taylor Louis proved her place as one of the Big Ten’s strongest hitters. Two big-time swings in the second set boosted the Hawkeyes, despite runs from Nebraska.

Lexi Sun and Mikaela Foecke were big producers for the Cornhuskers throughout the match. In the second, the two led the rally to knot the set at 16.

Back-and-forth ensued, with contributions coming from Iowa’s Louis and Nebraska’s Sun. However, the Hawkeyes hung on tight and won the set after two errors by the Cornhuskers.

Many thought this match would be a blowout, but head coach Bond Shymansky’s squad managed a tie with the Big Ten’s top-ranked team after two sets. It was the first set an Iowa squad won from a Nebraska team since 1987.

The momentum swung back to the Huskers in the third. Much like the first set, they gained traction with the first few points in the set and never relinquish the lead.

Callie Schwarzenbach came up big for the Huskers in the third, posting several blocks that broke any attempts at a Hawkeye comeback. Nebraska continued its dominance at the net; the squad leads the NCAA in keeping opposing hitting percentage low. Iowa’s hitting percentage for the night was .071.

It was a different story on the other side of the net. Jazz Sweet, Foecke, and Sun all hit above .330 through the first three sets.

This allowed the Huskers to cruise to a 25-15 victory in the third set.

The strong play of the Huskers continued in the fourth set. The blemish of the second set was clearly behind them, and defensively they continued to give the Hawkeyes a hard time. Lauren Stivrins and Foecke contributed defensively with blocks, not allowing Iowa to gain any footing.

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