Nebraska’s No. 9 volleyball team’s winning streak stretches to 10 games on Saturday night, as the Huskers beat No. 7 Purdue, 3-1 (23-25, 25-18, 25 -15, 25-21) at the Devaney Center. NU remain perfect in conference play at 16-3 (10-0 Big Ten), while the Boilermakers drop to 14-5 (6-4).
Nicklin Hames surpassed 4,000 career assists in the game, becoming the third Husker in program history – and second in the era of rally goalscorers – to reach the milestone. The senior finished with a season-high 48 assists, 17 digs, three service aces, three kills and two blocks for his team-leading 12th double-double of the season.
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Four Huskers had double-digit performances on the night, led by Madi Kubik’s 15 kills with 10 digs for her third double-double. Kubik has led the Huskers in eliminations in 10 straight games.
Nebraska midfielders provided a big boost offensively, as Kayla Caffey had a career-high 14-for-0.619 kills with two blocks, and Lauren Stivrins had another 14-for-0.393 kills with five saves in the lead.
Lindsay Krause added 13 kills with three blocks.
Lexi Rodriguez matched her season high with 24 digs and added six assists. Kenzie Knuckles had eight scoops with two aces.
NU hit .214 to Purdue’s .123 and had the edge in kills (64-39), assists (59-38), aces (6-1) and digs (70-62). The Boilermakers outscored NU 16-7.
Purdue was led by a game-best 16 kills from Caitlyn Newton. Raven Colvin had a nine-block game, and Taylor Trammell had seven more.
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Purdue had nine kills in his first 13 swings with no offensive errors to open the game. The Boilermakers led 15-8 at the first timeout. Back-to-back attacks from Stivrins and Kubik propelled NU out of the break, but Purdue regained an eight-point lead.
The Huskers regrouped and put together a seven-point run on two kills each from Caffey and Kubik, one from Krause and a pair of Knuckles aces, closing the gap to 23-20. A kill from Newton stopped the push, but Caffey came right back with one of his own to delay the set point. Kubik added another to reduce it to 24-22, and a Stivrins/Krause block caused a Boilermaker timeout with NU trailing by one. But another Newton kill stopped Husker’s 10-1 run and handed the set to Purdue, 25-23.
For the set, Purdue hit .429 with just one offensive error and had a 6-2 advantage at net. Kubik had eight kills on .438, while Caffey had five kills and hit a .625 clip.
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The Huskers’ momentum continued as they took an 8-4 lead in the second set with early attacks from five different players, and two errors from Boilermaker sandwiched a Krause/Caffey block for an advantage from 12-7. At the end of the media, NU led 15-9.
After a Knuckles kill, Kubik followed with another — his 10th of the night — to put the Huskers up 17-10 at Purdue’s timeout. The Boilermakers then went on a 4-0 streak on two kills and two blocks to reduce NU’s advantage to three, but the Huskers came right back with a 4-0 streak to climb 23-16. Two kills from Krause finished for the Big Red, 25-18, evening the match at one set apiece.
The Huskers used a 4-0 run with two kills from Krause to go up 6-3 in the third set. Three straight wins between the senior duo of Stivrins and Lexi Sun extended it to 10-5 in Purdue’s first timeout.
An 8-1 streak bolstered by five straight eliminations between Krause, Caffey and Kubik put NU firmly in control at 19-9. Purdue didn’t come closer than seven the rest of the way, and NU outscored Purdue 4-1 to close it at 25-15.
NU hit .270 in the set while holding Purdue at -.061 while the Boilermakers recorded just five team kills. Krause and Stivrins had five kills apiece to keep up with the Huskers.
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The Huskers broke a 6-6 tie, and three aces between Hames and Evans powered a 5-1 push for an 11-7 lead. Purdue managed to shoot three times in the set – first at 13-12, again at 17-16 and one last time at 21-20. But the Huskers held off their threat, capitalizing on two offensive errors from Boilermaker and a Stivrins/Kubik block to bring it to match point at 24-20. A kill from Stivrins punctuated it, 25-21.
- Nicklin Hames joins the company of two former Huskers with 4,000 career assists at Nebraska: Kelly Hunter (4,125 from 2013-17) and Fiona Nepo (4,824 from 1995-1998). Hames now has 4,040.
- Nebraska leads the all-time series with Purdue 20-8, including 11-4 under the John Cook era.
- The Huskers have won eight of the last nine meetings.
- NU have a 12-2 home advantage in the series, and they haven’t given up a home game against Purdue since 2013.
- Tonight was Nebraska’s third win against a ranked opponent this season and its first against a top-10 opponent.
Nebraska has another top-10 game coming up, hosting No. 3 Wisconsin at Devaney Center on Wednesday, October 27. The first service is set for 8 p.m., and Larry Punteney and Audrey Flaugh will have the call on Big Ten Network. John Baylor and Lauren Cook West will have the radio call on Huskers Radio Network.