LINCOLN — What started as the Kubik and Krause Show turned into a dominant team effort for No. 9 Nebraska in a 25-13, 25-15, 25-15 sweep of Indiana on Wednesday night at Devaney Center.
Junior outside hitter Madi Kubik led Nebraska with 16 kills, including eight in the first set, and a .308 hitting percentage. She also finished with five digs and three blocks. Half of freshman opposite Lindsay Krause’s 10 kills also came in the first set as she terminated at a .400 clip for the match.
Kubik said the Indiana block gave them a lot of one-on-one opportunities because they would predetermine which hitter they were going to go after.
As a team, NU (13-3, 7-0) hit .367, its second-best performance this season. Senior setter Nicklin Hames recorded her ninth double-double of the season with 26 assists and 13 digs.
“Nicklin was hitting the ball with a lot of flow, and just putting everyone in really good positions to be successful,” Kubik said.
Ally Batenhorst and Lauren Stivrins each tallied five kills for the Huskers. Callie Schwarzenbach added three on four swings and four blocks.
Junior defensive specialist Kenzie Knuckles led NU with 14 digs while sophomore Keonilei Akana chipped in 10. Freshman libero Lexi Rodriguez almost had a double-double with nine digs and nine assists.
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“That’s a heck of a night for a libero,” coach John Cook said. “We were out of system a little bit, but those were long rallies and we did shank a couple passes that Roddy had to set because Nicklin couldn’t get to them. But there’s a lot of ways to kill the ball, and as we always say, everybody’s a setter.”
Krause started hot with four kills in the first 11 rallies as NU led 7-4. Kubik then took over, finishing the first set with eight kills on 16 attacks and a .375 hitting percentage. After the Hoosiers got as close as 11-8, the Huskers dominated down the stretch and hit .405 in the set.
Hames got in on the attack in the second set, recording kills via a dump, attack and two-handed push. She also added an ace and an assist on a play where she was falling backward and set up Schwarzenbach with a one-handed attack assist.
“(Hames has) been working on dumps quite a bit,” Krause said. “It just adds another weapon to our offense so they can’t decide who they want to block and have to respect her as a threat as well.”
NU hit .414 in the set as three players had three kills and two others chipped in two.
After giving up the first two points of the third set, the Huskers went on a 6-0 run with Knuckles serving. After a sideout, Rodriguez served up a 7-0 run as the Huskers cruised to a sweep. The Huskers won the last point after Cook successfully challenged a call that gave Kubik her 16th kill of the night.
Breanna Edwards paced Indiana with six kills as the Hoosiers hit .057.
Nebraska will play its fourth match in eight days Saturday when they host Illinois, but Cook said he was pleased with how the Huskers responded after a quick turnaround from Sunday’s sweep over Rutgers.
“I thought the Huskers took care of business,” Cook said. “I was a little worried tonight. We’re talking about how long a week it’s been and weird playing this late on a school night, Wednesday night. I thought they were pretty focused, we did a lot of really good things tonight and kept the pressure on Indiana.”