Offense dominates in Nebraska U. volleyball victory over Colorado U.

By John Schreier

If Hannah Werth keeps hitting the way she has been, maybe her new style will catch on with Cornhusker fans.

Werth, who recently started wearing custom-fitted maroon glasses for an eye problem, hit lights out as the Huskers’ defense helped Nebraska U. stomp Colorado, 25-13, 25-7, 25-17, in the Huskers’ conference home opener.

The sophomore from Springfield, Ill., played just two sets in the win over Colorado U. but notched eight kills on 11 attacks without any errors  and the Huskers followed suit in the sweep.

“Emotionally, we spent a lot energy Saturday and Wednesday,” NU coach John Cook said.

“Tonight, we just started off a little off, but we did a really good job of working into the match.”

Despite the lopsided final score, the Buffaloes hung with the Huskers early after a run of six Nebraska errors in the first half of the first set.

“We kind of sputter, sputter, and then we go on these great runs where we just roll the other team off the court,” Cook said.

And then the Huskers just took command with some dominating hitting by a Coloradan in senior Lindsey Licht, who hit .421 and tied for the team lead with 11 kills. She had three kills as NU strung together nine consecutive points to take a 23-12 lead.

“Colorado was just putting it into play,” Cook said. “It was a much different tempo than we were used to. Higher sets, everything was slower, and I think we were just dug in.”

After Nebraska grabbed 11 of the final 13 points in the first set, the Huskers kept pouring it on in the second.

Werth recorded five kills as NU stormed to a 25-7 win in the second set. Nebraska finished the set hitting .457 with 17 kills and only one error.

“It shows us that we can terminate any ball out of system, in-system, make shots, tool the block,” Werth said. “I think we did a really good job of staying consistent and doing our jobs.”

The Huskers hadn’t even conceded enough points to equal one set by the end of the second game  and had claimed 36 of 45 points.

“We pretty much played almost flawless that second game,” Cook said. “I’d like to see us do that every point of every game, but that’s what I’ll keep asking from them.”

Senior Tara Mueller replaced Werth in the third set in a predetermined lineup switch, but the Huskers kept the pressure on.

While the torrid pace may have slowed from the unbelievable second set, the Huskers still set the school record for the fewest points allowed — 37 — in the three years of 25-point rally of scoring.

“I think everyone got in their rhythm and groove and just kind of found a sync with each other,” Werth said. “I think we did a good job and showed what I think we can do.”

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