LINCOLN — Nebraska overpowered Maryland for a 25-20, 25-15, 25-18 sweep Friday night at the Devaney Center.
Lexi Sun and Jazz Sweet each finished with 10 kills to lead a balanced attack for the Huskers (24-4, 16-3). Madi Kubik added nine, while Lauren Stivrins finished with seven kills on 12 attacks.
Both teams struggled from the service line early. The Huskers committed six service errors, while Maryland missed five serves. However, Sun turned Nebraska’s fortunes around and back-to-back aces for 22-18 lead. The Huskers scored six of the final eight points of the set. Sun also finished with four kills and two blocks in the set. Lauren Stivrins hit three kills on four swings as NU hit .292 in the set. Maryland hit .087 with eight kills and six errors.
Maryland (13-18, 5-14) took a 5-4 lead in the second set, but the Huskers responded with a 7-1 run with Stivrins (two kills, two blocks) and Kubik (two kills, one block) doing most of the damage. The Huskers hit .484 in the set with just one hitting error.
The Huskers jumped out to a 9-4 lead in the third set before Maryland strung together four straight points. The Terps hung around and trailed 14-13 before Nebraska ran off five straight points to cruise to the sweep.
The Huskers wrap up the Big Ten regular season Saturday night against Ohio State. With a win, they can finish either tied for second place or in solo third place.
NU’s finish will be impacted by what happens in State College, Pa., where No. 7 Penn State faces No. 8 Minnesota. The Nittany Lions are tied with Wisconsin for first place (and one game ahead of NU) after defeating the Badgers in five sets on Friday night. Wisconsin can clinch at least a share of the title against last-place Rutgers.
NEBRASKA 3, MARYLAND 0
Maryland (13-18, 5-14)........ 20 15 18
At Nebraska (24-4, 16-3).... 25 25 25
UM (kills-aces-blocks): Pritchard 12-1-4, Rath 7-0-0. Myers 4-1-2, Gardner 3-0-0, Alford 2-0-0, Jones 2-0-2, Naumann 0-1-0. Totals: 30-3-8.
NU: Sun 10-2-3, Sweet 10-0-1, Kubik 9-0-1, Stivrins 7-0-4, Schwarzenbach 4-0-2, Hames 3-0-1, Knuckles 0-2-0, Miller 0-1-0, Drewnick 0-1-0. Totals: 43-6-12.
Set assists: UM 30 (Alford 25, Naumann 3, Rath 1, Gardner 1), NU 40 (Hames 36, Kubik 2, Knuckles 2).