No. 2 Nebraska Falls to Colorado
BOULDER, Colo. - For the second time in three years, second-ranked Nebraska's quest for an unbeaten season came to an end in Boulder, Colo., as Colorado stunned the Huskers, 3-1 (25-19, 27-25, 18-25, 25-16) Wednesday evening at the Coors Event Center.
Emilee Sisco led Colorado with 17 kills and four blocks, as the Buffaloes (12-9, 6-6 Big 12) held the Huskers to a season-low .153 hitting and were out-blocked 14.5-8.0 on the evening.
Lindsey Licht's 14 kills and six blocks led a quartet of Huskers in double figures in kills. Tara Mueller had her fourth double-double of year with 13 kills and 12 digs, while Jordan Larson and Kori Cooper added 10 kills apiece in the setback
With Wednesday's loss, the Huskers fall to 20-1 overall and 11-1 in the Big 12, but remain a game up on Texas in the conference race, as the third-ranked Longhorns fell to Oklahoma in Austin on Wednesday night.
Nebraska was doomed by 14 service errors while committing 30 errors, while Colorado played inspired volleyball en route to becoming only the second team to defeat the Huskers more than once in the last five seasons.
Nebraska Coach John Cook said the Huskers, who had swept their last eight opponents, had not had the focus they had shown through the first part of the season.
"I saw this coming over the last two weeks, and Colorado took advantage of it tonight. Being complacent caught up with us tonight. Colorado made a lot of plays tonight, but in a lot of ways, we were very undisciplined tonight"
The Huskers struggled in the opener, hitting just .070 and committed six service errors in dropping a 25-19 decision, the first set the Huskers dropped this month. NU out-hit the Buffaloes, but did not record a block. The Huskers jumped out to an 8-4 lead, only to see the Buffaloes run off four straight points, tying the score at eight on an Amber Sutherland kill. Nebraska trailed 12-10, but ran off four straight points, capped by kills by Mueller and Amanda Gates that gave the Huskers a short-lived two point lead. Colorado roared back, winning eight of the next nine rallies in building a 20-15 lead. Nebraska chipped away at the CU lead, pulling to within 21-18, but a kill by Alex Buth and a block by Buth and Lauren Schaefer put Colorado ahead by five points and put the set out of reach.
In the second set, Nebraska had a perfect opportunity to even the match, but let Colorado come back for a 27-25 victory that put the Huskers down in an 0-2 hole. Mueller had five kills on 10 swings, but the Huskers were out-hit .316-.200. Trailing 8-7, Nebraska used a 6-2 spurt, highlighted by a Lindsey Licht solo block to build a 13-9 advantage. Colorado was within 14-12, but Nebraska ran off four straight points, capped by a Larson ace and Mueller kill to take a six-point lead. The teams traded points and NU led 23-17, before the Buffaloes took command, running off seven straight points, taking a 24-23 lead on a Husker errors. NU fought off a pair of set points, but two straight kills from Emilee Sisco, who finished with nine kills in the set, gave CU the set.
Nebraska finally got its block going in the third set, recoding six stuffs in a 25-18 victory. The Huskers held CU to -.029 hitting, while Lindsey Licht totaled five kills and five blocks for the Big Red. The Huskers raced out of the gate, running off the first seven points, including six points off the serve of Sydney Anderson. Colorado closed to within 8-5, but NU used strong serving from Amanda Gates to run off six straight points, taking a 14-5 lead off a Licht kill. NU continued to build the advantage, taking a 19-9 lead after a Cooper kill, but CU fought back, running off six straight points to pull within 19-15 before a Larson kill stemmed the tide. Every time Colorado answered, the Huskers kept the lead, taking a 23-16 lead on a Licht kill before the sophomore closed out the set moments later.
The Huskers were unable to sustain the momentum in game four, as CU took an early lead and never looked back in a 25-16 victory. The Buffaloes hit .500 in the set, as Schaefer had four of her eight kills in the finale. Cooper and Gates combined for seven kills for the Big Red, who hit just .125 in the set. The Buffaloes got out of the gate quickly, winning five of the first six rallies to force an early Husker timeout. Nebraska fought back, pulling to within 9-7 after a Mueller kill, but CU had an answer, as a Schaefer block and kill pushed the lead back to four points. NU pulled to within 13-11, but CU came back to win five of the next seven rallied to take am 18-13 lead. The Huskers made one last charge, getting to within 19-14, but could get no closer as Colorado pulled away for the victory.
Nebraska returns to action on Saturday afternoon, when the Huskers play host to Iowa State. First serve at the NU Coliseum is set for 3 p.m. and the match will be carried on selected Husker Sports Network Stations, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and Twister 93.3 FM in Omaha, and on Huskers.com. The match will also be televised statewide on Nebraska Educational Television.
Article courtesy of Nebraska athletics.