LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska volleyball team held its annual Red/White Scrimmage in front of 6,028 fans at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Saturday night. The Red team defeated the White team 3-1 (19-25, 25-13, 25-23, 25-18) behind 16 kills, seven digs and three aces by redshirt freshman Lauren Stivrins.
The scrimmage was the first look at the 2017 Huskers, who are ranked No. 5 in the AVCA Preseason Poll. Nebraska will officially begin the season on Friday against No. 18 Oregon at the VERT Challenge in Gainesville, Florida. First serve is at 4 p.m. (CT), and the match will be streamed on ESPN3.com.
After dropping the first set with 10 attacking errors, the Red team rebounded to win the next three sets with a combined 11 errors. Stivrins led the charge with a .538 hitting percentage – 16 kills on 26 attacks with two errors. She also served three aces. Mikaela Foecke added 11 kills, 12 digs and four blocks. Briana Holman had six kills and seven blocks, and Annika Albrecht produced six kills, 12 digs and a match-best four aces. Redshirt freshman setter Hunter Atherton had 33 assists and seven digs. Kenzie Maloney had 13 digs as libero, and Sydney Townsend had 11.
For the White team, freshman Anezka Szabo pounded 15 kills on a match-high 46 attacks. Olivia Boender had 13 kills with nine digs. Husker assistant coach Kayla Banwarth set for the White team and finished with 33 assists and 14 digs. Hayley Densberger was the libero and had 13 digs.
Set 1: Albrecht served three early aces to put the Red ahead 7-4. Szabo led a comeback charge for the White team as she tallied five kills to give the White a 15-13 lead at the media timeout. Banwarth posted a kill to liven up the crowd and put White ahead 16-13. A kill and solo block by Chesney McClellan made it 19-16 White. Szabo and Boender tacked on kills around a Red hitting error to increase the lead to five at 23-18. White closed out the set on top, 25-19. Szabo had six kills on .333 hitting for White. Foecke led Red with three kills while hitting .600.
Set 2: Red came out on fire in set two, taking a 10-4 lead in part thanks to two kills from Stivrins and a pair of White service errors. Jazz Sweet and Holman teamed up for a block to double up White, 16-8, and then Foecke served an ace before an Albrecht kill for an 18-8 lead. Stivrins and Albrecht hammered kills to make it 21-10. Red won 25-13 and hit .370 in the set while holding White to .031. Atherton had 10 set assists, and four attackers had at least two kills. Stivrins led the way with five kills on six attacks. Boender had three kills for White.
Set 3: Red took a 12-7 lead with Foecke notching two kills and Stivrins recording a block and an ace. The Red team held the White team in check at the net, as White had just four kills on 21 attacks with five hitting errors at that point. Stivrins added two more kills for an 18-12 advantage, but Boender and Sami Slaughter responded with kills before a Boender ace and McClellan kill pulled White within 19-17. Allie Havers’ first kill of the night kept the deficit at two for White, 21-19, but Albrecht and Holman answered with kills to put Red up 23-19. Red gained set point at 24-21 on a kill by Holman, but Slaughter posted a kill for White and Red committed an attacking error to let White within 24-23. After a timeout, Sweet pounded a kill to clinch the set for Red, 25-23.
Set 4: White gained the early advantage in set four with a 7-3 lead after two kills by Boender. Stivrins pounded back-to-back kills to help Red even the set at 7-7 with a 4-0 run. A kill and consecutive blocks by Szabo restored a 10-7 lead for White. Stivrins tied the set at 16-16 on her 14th kill of the match, and Foecke gave Red the lead on a blast out of the back row. Albrecht terminated and then combined with Stivrins for a block and a 19-16 lead. Stivrins added two more kills, and Foecke chipped in one as well to make it 22-17. Red finished out the 3-1 win with a 25-18 victory.