MINNEAPOLIS — With a dominating start to the match, and then a shocking finish, Nebraska swept Kentucky in the NCAA Sweet 16 on Friday.
Nebraska rallied from an 18-11 deficit in the third set, storming back for the win. Nebraska won the final two points of the match on a net violation and a kill by Mikaela Foecke.
Foecke led the Huskers in the 25-17, 25-20, 25-23 victory. She had 14 kills with a .303 hitting percentage.
Nebraska ended Kentucky’s season and its 23-match winning streak, while Nebraska’s winning streak reached 11.
Nebraska will play the winner of the Oregon-Minnesota match in the Elite Eight at 5 p.m. on Saturday. The match is on TV on ESPNU.
In the first set, Nebraska took the lead for good when Foecke served a 4-0 run for an 11-7 lead.
Nebraska maintained its lead with good serving, getting four kills from the back row and holding Kentucky’s best player, Leah Edmond, to a negative hitting percentage in the set on 10 attempts.
Before Nebraska reached 20 points, three different Nebraska players — Lexi Sun, Foecke and Kenzie Maloney had served aces.
Foecke’s first two kills of the match were on back-row kills, and she also had a kill from the back row on set point.
In the second set, Nebraska had another good start, sprinting out to an 8-2 lead. A touch of adversity hit a couple of times for Nebraska in the set, but it was able to maintain the lead both times. Late in the set, Kentucky got its deficit down to 17-15. But Lauren Stivrins had back-to-back kills on the slide attack to surge ahead. Nebraska finished off the set and the 2-0 match lead by winning three of the final four rallies. Foecke had a block on set point.