LINCOLN — The No. 5 Nebraska volleyball team opened the 2021 season with its first match of the Husker Invitational Friday evening, sweeping Colgate 3-0 (25-13, 25-16, 25-11) in front of 7,913 at the Devaney Center. With the win, the Huskers improve to 1-0 on the season, while Colgate concludes the tournament at 0-2.
Lexi Sun finished with a match-high 10 kills on .308 hitting and added four blocks, four digs and two aces. The fifth-year senior from Encinitas, Calif., surpassed 1,000 kills as a Husker, becoming the 23rd player in program history and the ninth in the rally-scoring era to reach the milestone.
Callie Schwarzenbach tallied a match-high 10 blocks with five kills on .400 hitting.
Kennedi Orr totaled a match-leading 17 assists with 10 digs and two blocks for her first career double-double alongside two blocks.
Anni Evans, earning her first career start, chipped in six assists of her own, and Lexi Rodriguez finished with a match-best 15 digs with six assists as well.
Lindsay Krause made her first career start and closed the night with six kills, eight digs and five blocks, and Kayla Caffey added another four stops at the net with three kills. Madi Kubik contributed five kills and a pair of blocks, and Whitney Lauenstein made her Husker debut with three kills and three blocks to her credit.
As a team, Nebraska hit .260 and limited Colgate to -.009.
NU also outblocked the Raiders 15.5 to 5.0, marking the Huskers’ best block total since Nov. 2, 2018 against Penn State (20.0). NU also had four service aces on the night.
Colgate was led by seven kills from Abby Shadwick and another six from Libby Overmyer. Julia Kurowski had 15 assists, and Taylor Cigna totaled 15 digs in the match.
Set 1: The Huskers were paced by five kills from Sun in the opening set and outblocked Colgate 4-0. Krause registered the first kill of her career for the first point of the season to get NU off and running. With Colgate threatening at 8-7, a pair of Schwarzenbach kills, a Krause/Schwarzenbach block and three Raider attack errors pushed it to 14-8 in favor of NU. It was part of a longer 10-1 run — bolstered by three Sun kills — that extended the lead to 18-8 before a Colgate timeout. NU finished the set on a 5-1 run, with a Caffey kill putting it away at 25-13.
Set 2: The second set, which included six ties, saw Kubik post four kills to lead the way. NU broke past a 7-7 stall with a CU attack error and kills by Kubik and Lauenstein. Three consecutive blocks later spotted the Huskers their largest lead of the set at 21-13. Kubik collected back-to-back kills to push the margin to eight once more, and she and Schwarzenbach put up a block to bring it to set point. A Krause/Schwarzenbach stop at the net finished it off at 25-16.
Set 3: In set three, the Huskers stormed out to an 8-1 advantage before Colgate called for a timeout. Sun put down her eighth kill of the night — and No. 1,000 as a Husker — to make it 9-1. NU worked to its largest lead when an Orr kill made it 20-6. The Huskers, who hit .324 in the set, completed the sweep with a service ace by Sun to win 25-11.
Sun’s 1,002 Husker kills, combined with her 337 kills as a freshman at Texas, brings her collegiate career total to 1,339.
Nebraska improves to 3-0 in the all-time series with Colgate, all in the John Cook era.
The Huskers are 18-4 in season openers since the Cook era began in 2000. They have won three straight openers and five of their last seven.
Nebraska concludes the Husker Invitational on Saturday, Aug. 28 against Kansas State, with first serve set for 4 p.m. at the Devaney Center. The match will be televised live on BTN with Connor Onion and Emily Ehman on the call, and John Baylor and Lauren Cook West will have the radio call on Huskers Sports Network.