The Nebraska volleyball team overcame an eight-point first-set deficit en route to a sweep of Northwestern in Evanston, Illinois, on Saturday.

Behind 11-3 in the first set and later 17-10, the third-ranked Huskers mounted a comeback, going on a 12-1 run to take a 22-18 lead. Nebraska secured the set 25-21, and took the next two 25-17, 30-28 to cap off the sweep.

"Rough start, but we made a good comeback," NU coach John Cook told the Husker Sports Network. "...But we kind of stopped playing (in the third set) and let up a little bit, and you know it goes fast. We let Northwestern get a lot of momentum and they started making great plays."

Lauren Stivrins was perfect on four kill attempts in the first set, while Madi Kubik and Jazz Sweet contributed three each. 

With Nebraska down 17-10, Sweet had two straight kills and Kenzie Knuckles collected an ace to make it 17-14. After a Megan Miller ace, the Huskers went on an 8-0 tear to go ahead 22-18.

Nebraska carried the momentum into the second set behind Stivrins again, who hit .400 with three aces. NU, which hit .200 in the first set, recovered in the second to hit .478.

In a streaky third set, Northwestern and Nebraska traded runs. Callie Schwarzenbach began the set with a kill and two blocks. Kills from Sweet and Stivrins made it 6-4 NU. The Wildcats then answered with four straight to take the lead.

Down 12-11, Nebraska grabbed five straight points, capped by a Lexi Sun kill and Schwarzenbach block. The Wildcats recovered, however, going on a 4-0 streak to tie it at 16.

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Temi Thomas-Ailara put Northwestern ahead 22-20, but a kill from Sun tied the match two points later. The two traded kills once again to knot the set at 27-27 before Nicklin Hames and Stivrins combined for a block to make it 28-27. After Northwestern sided out, Sun ended the match with her 11th kill.

Stivrins hit .615 for the match, followed by Sweet at a .526 mark. Sweet had a team-high 13 kills, while Stivrins had 10.

Nebraska hit .316 for the match, its best mark in the team's last six matches. Northwestern finished with a .190 mark.

Nia Robinson led the Wildcats on hitting percentage at .500 with nine kills, while Thomas-Ailara had a match-high 16 kills.

The Huskers (10-1, 2-0 Big Ten) came into Evanston fresh off a five-set victory over Illinois in Champaign, Illinois, in their Big Ten opener on Friday. Saturday's sweep marked the seventh straight sweep of Northwestern (9-5, 0-2).

Nebraska continues its road trip against Rutgers in New Brunswick, New Jersey, at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

"The good thing is we'll have three road matches out of the way by Thursday, but yeah, this will be a tough stretch," Cook said. "You can tell our team is a little bit gassed tonight. Last night (Friday) was a hard match in a very hot gym."


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