The Nebraska volleyball team played its fourth and final match in Japan on Friday, against the Japanese league runner-up Toray Arrows. The Huskers will head to China on Saturday, where they will play four more matches against Chinese professional teams.
Nebraska and Toray played on Friday, one day after the Arrows swept the Huskers, who were playing a lineup comprising mostly freshmen and sophomores. This time around, the Huskers played their full lineup and came out with a 2-1 win. NU dropped the first set, 25-20, but rebounded to tie the match with a 25-21 win in set two. In the best-of-three match, Toray had three match points ahead 24-21 in set three. The Huskers subbed in Anezka Szabo, who proceeded to post three straight blocks to tie the score at 24-24. The Huskers ended up winning the set, 27-25, and the match.
"It was a really, really high-level match," Head Coach John Cook said. "The Huskers did a nice job of competing and playing some really good volleyball. Anezka was huge coming in that third set and stuffing three attempts."
Lauren Stivrins had 11 kills on .364 hitting, and Jazz Sweet had nine kills on .474 hitting. Kenzie Knuckles had 15 digs, and Lexi Sun had five stuff blocks.
"She did really well," Cook said of Sun. "She was matched up against one of their best players (Mari Horikawa), a lefty who is very good."
The Huskers finished their stay in Japan with a 2-2 record playing against Japan's top two professional teams, Hisamitsu Springs and Toray. NU will depart Japan on Saturday and head to Shanghai, where they will play four more matches against Shanghai Bright Ubest, Tianjin Bohai Bank and Beijing Baic Motor.