The Husker Volleyball team passed through the state of Illinois over the weekend, bringing home two more wins.
On Friday night in Evanston, the Huskers beat the Wildcats 3-1 (25-16, 20-25, 25-21, 25-20). Kadie Rolfzen and Kelsey Robinson both recorded a double-double on the night. Rolfzen had 19 kills and 10 digs while Kelsey Robinson added 25 kills and 12 digs.
Nebraska hit over .300 in each of the sets they won, while holding Northwestern under .200, including a .067 in the fourth set. In the second set, Northwestern outhit the Big Red .357 - .135.
For the night, the Huskers outdug the Wildcats 48-43, and outblocked them 10-9. On a night when #1 Penn State lost in a marathon five set match to #15 Michigan State, the Huskers did well to start B1G play with a win on the road.
It’s worth noting that there were 1,306 people in attendance at Welsh-Ryan Arena last night, many of whom were Husker fans. Assistant Coach Dani Busboom showed her appreciation on Twitter.
For a Saturday matinee, Nebraska traveled to Champaign to take on the #24 Illinois Illini. The Huskers swept the Illini 25-20, 25-14, 25-22 to move to 2-0 in conference play.
Kelsey Robinson’s .346 hitting percentage led the Huskers, who outhit the Illini .255 - .144. Kadie Rolfzen had 14 kills on the way to a .242 percentage. Robinson recorded her second double-double of the weekend, with 15 digs. Justine Wong-Orantes added nine. Both teams had 45 digs on the afternoon.
The Huskers helped their own cause with six service aces to the Illini’s one. Nebraska outblocked Illinois 11-3.
While the match was sloppy at times, the Huskers were scrappy when they needed to be, keeping points alive and winning long rallies. When you can win those battles of attrition, you can win a lot of matches.
With an attendance of 3,476, Huff Hall was loud with a great, active student section. It did, however, show how incredible Devaney is as a volleyball gym.
As we start conference play, there are a couple of reasons for great expectations from this team:
Last year, we had fantastic hitters in Werth and Mancuso who were seniors and we were left to wonder how we’d fill that hole with their graduation. The Rolfzen twins and Kelsey Robinson have certainly stepped up. There is no doubt our offense continues to be strong.
Secondly, our blocking is improving. We outblocked both teams (Illinois by a large margin). Getting double digit blocks in a three set match is not that common, and the Huskers did that.