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Nebraska Volleyball vs #3 Stanford - Open Thread

David McGee

Nebraska volleyball will take on the #3 Stanford Cardinal today at noon in a match that will be televised on BTN.

This is your Sunday open thread, open meaning that you can discuss anything you wish although we discourage discussions about politics or religion here.

From the Athletic Department:

Scouting the Stanford Cardinal
Stanford debuted at No. 3 in the 2014 preseason AVCA poll, earning a preseason top-10 ranking for the 33rd consecutive season, spanning the entire history of the poll dating back to 1982. The Cardinal finished as the Pac-12 runner-up in 2013, compiling a 27-6 record. Stanford saw its season end in the NCAA Regional Final, when eventual national champion Penn State knocked off the Cardinal in five sets. Stanford ended the 2013 season ranked fifth.

Stanford returns four starters, plus its libero, from last year's squad. The Cardinal ranked among the nation's top 30 teams last season in blocks per set (4th, 3.0), hitting percentage (4th, .308), assists per set (9th, 13.8), kills per set (10th, 14.8) and digs per set (28th, 16.8). Stanford returns 2013 All-America selections Inky Ajanaku (first team), Madi Bugg (second team), Jordan Burgess (honorable mention) and Kyle Gilbert (honorable mention). The Cardinal must replace middle blocker Carly Wopat, a two-time first-team All-American.

While Wopat led the team in kills (315) and blocks (156), Stanford returns three players who had more than 290 kills in 2013. Burgess tallied 309 kills, while Brittany Howard registered 304 kills. Ajanaku put down 291 kills and hit a team-high .438, the ninth-best percentage nationally. Ajanaku also finished second to Wopat with 148 blocks, ranking 21st nationally. Gilbert returns after ranking second in the Pac-12 with 5.0 digs per set in 2013, while Bugg will again lead the Stanford offense after averaging a conference-best 11.9 assists per set, a total that ranked seventh nationally.

Stanford is led by John Dunning, who has compiled a 368-67 record entering his 14th season with the Cardinal. Dunning ranks fifth nationally among all NCAA Division I active coaches in career winning percentage, just ahead of NU's John Cook. Dunning has led Stanford to a pair of NCAA titles and four runner-up finishes.

Quick Hitters

Nebraska features the fewest seniors (1) and most underclassmen (11) in school history this fall.
With its preseason No. 7 ranking, Nebraska has appeared in every one of the AVCA's 463 all-time weekly polls.
NU and Stanford are the only two programs to appear in every AVCA poll, dating back to its inception in 1982.
Nebraska has spent a nation-leading 418 weeks in the top 10 with its preseason No. 7 ranking.
The Huskers are 224-0 under Cook when hitting .300 or better.
NU is 364-14 (.963) when winning the first set under John Cook.
Nebraska is 138-37 against ranked teams under Cook (.789).
Just over one-third of Cook's total victories at Nebraska (415) have come against ranked teams.
Nebraska is 35-4 all-time in season openers, including 13-1 under Cook.
Including this weekend, NU will have played five straight matches vs. ranked opponents dating back to 2013.
The Huskers played nine of their final 14 matches in 2013 against ranked teams, going 6-3 in that stretch.
Nebraska is the only top-10 team that will play two matches against ranked opponents in the opening weekend.
Sunday's match with Stanford is the only match of the opening weekend featuring a pair of top-10 teams.
This weekend will mark the 202nd and 203rd consecutive sellouts. NU owns a 188-13 record during the streak.