The Husker Volleyball Team hit the road again this past week, defeating Michigan State in five sets on Wednesday night (25-19, 27-29, 23-25, 25-18, 16-14) and Maryland in five sets Saturday (25-21, 23-25, 25-21, 25-18).
On Wednesday, the Huskers hit .222 against .177 for Michigan State. The Huskers were led by 21 kills by Kadie Rolfzen who hit .211. Kelsey Fien hit .250 with 13 kills, and Mikaela Foecke added 12 kills to hit .154.
The Huskers had 12 blocks with Amber Rolfzen recording five and Kadie Rolfzen recording four, including three solo blocks. Mikaela Foecke's three aces led the Huskers who had eight total for the match, but had 13 missed serves.
Justine Wong-Orantes had 18 digs to lead four Huskers with double-digit blocks. Kadie Rolfzen (14), Kelly Hunter (14), and Annika Albrecht (13) all helped contribute to the Huskers 74 digs for the night, two more than the Spartans.
Saturday night, the Huskers played without Justine Wong-Orantes and needed four sets to knock of the Maryland Terrapins in College Park. The Huskers hit .294 for the match, with Foecke (15, .303), Fien (13, .265), and Amber Rolfzen (12, .478) helping propel the Huskers' offense.
Kenzie Maloney played the libero position in place of Wong-Orantes, who sat due to a knee injury, and recorded 11 digs for the Huskers who had 55 overall against 48 for the Terrapins. Kadie Rolfzen (13), Albrecht (12), and Hunter (10) also recorded double-digit digs for the second straight match.
The Huskers had ten total blocks, all assisted, with both middles, Amber Rolfzen and Cecilia Hall, recording five. Kadie Rolfzen and Kelly Hunter each had four blocks to help neutralize the Maryland outside attack.
The Huskers had 18 missed serves against the Terrapins through four sets. Far above the season average for the team leading the B1G in serve efficiency. Serving was dramatically improved for Nebraska this year when compared to past years, and seeing old demons creep back in this time of year is concerning, but not cause for panic yet.
The other concern for the Huskers was the absence of Wong-Orantes. Coach Cook called her the "air traffic controller" on the court, and said that not having her on the court showed in the Huskers lacking poise during the match. It's not known right now how serious her injury is, but hopefully she can get healthy in time to play for the stretch run.
The Huskers have three of their final four regular season matches at home, starting with Indiana at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Wednesday, November 18 at 7:00 pm.