The Husker Women’s Volleyball team returned home from the weekend road trip with two more wins, and the #1 ranking in the AVCA Division 1 Coaches Poll.
The trip started on Friday night in Columbus, Ohio, where the team looked to avenge their only loss of the season against #19 Ohio State. The Huskers took the first two sets 25-20, then dropped the third 23-25 before ultimately prevailing in the fourth set 27-25 and taking the match 3-1.
Kadie Rolfzen paced the Husker attack with 21 kills on 46 attempts with just two errors to hit .413. The closest Husker was Andie Malloy with 11 kills and a .233 hitting number. Nebraska barely outhit Ohio State .239 - .225.
The Huskers had 83 digs to 71 for the Buckeyes. Justine Wong-Orantes had 23 of the Husker digs, Kelly Hunter added 19, and Kadie Rolfzen had 11 for a double-double. Ohio State actually had two more blocks than Nebraska 9-7. Briana Holman led the Huskers with four block assists.
In a close match, the deciding factor might have been serves. The Huskers had five aces and errors, while the Buckeyes had three aces and fifteen errors.
The second match of the weekend was a Sunday matinee against the Maryland Terrapins. The Huskers left town with a fairly dominant sweep, 25-16, 25-14, 25-17.
Nebraska’s offense was dominant on Sunday, hitting .429 to .081 for Maryland. Three of the Husker hitters were above .500, led by .800 from Kelly Hunter, and including both Kadie (.643) and Amber (.545) Rolfzen.
The Husker domination continued in nearly every other statistical category with twelve blocks to the Terrapins’ three, 37 digs to 28, and four aces to one. Amber Rolfzen was the dominant force blocking with six block assists and one solo block. Annika Albrecht was the only Husker with double-digit digs, registering ten.
Her performance over the weekend earned Kadie Rolfzen B1G Player of the Week honors.
This upcoming weekend will be a huge weekend for volleyball in Lincoln. Three of the top four teams in the nation will be playing in Lincoln with the #4 Wisconsin Badgers visiting at 8:00 PM Central Friday night in a match that will be televised on BTN, and the #3 Minnesota Golden Gophers coming in Sunday at 1:00 PM Central which will also be on BTN.
The B1G schedule is never easy, but this weekend will show whether or not the turn around since the Ohio State loss is real. The Huskers had a brutal start to the season in Eugene with Florida and Texas, but this should be an even greater test. However, in this case, the Huskers will have the home-court advantage. It will also go a long way to telling us whether or not this team is actually prepared to defend last season’s national championship.