Over the weekend, the #1-ranked Nebraska Women’s Volleyball Team swept the #24 Illinois Fighting Illini and the Northwestern Wildcats to move to 20-1 on the season and 11-1 in conference play.
Friday night pitted the Huskers against Illinois, the second time the teams met this season. On September 28th, the Huskers swept the Illini in Champaign. The result was much the same this time, as the Huskers swept Illinois 26-24, 25-21, 25-19.
The hitting numbers for the teams were close on the night, with Nebraska hitting .186 to .170 for Illinois. Both Briana Holman and Kadie Rolfzen had 10 kills for the night, with Holman hitting .286 and Rolfzen hitting .250.
The Huskers led the Illini in digs, 51-48, including 19 by Justine Wong-Orantes. The Huskers were actually outblocked by Illinois 8-6, but the Huskers were led by Briana Holman’s four block assists.
One of those Wong-Orantes digs likely led to her not playing on Saturday night:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Way to keep your head in the game, <a href="https://twitter.com/jwongorantes">@jwongorantes</a> <br><br>Just one dig closer to that record <a href="https://t.co/MHHTAkWqvd">pic.twitter.com/MHHTAkWqvd</a></p>— Husker Volleyball (@Huskervball) <a href="https://twitter.com/Huskervball/status/792167369745375232">October 29, 2016</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Saturday night, the Huskers swept the Northwestern Wildcats 25-20, 25-11, 25-20. The Huskers hit a much better .308 Saturday night against .124. Three Huskers, Holman, Kadie Rolfzen, and Kelly Hunter hit .500 or above with Hunter hitting .571. Kadie Rolfzen was the only Husker hitter in double digits with 11 kills.
No Justine Wong-Orantes on the night, again likely attributed to shot to the head suffered Friday night, and no Husker defender had double-digit digs. Kenzie Maloney wore the libero jersey on the night and had nine digs. Kelly Hunter also had nine on the night where Nebraska’s 37 digs bested Northwestern’s 31.
Holman again led the Husker blockers with six block assists as the Huskers recorded seven blocks on the night. Northwestern had four.
On Monday, Coach Cook did not offer an update to Libero Wong-Orantes’ injury. It has been identified as a head injury, but no timetable was given for her return.
Nebraska could really use their All-American libero this weekend as they travel to State College, Pennsylvania to take on #11 Penn State. Penn State was undefeated in B1G play until trips to Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin consecutively resulted in losses for the Nittany Lions. Penn State will certainly be looking to get back on track against Nebraska, a match that is always marked conspicuously on the B1G calendar. The match will be televised on BTN and BTN2Go. First serve will be at 7:00 PM Central Friday.
Saturday will see the Huskers in Piscataway, New Jersey to take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. That match will start at 6:00 PM Central and will be on BTNPlus ($$).