When you look at the three sets that the Huskers won on Wednesday night at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln, the story would seem to be one of total domination by the #3 Nebraska Women’s Volleyball team. The set the Huskers dropped would imply a close, hard-fought five-setter. However, the Huskers mostly dominated on the night, knocking off their border rivals 3-1 (25-10, 23-25, 25-15, 25-11).
The Huskers had a phenomenal night attacking, hitting .373 while holding the Hawkeyes to .071. Senior outside hitter Mikaela Foecke had 20 kills and hit .459. Sophomore outside Jazz Sweet hit .300 with 15 kills. After a couple tough matches in a row, sophomore outside hitter Lexi Sun hit .385 with 13 kills.
The Husker middles were spectacular in keeping the Iowa attack at bay. Both sophomore Lauren Stivrins and freshman Callie Schwarzenbach had part in five blocks with Stivrins getting two solo blocks. The team had a total of ten blocks for the night.
Across the stat line, the Huskers held a distinct advantage over the team from Iowa City. The Huskers had 50 digs while Hawkeyes managed 41. While the Huskers had 10 service errors to Iowa’s three, Nebraska also had 11 aces to four for the visitors.
The question of what happened in the second set may linger for awhile. The answer may well be in what is glaring when looking at the Huskers’ roster, inexperience. After what is a truly dominating first set, it’s entirely possible that the young Husker lineup took their foot off the gas. During the intermission, the team leaders got everyone back on the same page and the final two sets went like the first.
Illinois spent Wednesday night proving their arrival amongst the B1G elite on Wednesday night as well, so the Huskers will face their second huge test in a week on Saturday night as the #5 Minnesota Golden Gophers travel to Lincoln. It’s a 7:00 PM Central match (yes, during the football game) that will be televised on NET.
Nebraska tried to change the time of the Minnesota match to 4:00 so it wouldn’t conflict with the football game, but Minnesota wouldn’t agree to it. If both teams agree, then match times can be moved, but the Gophers wouldn’t do that. Is that extra motivation? Who knows. The way they’re playing right now, the team shouldn’t need any extra motivation.