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Volleyball: Ameritas Players’ Challenge Day 2

The Huskers again won the Ameritas Players’ Challenge with a 3-1 win over Santa Clara.

Day two of the Ameritas Players’ Challenge at the Bob Devaney Sports Center wrapped up before the weather moved in with the #5 Nebraska Women’s Volleyball team knocking off the Santa Clara Broncos 3-1 (25-13, 21-25, 25-9, 25-15).

Nebraska’s hitting was terrible in the second set. The Broncos outhit Nebraska .148 to .100. Coach Cook rotated through a few players trying to find an answer, but none came. Despite that, it wasn’t a huge deficit, and also not a surprise to the Husker program. Santa Clara’s Liliana Light is a gifted setter and has run a balanced offense, tough to defend. Coach Cook acknowledged the challenge in his Friday night press conference.

For the night, the Huskers overall hit .291 while holding the Broncos to .059. Jazz Sweet had 14 kills to lead the Huskers, hitting .345. Mikaela Foecke had 10 kills and hit .333. Capri Davis saw a lot of court time on the night and hit .375 with eight kills.

The Huskers had twelve blocks for the night which played a significant role in the Broncos’ hitting. Calli Schwarzenbach was part of nine blocks, all of them assist blocks. Foecke also had ten digs to notch a double-double, and Nicklin Hames added 13. The Huskers had 47 digs for the night to 37 for Santa Clara.

Santa Clara was a great serving team for the season, coming in with more aces than errors in their service game (33-32). However, they committed eight errors and got only two aces on the night. The Huskers had ten aces and eight errors. Hames and Foecke each had three aces.

This was anticipated to be the biggest challenge of the weekend for the Huskers and it proved to be. It was a good test after the VERT Challenge. Players like Capri Davis were able to prove themselves against a tough opponent, giving the Huskers added depth for the long season.

While we haven’t seen highly-touted transfer Lexi Sun, she’s been fighting a nagging back injury that the Huskers are using extra caution in treating. Unless she’s completely healthy, her return isn’t anticipated until conference season.

This next week is two non-conference, non-tournament matches that will be huge tests for the Huskers. Thursday night is in Omaha against #15 Creighton at the CHI Health Center. It’s a return to the site of the 2015 National Championship for the Huskers, but Creighton had continued to recruit well and has a very talented team. That game will be shown on NET at 7:00 pm Central.

Sunday afternoon, September 9, the Huskers will host the Iowa State Cyclones at Devaney. That match will be played at 1 PM Central and will air on ESPNU.