Nebraska (26-4) meets Missouri (22-7) tonight at 7 p.m. in the NCAA second round.
As part of the SEC Missouri plays a very competitive schedule. They beat a Texas A&M team that is already in the second round of the NCAA tournament and a Georgia team that lost a marathon five set match to Cal Poly last night. They also beat Michigan in three sets before entering the conference schedule and played well against #12 Hawaii in a five set loss.
They beat UNI yesterday in the first round with ease: 25-11, 25-13, 25-14. They hit .363 as a team and spread their offense around with four players with nine kills or more. Their setter, Andrea Fuentes, has nice hands and runs the offense well in part from her experience on the Puerto Rican U20 National Team.
She has a nice connection with all her hitters but very smooth with #13 Dariana Hollingworth-Santana who is also a member of the Puerto Rican U20 National Team. Tyanna Omazic is a strong player for Missouri. She is a 6’2’’ middle. She played for Illinois her freshman year before transferring to Missouri. 5’8’’ Leketor Member-Meneh will receive a lot of sets on the outside as an explosive and effective hitter.
The head coach, Josh Taylor, is familiar with national teams as he played on the US National Team in 2016 after finishing his career at Pepperdine. The assistant coach is Molly Taylor. She is a Missouri graduate, former SEC player of the year and also played on the US National Team. Sounds like the Tigers have a lot of good volleyball potential for the future with a coaching team like this!
The match tonight will be more competitive than either first round matches yesterday at the Devaney. I expect, however, that the size of Nebraska will be too great for Missouri to overcome. Nebraska will be able to hit over some of the Tigers and that will equal fast kills.
Lexi Sun seems to be jumping higher on her kills and blocks than even earlier in the season. What a great lifting program to get results like that! She is one of the better left side blockers in the country and that will surprise hitters. She gets off the ground fast and she reaches high.
All Nebraska matches this weekend will be televised on NET and streamed on BTNPlus.com and the BTN+ app for free!!! Husker Sports Network will broadcast all the Husker action on HSN radio affiliates, including 107.3 FM in Lincoln and AM 590 in Omaha. A live audio stream will be provided at Huskers.com and the Huskers app.