Huskers win in three sets: 25-17, 25-10 , 25-15
Kenzie Knuckles dressed in street clothes and wasn’t available for the match as a precaution after taking a hit to the head in the Stanford match. Megan Miller played libero and Haley Densberger played backrow for Jazz Sweet (what Megan normally does). One player out caused changes in every rotation for the Nebraska defense. The team handled those changes well, but did not look sharp overall.
The match started with a great deal of errors by Nebraska. There were missed connections from set to hit; poor passes, and blocking errors. So much so that the first set was in question with the Shockers leading late. The momentum change came when Miller went back to serve about halfway through the set. She served a couple tough balls, and from there on the Huskers had more control.
Once the Nebraska train started rolling they looked much stronger. Perhaps the Huskers needed to shake off the Stanford game. Missed connections in the first set between Stivrins and Hames turned into solid kills in the second set. There was clearly a pregame strategy to set middle for Nebraska. Stivrins had 15 attempts in three sets compared to the 21 she had in four sets against Stanford. Schwarzenbach had 14 attempts compare to the 8 she had on Wednesday night.
This strategy is designed to not only get kills in the middle but to open up more shots for the outside hitters. If the opposing middle has stay home to be ready to block the Husker middle, then she doesn’t have enough time to form a solid block if the ball is set outside. With as super talented middle like Stivrins, this will be a major component of the Nebraska attack all season.
We could have expected a bit of a hangover from the Stanford game. So let’s take that into consideration. But this team appears to go through some stretches where they lose their composure and drop a few points, if not a set, to a lesser opponent. They can recover against a team like the Shockers. They clearly couldn’t against Stanford. We’ll have to keep watching to see if the Huskers can put together a full game, and do it night after night. On to the Big Ten!
Of Note: #2 Stanford lost to #12 BYU in four at home today. 25-18, 22-25, 23-25, 29-31.
What’s Next: Nebraska plays at #19 University of Illinois on Friday September 27th at 7:30 pm to start the conference season. You can watch on BTN/FOX Sports App. You can listen on the Husker Sports Network.
They then travel to Northwestern on Saturday September 28th to play at 7:00 pm. You can watch on BTN+ and listen on the Husker Sports Network.