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#9 Nebraska Volleyball is Unbeaten in the Big Ten versus Iowa: Who Hasn’t Won in the Big Ten

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This is the second match up of these two school this year

Molly Houser

#9 Nebraska (14-3, B1G 8-0) vs Iowa (2-16, B1G 0-8)
When: Wednesday, October 20, 2021, 7:00 pm (CT)
Where: Xtream Arena in Coralville, IA
Video: BTN+
Radio: Husker Sports Network - Lincoln (B107.3 FM); Omaha (AM 590); Huskers.com; Huskers App

When Nebraska and Iowa last met on September 25th, the Huskers had a 1-match winning streak going after beating Northwestern, rebounding from losing three straight matches to Utah, Stanford and Louisville. The September 25th match was also the last match before Lauren Stivrins started against U of Michigan.

Well, things have changed quite a bit since then.

It is an understatement to say that this Husker squad is in a different spot than it was back then. Husker volleyball is on a tear, in the midst of an 8-match winning streak with Stivrins back in force as an anchor in the line up each night. Nebraska has dropped only 2 sets during the run; dominant!

What is not different is the play of Madi Kubik. She has been the two time B1G player of the week since then, and back in that September game against Iowa she also led with 15 kills. Other contributors were led by Lindsay Krause, who had 12 kills and hit .500, and Ally Batenhorst who added 6 kills and hit .333. As a team, Nebraska hit .267 which is acceptable, but Iowa hit .216 in September and that is just too high.

Nebraska will aim to increase their team hitting percentage tonight by reducing hitting errors and to also decrease the Iowa hitting percentage with blocking and digging defense to something below .200. Courtney Buzzerio led Iowa with 13 kills during the teams’ last meeting, followed by Addie VenderWeide with 11.

Coach Cook told us after the Illinois match that Kayla Caffey is feeling better and expected to practice this week. We don’t know what that means for the Iowa match. One school of thought is to give her more rest as Callie Schwarzenbach is plenty good and you can beat Iowa with either middle on the court. Another thought process says give Caffey some reps to get her ready for the top 10 matchup against Purdue this weekend.

This isn’t a pivotal decision. Schwarzenbach is a very good blocking middle which is going to lead to accomplishing Nebraska’s goal of reducing Iowa’s team hitting percentage. A healthy Caffey is ultimately going to get the start in the long run because of her high offensive threat added to a her very good blocking.

Nebraska’s abundance of talent this season makes creating match like intensity in practice possible. The only thing coach can’t do is fill Devaney for the practice. The players on the bench for Nebraska can rival many starters for other teams. When Caffey practices against Lexi Sun, Schwarzenbach, Kalynn Meyer and Whitney Lauenstein she will be up to speed for the next match.

Don’t be late for the start of this match against Iowa. Nebraska will win in three and they will be efficient doing it.

University of Nebraska (14-3)

#1 Nicklin Hames 5’10’’ SR Setter - 2.94 digs per set
#2 Kenzie Knuckles 5’8’’ JR DS - 1.98 digs per set, .961 reception %
#3 Kayla Caffey 6’0’’ SR MB - 2.34 kills per set, 1.11 blocks per set
#4 Anni Evans 5’9’’ SO Setter/Serving Specialist - .69 digs per set
#6 Keonilei Akana 5’9’’ SO DS - 2.21 digs per set, .937 reception %
#7 Rylee Gray 6’4’’ FR MB
#8 Lexi Rodriguez 5’5’’ FR Libero - 4.00 digs per set, .970 reception %
#9 Kennedi Orr 6’0’’ FR Setter
#10 Madi Kubik 6’3’’ JR OH - 3.30 kills per set, .46 blocks per set, .944 reception %
#11 Lexi Sun 6’2’’ SR OH- 2.32 kills per set, .50 blocks per set, .948 reception %
#13 Whitney Lauenstein 6’2’’ FR OH - .91 kills per set, .30 blocks per set
#14 Ally Batenhorst 6’4’’ FR OH - 1.84 kills per set, .29 blocks per set, .938 reception %
#20 Kalynn Meyer 6’3’’ SO MB -1.14 blocks per set
#22 Lindsay Krause 6’4’’ FR OH - 2.46 kills per set, .77 blocks per set, .870 reception %
#25 Callie Schwarzenbach 6’5’’ SR MB - 1.16 kills per set, 1.29 blocks per set
#26 Lauren Stivrins 6’4’’ SR MB - 2.21 kills per set, .74 blocks per set

Iowa (2-16, B1G 0-8)

#2 Courtney Buzzerio 6’5’’ SR OH- 4.123 kills per set
#8 Kyndra Hansen 6’2’’ JR OH- 1.717 kills per set
#9 Amiya Jones 6’2’’ SR MB
#10 Mari Hinkle 5’9’’ JR Libero
#12 Bailey Ortega 5’9’’ SO Setter
#18 Hannah Clayton 6’2’’ SR MB- 1.954 kills per set
#20 Edina Schmidt 6’1’’ JR OH
#22 Addie Venderweide 6’0’’ FR OH - 2.436 kills per set

Nebraska plays again Saturday, October 23rd, against #7 Purdue in the Devaney Center at 8 pm. The match will be televised on BTN and it is also on Huskers Radio Network.