A 4-0 Nebraska plays a 1-5 Rutgers this weekend in New Jersey. Rutgers is a building team. The battle will largely be on individual sides of the net and the opponent won’t matter so much. Coach Cook says, “we need to be playing matches”, so that they will do.
Rutgers head coach Caitlin Schweihofer is in her 1st year at Rutgers after previous head coach positions as Northeastern (Boston, MA) and Lasalle (Philadelphia). Rutgers is 1-5. They were swept at Northwestern, then the next week the Scarlet Knights beat Indiana 3-1 at home before dropping the rematch the next day. Rutgers was swept by No. 1 Wisconsin last weekend.
Coach Schweihofer said that their goal this season was to keep the other team’s starters on the court. She said she wants to play well enough that the best of the other team is required to beat the best of her Rutgers team.
Her squad is mostly international players and led statistically by 6’1’’ senior outside side hitter Beka Kojadinovic, with 2.75 kills per set and adds in 2.25 digs per set. Kojadinovic is from Serbia. Rutgers play two players from Serbia, two from Russian and three from the US.
Normally, international players bring a mature style of play to the court. They trained differently growing up than your typical American player, and often have more repetitions on the ball, which means more experience.
I expect the Huskers will handle this experience of Rugters just fine but use this as an opportunity to grow and get better. They will set internal goals for the weekend, and each match within it, and work to meet those.
The Rutgers players will make shots (purposefully placed hits rather than always hard driven attacks) and won’t hit straight into the Husker block, they are smarter than that.
NU will perhaps make a goal to achieve a high dig percentage against these smart attackers who will come with a well placed attack. We should be looking for an improvement in serve receive as well as an increase in sets to the second middle whether it is Kayla Caffey or Callie Schwarzenbach.
The connection needs to improve here for the good of the whole offense. When every attacker is a threat, the opposing blockers have respect or be ready to block everyone. Being ready to block the middle often means the opposing block is late to get to the outside attackers. Good news for Lexi Sun, Madi Kubik and Riley Zuhn.
I believe this is where we say Teamwork makes the Dreamwork! GBR!!
The two teams will square off at College Avenue Gym in New Brunswick at 3 p.m. CT on both Friday and Saturday. Both matches will be streamed on BTNPlus.com (subscription).
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.
Cornnation.com will have the game thread going so you can hang right here with us!