Nebraska (5-0) defeats Rutgers (1-6) 25-18, 25-21, 25-19
Oh it was sluggish and sloppy but Nebraska beat Rutgers in three sets this afternoon. Coach Cook said he prefers the evening match times because of the routine. This afternoon match, or the color of the gym or something threw off the rhythm of the Nebraska players.
The Huskers looked flatfooted as they started their day at 7:30 am for COVID testing in order to play at 3 pm CST today. The match time is the same tomorrow so they will try to do something different in the next match.
Lexi Sun was excellent in the front row with 17 kills and only two errors hitting .484. Rutgers chose to commit block Kayla Caffey (7 kills, .545) so Sun was often hitting with only one blocker in front of her. Sun also missed three serves. She missed two very badly so I can only assume she is changing a fundamental in her serve technique.
We got to see R/FR Emma Gabel for the first time in the backrow. She was pivotal in fact for the second set win. She came in with energy and good passing. The Huskers were missing both on the court. After she entered the match, NU scored three points and continued to play better from there on in the second set.
Passing was poor overall for Nebraska. Multiple players had poor passing afternoons. Nicklin Hames ran a 10 K race to track down passes. While on the run, communication between Hames and other players broke down. Twice that second ball dropped and multiple times players hesitated going for the ball. Hesitation has no place on a volleyball court.
Nebraska will watch film tonight and see the problems in this match. Tomorrow, the tip behind the block won’t drop and serve receive passing will work very hard to improve. Those two changes will alone will put the Huskers in control of the match as they should be against Rutgers.
We learned on the radio broadcast that Kelly Hunter, who was in the volunteer coach position for Nebraska, is going to play in a start up professional volleyball league in Dallas. Very exciting to see some of our favorite former college players in action again.
The two teams will square off at College Avenue Gym in New Brunswick at 3 p.m. CT again Saturday. The match 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.