#4 Nebraska (7-1) 3, #5 Minnesota 0 (9-1) - 25-17, 25-15, 25-22
A comparison of the two matches by key stats
Samedy Match 1 - 27 kills, .379 hitting percentage Match 2 - Unavailable at press
Team blocks Match 1 - MN 20 vs NU 8 Match 2- MN 8 vs NU 17
Serve Aces Match 1 - MN 5 vs NU 4 Match 2 - MN 0 vs NU 4
Serve Errors Match 1 - MN 3 vs NU 6 Match 2 - MN 8 vs NU 8
Nebraska’s coaching staff made changes after Friday’s match and the players executed them. This is a takeaway from the weekend; smart coaching minds and coachable players!
There were a significant amount of back row attacks compare to Friday night for NU. This change stressed the Gopher block and gave the Husker hitters more options in the attack. More options leads to more kills because somewhere in those options is an open space on the other side of net. This is a beautiful part of volleyball.
The blocking scheme changed so Zuhn blocked on the left side when Samedy was front row. Samedy also had a triple block on her when she attacked in the middle of the court. This led to multiple blocks on Samedy.
The starting line ups is a story but it isn’t the whole story. Kayla Caffey and Riley Zuhn started for Nebraska, Adanna Rollins was unavailable for Minnesota. Rollins not playing certainly impacted MN but it wasn’t the only change that impacted them. The strategies that Nebraska changed for this match were a bigger factor than Rollins not playing.
Beating this talent packed Minnesota team is a feather in the Nebraska team cap. They should be very proud of the assertive way they played, the adjustments they made and the whole team effort. What they will have to keep working on going forward is making those adjustments mid-match rather than after 24 hours. NCAA tournament play will require it.
Here is how the match went:
Set 1 - Zuhn and Sun were hot early. Kubik and Sun out of the backrow were fantastic. Minnesota had multiple service errors. They also hit out while trying to hit the hands of the Nebraska blocker. Minnesota made a lot of errors in the opening set.
Set 2 - Big blocks on Samedy and the majority of the sets going to Landfair early in set 2. NU dug Samedy backrow attacks and followed her on the block. MN called timeout at 11-6. Sun blocked anything and everything on the left side. At 14-9 MN went on a run similar to what they did on Friday. At 14-11 NU called a timeout as the team couldn’t get a side out. The four point run ended with a Kubik kill. When Zuhn was in, Coach moved her to the left side to block against Samedy. That moved Kubik and Sun to the right side. This made their attack less effective but apparently worth the blocking numbers. Akana served three great serves to make 23-15. a great Sun dig created a joust at the net for Hames against Pittman, Hames WINS!! Set 2 ends on a Kubik kill.
Set 3 - MN started a different middle this set taking out Rubright and putting in Katie Myers, transfer from Maryland. Zuhn started the set with a deep kill from the right side. It was 4-2 after a HUGE Sun block on Samedy from the backrow. This set went back and forth on points. A good deal of service errors traded here left you wanting more. Samedy unloaded on Hames late in the set. Tough as nails, Hames kept playing! Set from Anni Evans to Sun ended the match.
Nebraska travels to Wisconsin for a Friday and Saturday match next weekend. Both matches are scheduled for 7 pm on BTN.