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Nebraska Volleyball Stumbles but Wins in Four Sets

Three words: Stiv. R. INS. Stivrins was out of this world

Jon Johnston

Nebraska (3-0) beats Maryland in four sets 25-19, 25-27, 25-19, 25-14

The connection between Hames and Stivrins was beautiful tonight. Did you see that one Stivrins hit the slide in the second set? It will be replayed as a highlight, don’t worry. Hames and Stivrins connected multiple times and it felt like the timing was just perfect. Stivrins had 18 kills and hit an amazing .850 for the match.

While we are talking about amazing middles, Kayla Caffey may have dug a post hole in the Devaney floor. She hit the ball so hard and fast, it was a sight to behold. WOW! Caffey played through set three hitting .214 with 6 kills on 14 attempts. Callie Schwarzenbach came in set four. She was a strong blocker and was up and available to hit.

When asked about the setting hitting connection, Stivrins talked about Assistant Coach Tyler Hildebrand, and his emphasis on offense. She says he pushes us to be in the air and pushes Nicklin to get them to ball no matter where she is on the court. Stivrins also mentioned that she was excited to see just how good Nicklin would get this year.

Lexi Sun took the most swings of any Nebraska player, 40 attempts and 14 kills. She showed us that she has been working on creativity and a variety of shots in the off season. She may have used every shot in the books in this match. Riley Zuhn looked strong tonight. Her swings were fast and hard. She ended with 9 kills and hit .167.

While those numbers aren’t bad, the outside hitters were off from their top game tonight. Stivrins thought it took the team about two sets to adjust to playing without fans in Devaney. Coach Cook thought the coaching staff had underestimated how the lack of 8,000 fans would feel. They are considering pumping in crowd noise but the final decision will come down to what the players want.

We saw Anni Evans and Jazz Sweet in set three as a blocking and setting sub. Evans served an ace as her first college serve! After the match, Stivrins talked about Evans as “the biggest team player” and describe the thrill the whole team had as Evans served that ace.

Coach Cook said he wasn’t surprised to see Evans’ serve cause trouble for Maryland as “she does that everyday to us in practice”. He also said he wants to continue to look for opportunities to play her.

What is most interesting is how Nebraska adjusts tomorrow night. Nebraska missed 8 serves compare to 7 aces. They want to improve that by controlling these serve errors.

Maryland disrupted Nebraska in multiple ways. They targeted specific players with their serve, and earned aces or were effective in moving Nebraska out of an offensive system. Maryland’s middles impacted the match in both blocking and hitting categories. What will Nebraska do overnight to be a better team tomorrow?

Other Scores Tonight

#19 Creighton 3, #25 Marquette - 25-13, 20-25, 23-25, 25-20, 15-11

#9 Penn State 2, Illinois 1 In progress

#1 Wisconsin 3, Rutgers 0 - 25-18, 25-20, 25-16

#6 Minnesota #13 Purdue - 20-25, 25-23, 24-26, 25-21, 15-7

#7 Stanford, Arizona 17-25, 16-25, 14-25

#8 Utah 3, Arizona State 2 - 25-8, 21-25, 21-25, 25-20, 15-8

Nebraska and Maryland play again tomorrow. Saturday’s match starts at 7:30 p.m. and will be televised nationally on Big Ten Network and streamed on and the FoxSports app. 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 and the Huskers app.

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