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Volleyball vs Ohio State Saturday Game Thread

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Both teams return to the court after the five set battle last night. Who has a sore arm?

Jon Johnston

#4 Nebraska Cornhuskers (10-1) vs #11 Ohio State Buckeyes (12-1)

Saturday, March 13, 2021, 8 pm (CT)
Devaney Center
Video: BTN
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network - Lincoln (B107.3 FM); Omaha (CD 105.9 FM); Huskers.com; Huskers App

Lauren Stivrins was great last night. She earned her 1,000th career kill while earning 18 overall in the game night. She was also described as a “great leader” by Coach Cook and given credit for leading the team out of the two set deficit. What is equally amazing is that she had 33 attempts, which was just 10 less than Lexi Sun and five less than Madi Kubik. Nicklin Hames got the ball to Stivrins in all sorts of situations. Middles are rarely, if ever, the center of the offense like that. A career night all around!

Keonilei Akana and Kenzie Knuckles were also excellent. They passed serve receive expertly, with only one error between them, kind of like pitching a one hitter in baseball! Their defense was a sight to see. Akana showed off her reflexes digging balls hit so fast that most of us didn’t even see go past. Knuckles flew like a super hero, digging balls in mid air.

Tonight, the Huskers will try to slow down Buckey Emily Londot on the outside and Rylee Rader in the middle. These two freshman are to be credited for most of the Buckeyes success, especially in the first two sets. Londot swung 61 times and had 23 kills. Rader had 14 kills and hit .591. Wow!

Londot was slowed in sets 4 and 5 with a larger presence at block by NU. Riley Zuhn blocked on the left side, similar to the tactic Coach Cook used to slow Stephanie Samedy of Minnesota. A less productive Londot is a big reason Nebraska won sets 4 and 5. Rader was never really impacted by anything the Huskers tried, however.

Tonight, we may see a more focused block on her. Our middles will jump every time she jumps rather than wait to see if she is set to jump. Callie Schwarzenbach subbed in late in the match last night as a blocking sub for one play. She is a strong blocking middle. We will see her again tonight for this purpose.

The scouting report on Mac Podraza, setter for OSU, is that she will attack. She didn’t last night. Part of the reason Rader was successful was because the NU block was focused on Podraza. Tonight, the NU block will commit on Rader, that will give Podraza more successful attack attempts but she won’t do as much damage as Rader did last night. This is a good trade off for Nebraska.

University of Nebraska (10-1)
#1 Nicklin Hames 5’10’’ JR Setter - 11.08 assists per set, 3.03 digs per set
#26 Lauren Stivrins 6’4’’ SR MB - 3.45 kills per set, 1.03 blocks per set
#3 Kayla Caffey 6’0’’ JR MB - 1.90 kills per set, 1.16 blocks per set
#25 Callie Schwarzenbach 6’5’’ JR MB - .91 kills per set, 1.27 blocks per set
#11 Lexi Sun 6’2’’ SR OH - 3.87 kills per set, 2.13 digs per set, 20 aces
#10 Madi Kubik 6’3’’ SO OH - 2.84 kills per set, 2.61 digs per set, 14 aces
#16 Riley Zuhn 6’5’’ SO OH - 1.50 kills per set, .68 blocks per set
#12 Jazz Sweet 6’3’’ SR OH - .56 kills per set, .22 blocks per set
#2 Kenzie Knuckles 5’8’’ SO Libero - 3.63 digs per set, 8 aces
#6 Keonilei Akana 5’9’’ FR DS - 2.50 digs per set, 15 aces

Ohio State (12-1)

#6 Kylie Murr 5’6’’ SO L
#7 Hannah Gruensfelder 5’6’’ SR DS
#8 Gabby Gonzales 6’3’’ SO OH
#10 Mac Podraza 6’2’’ SO Setter
#12 Lauren Witte 6’4’’ SR MB
#13 Vanja Bukilic 6’3’’ FR JR
#20 Rylee Rader 6’2’’ FR MB
#22 Emily Londot 6’2’’ FR OH

First year head coach Jen Flynn Oldenburg is a 2001 graduate of OSU. She was an excellent setter and outside hitter for the Buckeyes and led the team to a NCAA appearance all four years. She set for the US National team after OSU. She was a volunteer assistant coach at Illinois.