Nebraska 3, Michigan 0 - 25-19, 25-15, 25-13.
Nebraska had focus and precision in their play tonight. Everyone contributed to the seemingly smooth win over a talented Michigan team. Nebraska hit .362 as a team and had 11 blocks but it started with the passing, it always does. Serve receive was good.
Passes were consistently going to Hames, the setter, and this kept the Huskers in rhythm. The passing made it possible to not only set all of the offensive Nebraska weapons but makes some setter kills too. Once Hames was a threat as an attacker, she opened up even more space for the other attackers for NU.
Many times tonight there was only one blocker up for Michigan or the second blocker was so late coming that there was a hole in the block. A hole in the block is a beautiful view as hitter. It means the space the double block was supposed to take away from you as a hitter is wide open. You swing fast and hard and it almost always results in a pretty kill.
Coach Cook said after the match “I thought we had the pedal to the metal the whole night”. He said Hames was really feeling it tonight. She was able to give the ball to both the middles and Jazz Sweet in advantageous situations.
Coach was told the told the hitting stats for his middles on air. When he heard the both had 10 kills with no errors he said, “those guys are getting extra meal money. That is one of the most incredible stats I’ve ever seen.” He was clearly impressed with the ability to get kills. So are we Coach!
Set 1 - A couple blocks start the set 2-0. Akana’s serve is causing poor passing for U of M. Hames swipes the ball off a Michigan blockers hands (Michigan challenges Hames in the net, call reversed), 2-1. Mruzik, freshman OH for U of M starting off how she started, with a kill, 4-3. Stivrins quick attack kill, 4-4. Hames deep dump kill, 5-4. Caffey on the slide for a kill, 7-6. Kubik hits off the top of the block for a kill, 9-9. Stivrins and Sweet block on Murray, 10-9. ooooo! Jazz Sweet is fast on the right side with a great cross court kill, 13-10. Caffey hits a slide and huge hole in the block, kill, 16-12. Good dig on a tip over the block by Knuckles converted to a kill by Caffey, 18-14. Lots of missed serves for both teams this set, five so far for Nebraska, 18-15. Stivrins on the block, 20-17. Knuckles serves an ace, 21-17. Did you see Sweet set Stivrins? It didn’t go for a kill but Sweet ends the rally on the next possession with a kill herself, 22-17. U of M takes a timeout at a set point, 24-19. Hames ends it with a setter dump, 25-19.
Set 2 - Stivrins and Kubik block, 1-1. Great defense by Knuckles and Akana leads to a Sun back row attack kill, 2-1. Sun hits on the right side and pounds off the block for a kill, 4-2. Jess Robinson for Michigan is more active tonight, slide kill for her, 4-3. Scottie Johnson, left handed setter for Michigan with a kill, 5-4. Reception error for Akana, 5 all. Caffey quick kill, 7-7. Ace by Sun, 8-7. Ace by Knuckles, 10-8. Another, well technically Michigan overpassed and Strvirns kills, but all caused by Knuckles serve, 11-8. Akana with a great dig, the next possession Sun and Stivrins stuff Robinson on the block, 15-11. Caffey pounds the ball in the middle, 16-11. Hames is not only attacking herself but feeding the middles from everywhere, 17-12. Big block by Sweet and Caffey, 18-12. Timeout Michigan, 19-12. Block by Caffey and Sun, 22-13, great block. Michigan hitting .000 in this set. Blocking has a lot to do with it. Sweet kills it and ends the set, 25-15.
Set 3 - Kubik with a missed pass, 0-1. Stivrins gets her 7th kill of the match on a slide, 3-2. Ace by Kubik! 4-2. Stivrins transitions fast for another slide kill, 5-2. 2nd ace on this run for Kubik, 7-2. Densberger serving causes an overpass which Caffey terminates, 9-3. Akana runs for a tip dig, Sun hits the ball for a kill, 10-4. Sweet gets her 6th kill, 13-6. Big hustle play starts with a Hames dig, Knuckles one handed keeps it alive but Kubik can’t get to the third ball because the line judge was there. 14-7. Sweet with a tempo kill from a Knuckles bump set, 15-8. Stivrins blocks in the middle, 16-8. Kubik serves and forces an overpass, Stivrins damages the floor and doubles the score with a fast hard swing, 18-9. After a timeout Stivrins slide kill through the block, 19-8. Kubik rolls from the backrow for a kill, 21-12. Awesome set by Hames to Caffey from far off the net, 22-12. Kubik and Caffey block makes it set point, 24-13. Ace from Sun! 25-13.
Nebraska is scheduled to plan Penn State at home Thursday and Friday. Penn State vs Wisconsin was cancelled this weekend due to COVID. We’ll follow this story this weekend to see how it develops.