Nebraska volleyball’s theme for the season is “our roots run deep”. That could sure apply to the depth chart for this team. There was a ton of talent on the court, both sides.
Here’s what I saw.
15 players dressed for the scrimmage tonight. Lauren Stivrins did not dress. After each set some of the players switched from one team to the other, so there was never a true Red or White squad.
During set four, Nicklin Hames went down with an injury and was helped off the court to the locker room. We’re still not sure what the injury is, or how serious.
Lindsay Krause and Whitney Lauenstein played the right side position. Both players were very effective in the front and back row with their attack. When they attack from the back row right it is fast and a great offensive weapon. This is a nice addition to the offense.
Krause was a good blocker and dug tough balls in the back row. One key note here: If Krause plays all the way around on the right side then there is potentially no sub position for Keonilei Akana. Akana was a great sub last season that made impact plays.
The middles and left side hitters moved back and forth between teams. Lexi Sun, Madi Kubik and Ally Batenhorst each played outside for the Red team. Meanwhile Callie Schwarzenbach, Kalynn Meyer and Kayla Caffey were in the middles for both teams. Schwarzenbach was impressive in her blocking. Caffey connected well with all of the setters as an attacker.
Kubik struggled as an attacker through most of the night but passed very well. Sun missed some passing locations but was an effective attacker. Batenhorst also missed some passes but was impressive as an attacker.
Lexi Rodriguez played libero for the red team while Akana played for the white. Kenzie Knuckles played defensive specialist which allowed her to attack very effectively from the backrow. While there were some miscues and missed digs during this match I expect those to be ironed out with time and practice and the defensive caliber to be very high this season.
The white team used both Anni Evans and Kennedi Orr as the setter while red had Nicklin Hames. The first look at Orr was great. She is a crafty setter making plays happen. She has very good body control which allows her to set all kinds of passes. While I don’t expect to see her on the court much this year, the future is bright in the setting position.
Hames played solid defense and had pinpoint accuracy in her setting location. She puts the ball just where the hitters need it to be successful. This skill is hard to see but very important to the success of the attack.
Nebraska opens the season in the Devaney Center on Friday August 27th at 11 am against Tulsa. They play Colgate that night at 6:30 pm then on Saturday Nebraska plays Kansas State at 4:30 pm.