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#6 Husker Volleyball Hosts #5 Louisville and Evening Football Thread

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Lots of different line ups on the court this season, can one of them beat #5 Louisville?

Jordyn Senstock

#6 Nebraska Cornhuskers (6-2) vs #5 Louisville (9-0)
When: Saturday, September 18, 2021, 7:00 pm (CT)
Where: Devaney Center in Omaha, NE
Video: Big Ten Network
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network - Lincoln (B107.3 FM); Omaha (AM 590); Huskers.com; Huskers App

Nebraska returns to the home court tonight against The University of Louisville Cardinals are coached by former Husker player and assistant coach Dani Busboom Kelly. This is her fifth year as the Louisville head coach.

Louisville has impressive wins over #9 Purdue in three sets, and more recently over #8 Kentucky in five. They have two all Americans returning for their fifth year, middle hitter Anna Stevenson and setter Tori Dilfer.

While for us fans, the starting line up for Nebraska may seem a little like Coach Cook is picking lottery balls to determine who starts a match, in reality he is creating a situation that will accelerate the team’s development.

Imagine the practice gym for the Huskers and the intensity that must happen in there. These players know that a starting position is on the line. Of course, every team works to create a sense of urgency, but Coach Cook has clearly established that there are no locks, and if you want to play you will earn it.

Imagine what practice must be like. During drills, managers take stats in a similar way to matches as a way to determine who is executing what coaches want/need and who starts. You can bet that some practice drills will actually carry more weight than stats during live action.

For example, typically passes during a match are rated 0-3 based on how close they are to the setting location. A 3 pass means all hitting options are “settable” for the setter based on the pass. In a passing drill at practice, however, coach may further define that goal to see who can meet the expectation by making the scale go to, say, 6.

In a hitting drill, instead of four hands in front of a hitter, she may have a solid wall, an actual foam wall that someone holds in place so the hitter has to find another way to get a kill. These drills and the stats from them are the information the coaching staff uses along with previous match results to determine who will start.

The three freshmen pin hitters, Whitney Lauenstein, Ally Batenhorst and Lindsay Krause didn’t beat Stanford in September. Coach chose to stick with that line up through the entire match even, though they were losing, to see what they could work through. Understanding how these players adapted to game time situation, and crossing that data with practice stats, allow for in-match adjustments that are often the difference between winning and losing an NCAA tournament match.

Coach Cook is developing this team for the long haul. He is betting on their training, improvement and ultimate potential. I’ll be patient. I want to see what they can do.

University of Nebraska (6-2)

#1 Nicklin Hames 5’10’’ SR Setter
#2 Kenzie Knuckles 5’8’’ JR DS
#3 Kayla Caffey 6’0’’ SR MB
#4 Anni Evans 5’9’’ SO Setter
#6 Keonilei Akana 5’9’’ SO DS
#7 Rylee Gray 6’4’’ FR MB
#8 Lexi Rodriguez 5’5’’ FR Libero
#9 Kennedi Orr 6’0’’ FR Setter
#10 Madi Kubik 6’3’’ JR OH
#11 Lexi Sun 6’2’’ SR OH
#13 Whitney Lauenstein 6’2’’ FR OH
#14 Ally Batenhorst 6’4’’ FR OH
#20 Kalynn Meyer 6’3’’ SO MB
#22 Lindsay Krause 6’4’’ FR OH
#25 Callie Schwarzenbach 6’5’’ SR MB
#26 Lauren Stivrins 6’4’’ SR MB

Louisville (9-0)

#9 Claire Chaussee 6’0’’ SR OH
#11 Anna Stevenson 6’2’’ GR MB
#12 Tori Dilfer 5’11’’ GR Setter
#14 Anna DeBeer 6’0’’ SO OH
#15 Aiko Jones 6’0’’ Redshirt JR Opposite
#19 Elena Scott 5’9’’ FR Libero
#25 Amaya Tillman 6’3’’ JR MB