Nebraska 3 vs Iowa 0 - 25-17, 26-24, 25-21
The Huskers win in three straight sets over the Hawkeyes. This is the second win in a row for Nebraska and also two wins to open up Big Ten play.
The starting line up was the same as against Northwestern on Wednesday. Nicklin Hames setting, Lexi Rodriguez as libero, Kayla Caffey and Callie Schwarzenbach in the middle, Lindsay Krause on the right side and Madi Kubik and Ally Batenhorst on the left side.
As the final scores indicate, Nebraska started strong but wavered in the middle and toward the end of the match. Coach Cook thought the team was sloppy after set 1 and wants to clean up the communication errors. Those errors were most evident in the backrow when balls dropped between Rodriguez and Kenzie Knuckles.
Set three was a different line up for Nebraska as Lexi Sun played in place of Batenhorst and Kalynn Meyer in place of Schwarzenbach. All of the outside hitters were effective on the court today in different ways.
Kubik took 37 swings, had 15 kills and 8 errors for a .189 hitting percentage. Kubik also led the team in digs with 14 and blocks with 3. Batenhorst had 6 kills with 1 error and hit .333. Sun had 3 kills no errors and hit .375. Krause had 22 swings, 12 kills and hit .500.
The middles were not a factor in the offense. Nebraska is trying to by dynamic in their offense and not just set to the left and right pin hitters. In order to do that, middles need to be set and produce kills. When that happens, then outside hitters do not have a solid block in front of them and outside hitters can move around and attack from different areas on the net.
We saw Krause come into the middle a couple of times today and hit a ball. Kubik also ran this play but since the NU middles were not a threat both blockers were moving with Kubik (instead of following the middle) and she had four hands in front of her and was blocked. Middles must be an offensive threat.
There is a ton of great play happening around the Big Ten. Upsets were the name of the game on Friday Maryland beat #2 Wisconsin in five sets, #8 Purdue beat #3 Ohio state in five sets and #33 Michigan took #9 Minnesota to five sets before losing in set five.
Next up Nebraska welcomes University of Michigan for a Friday match at 6 pm and Michigan State on Sunday at 3 pm. Both matches are on BTN.
Coach Cook encouraged fans to “buckle up and bring your A game” as Michigan is going to give us a ride. Coach has the week to continue to prepare the team for the increased challenges of the Big Ten.