The in-state competition continues! First, let’s take a minute to recognize Omaha (UNO). Wow! The Huskers played Omaha first, in what became a very competitive five set match last weekend. Omaha went on to play a great match against Arizona State but lost in five sets again.
They turned it around and beat U of Georgia in four sets in their last match of the weekend. While the record doesn’t show it, that was a great weekend for the Mavericks. Congrats to them and I’m guessing they’ll make some noise this December at the tournament.
Now, in the next battle of I-80 teams, Creighton (6-0) and U of Nebraska (5-0) face off on Wednesday in the CHI Health Center in Omaha.
Creighton is hot off a successful weekend themselves, beating the defending national championship team, U of Kentucky. This year’s Kentucky team is different than last year, but this is still an impressive win. Creighton also beat the USC Trojans and Northern Iowa last weekend. based on these wins they are now ranked #19 in the AVCA Coaches Poll. A nice jump from being not ranked the week before.
Speaking of rankings, Nebraska moved up a spot to #3 after they won all three matches this weekend. Ironically, Creighton beating Kentucky played into Nebraska’s move up, since Kentucky was ranked #3.
Now I will be the first to tell you that the rankings don’t mean everything. That movement from #4 to #3 doesn’t actually do anything. What does matter is that both of these teams are good, the rankings, the records and the history of coaching and team successes are evidence. What the rankings do indicate, however, is that Wednesday night is a match you want to watch!
Creighton will put a great deal of pressure on the young and old Nebraska team. Can they be young and old at the same time? Absolutely! Lexi Sun is talking and coaching those young outside hitters on the court. Kenzie Knuckles is supporting and talking with Lexi Rodriquez out there. Nicklin Hames knows when to set each teammate so they are successful and they know she has confidence in them. Young and old at the same time.
These experienced players are absolutely court coaches for the freshmen starters. We know these freshmen have some high level volleyball experience and also have seemingly no ceiling to their growth, but we are also witnessing the process and growth that comes in big time college volleyball. They’ll have a growth curve this season, and this is another chance for that against a fantastic Bluejays squad.
Clear your schedule for Wednesday night. This match will go to five sets. The winner is the team that passes serve better than the other. I expect Coach Cook to use everyone of his passing subs and in set five Nebraska wins.
Wednesday, September 8 6:30 pm
CHI Health Center Omaha Omaha, NE
First serve in the top-20 matchup is set for 6:30 p.m.
The match will be televised on FS1 and also available on the FOX Sports app, with Bob Brainerd and Jill Dorsey on the call. This week’s action will be carried on Huskers Radio Network with the NU radio team of John Baylor and Lauren Cook West.
Huskers Radio Network will carry the matches on HRN radio affiliates, including 107.3 FM in Lincoln and AM 590 in Omaha. A live audio stream will be available at Huskers.com and on the Huskers app.