Nebraska 3 vs Purdue 0- 25-21, 25-20, 25-18
Nebraska volleyball rolled through the Purdue Boilermakers in three sets. Purdue never significantly threatened either on offense or defense. Huskers shut down freshman standout Eva Hudson offensively. She hit -.086 for the match and was subbed out in set three. Hudson has averaged 4.68 kills per set so far this season and normally hits around .250.
On the other side of the net, Nebraska shut her and the rest of the Purdue squad down offensively both with a tremendous block and with digs on floor defense. Lexi Rodriguez and Madi Kubik both made nine digs as a part of the team total 38 on the night. Nebraska’s defense wore Purdue down; the impact of this overwhelming defensive effort was visible in the Boilermaker’s body language as well as the stat sheet. Nothing they tried worked, and that can be frustrating.
Hudson also had 10 hitting errors. Purdue’s second offensive weapon is normally Raven Colvin, but she was held to just three kills and had three errors. Colvin contributed five blocks but was otherwise ineffective tonight.
Offensively Nebraska was led by freshman Bekka Allick and senior Kubik. Allick had 12 kills and hit. 611. Kubik had nine kills and hit .304. Allick was smart and athletic as she hit corners, line shots and well placed tips displaying her repertoire of shots. Kubik is widely known for her ability to hit off blockers hands but tonight she tipped to the middle of the court where the ball found the floor.
These two players clearly executed the scouting report to a high efficiency. Coaching staff knew the middle of the court was not defended well and they coached players to tip the ball there. The ability for players to take coaching and adjust game to game is vital in high level matches.
After the match Allick said “we take our training very seriously”. She gave credit to this serious training as she talked about their ability to be productive for the team. Allick has a future in so many ways. She will soar to the top of volleyball recognition and also perhaps train CEOs about leadership fundamentals one day. Allick really gets it.
Nicklin Hames and Anni Evans were also solid tonight at setter. Hames made some very athletic and veteran plays. She ran from the backrow, controlled her body and delivered a tempo set. She slid to the front row like she was playing softball to recover a ball from the bottom on the net; super athletic. She moved quick after a Rodriguez dig to get the second ball and pass set to the outside. She also moved slow at times and looked to favor her side.
Evans set the middle when she was off the net which made ever former setter watch jump up and cheer. Amazing! Give it to her! That is a tough set. Evans knew it was a tough set with a higher risk but she knew the reward of setting it was not only a kill on that play but a hole in the block the next play when she set the outside.
Coach Cook is moving forward with the two setter offense, Hames and Evans on the court. It is good to see the team getting better and reaching toward the potential of the talent on this team. They are still growing and improving. How good can they be by December?
Next up for Nebraska is Illinois (9-10, 4-5). They play on Saturday at 6 pm in Champaign, IL.
In other news, Texas lost for the first time this season. Iowa State beat them in five sets. They are coached by Christy Johnson-Lynch form Nebraska volleyball player. After this loss, Texas will drop in the NCAA poll and Louisville will move the the #1 spot. Nebraska likely to move into the #2 spot in the national poll.