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#3 Nebraska Plays Michigan State Volleyball a Second Time

Playing Michigan State a second time this season may not sound very exciting, but I think it is. Nebraska needs to get better each time they step on the court. That is the exciting part. That is the story we need to watch. So how do we know if they are getting better?

#3 Nebraska (12-1, B1G 4-0) vs Michigan State (10-5, B1G 1-3)
When: Thursday, October 6 2022, 7 pm (CT)
Where: East Lansing, MI
Video: BTN
Radio: Husker Radio Network

#3 Nebraska (12-1, B1G 4-0)

#1 Nicklin Hames 5’10’’ SR Setter
#2 Kenzie Knuckles 5’8’’ SR DS/L
#4 Anni Evans 5’9’’ JR Setter
#5 Bekka Allick 6’4’’ FR MB
#7 Maisie Boesiger 5’6’’ FR DS/L
#8 Lexi Rodriguez 5’5’’ SO DS/L
#9 Kennedi Orr 6’0’’ SO Setter
#10 Madi Kubik 6’3’’ SR OH
#13 Whitney Lauenstein 6’2’’ SO OH
#14 Ally Batenhorst 6’5’’ SO OH
#22 Lindsay Krause 6’4’’ SO OH
#23 Kaitlyn Hord 6’4’’ SR MB
#33 Hayden Kubik 6’2’’ FR OH
#44 Maggie Mendelson 6’5’’ FR MB

Michigan State (10-5, B1G 1-3)

We know Nebraska is improving, and we can see this in the stats, our own observation and performance against repeat teams. It is exciting to see the improvement against MSU tonight.

Against the Spartans 13 days ago Nebraska won in three sets (25-15, 25-19, 25-23). They held MSU to a .170 hitting percentage and Nebraska hit .224 for the match. They want to improve on both of those hitting statistics.

Nebraska wants to hold the Spartans to a lower hitting percentage. The two freshman outside hitters, Evie Doezema and Maradith O’Gorman, earned most of the kills. Aliyah Moore created some damage as the 5’9’’ outside hitter transfer from Illinois State.

Coaches have a better scouting report on MSU after a few more conference matches so they will develop specific blocking and defense schemes here. Goal: Reduce the MSU hitting percentage from .170.

Improve our hitting percentage. At the September 23 meeting of these two teams, Madi Kubik led the team in attempts, 33 and kills, 14. She also had 7 errors. Errors come both because a player makes a hitting mistake and because she is being set too much and is forced to take poor swings against well formed blocks.

We see improvement in Nebraska’s hitting percentage when the sets are more evenly distributed to players, and each of those hitters are able to terminate the ball. Goal: increase Nebraska’s hitting percentage from .224.

Huskers had 10 service errors at home against MSU. Tonight they play in the Breslin Center, a large arena. This is the first year Spartan volleyball has played here. The space in a large arena changes depth perception. Practice this morning consisted of serving and getting used to what the eye sees while serving.

One of the reasons volleyball coaches typically resist playing in basketball arenas is because they don’t get to practice there once basketball season starts. Heck, the reason this match is on a Thursday is because there is basketball practice happening in the Breslin Center on Friday! If you don’t practice where you play, you take away some of the home court advantage, specifically in the serving category.

Nebraska served more aces than errors against both Rutgers and Maryland. This wasn’t true against any other opponent this season. Unbelievable! Even in the early matches of the season, Nebraska served more errors than aces. This is a big improvement that has positive implication on other facets of the match. Serving is the first offensive weapon. If serving is putting them on defense then it is making you more offensive.

Goal: reduce service errors while producing offensive serves.

The big goal is to win tonight, for sure, but these mini-goals inside the overarching goal show improvement and make the team better in the long run and the long run leads to even bigger goal, get to the national championship in Omaha. GBR!!