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#4 Nebraska Visits #6 Ohio State as they Both Battle to Win the Big Ten

#4 Nebraska (22-2, B1G 14-1) vs #6 Ohio State (18-5, B1G 14-1)
When: Sunday, November 13, 2022, 3:30 pm (CT)
Where: Columbus, OH
Video: BTN
Radio: Husker Radio Network

#4 Nebraska (22-2, B1G 14-1)

#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

#6 Ohio State (18-5, B1G 14-1)

#1 Sarah Sue Morbitzer 5’6’’ JR DS
#6 Kylie Murr 5’6’’ SR Libero
#8 Gabby Gonzales 6’3’’ SR OH
#10 Mac Podraza 6’2’’ SR Setter
#16 Adria Powell 6’2’’ SR MB
#18 Jenaisya Moore 6’0’’ SR OH
#20 Rylee Radar 6’2’’ JR MB
#22 Emily Londot 6’3’’ JR OPP

Last time these two teams played it was September, Kennedi Orr was setting the 6-2 with Anni Evans, Nicklin Hames was injured, and Ally Batenhorst was very limited in her play due to recovery from injury. Nebraska won sets 2, 4 and 5 to take the match 3-2. Set five was 15-13. This match was very close.

Since the five set loss to Nebraska, Ohio State has won 13 straight matches with impressive wins over #15 Purdue in four sets, Northwestern in three, twice beat #11 Penn State in five, and #10 Minnesota in three sets. Wow!

Ohio State is an experienced squad, with a tight group of just eight players taking to the court during most matches. They don’t play a lot of line ups and they don’t sub many of their hitters for backrow players. The eight players listed above are all we expect to see.

The Buckeyes are unique in that they have ZERO transfer portal players on the roster, so this is very much the same as last year with five seniors and three juniors receiving most of the court time.

You will see Mac Podraza run the offense as their senior setter. Some will argue Podraza is the best player in the conference. She is certainly a leader on her team. Last season she was third team All American and led the country in assists per set at the end of the regular season.

She sets Emily Londot, Janaisya Moore and Gabby Gonzalez twice much as anyone else. Londot is a 6’3’’ heavy hitting right side averaging 4.23 kills per set. Gonzalez is a 6’3’’ heavy hitting left side averaging 2.97 kills per set. Moore had a monster night against Nebraska during the last match. She had 21 kills on 40 swings. Nebraska’s block will need to do a better job lining up with a fast and athletic Moore.

Riley Rader and Adria Powell handle the middle blocker responsibilities. Rader is an excellent blocker and earns about one block per set. She also contributes 2.17 kills per set. She is a good middle. Kylie Murr is the libero and a very very good one.

Ohio State is stacked with talent, oozing experience and coached well by Jen Flynn Oldenburg. Nebraska needs to beat OSU on defense. They need to dig more balls (especially those falling in the middle of the court) and block more balls.

Hitters and servers need to limit errors even as they work on difficult shots. Of course, in order for hitters to reduce errors, set location needs to be accurate. Serve receive was very good against Iowa so this is a maintain.

Ohio State plays Wisconsin and Minnesota the last weekend of the season just like Nebraska. This quad of teams is competing for the Big Ten title, and a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Every one of them has to prepare for two top 10 matches two nights in a row. What a grand finale to the regular season.