Nebraska 1 vs Wisconsin 3- 21-25, 25-21, 21-25, 19-25
Wisconsin captured the Big Ten Championship with the win tonight.
Nebraska came to play tonight with strong serve receive passing and tough serving but ran into a Badger block and a high powered offense that were just too much. Nebraska also made errors at critical times that impacted the outcome. Against a talented team like Wisconsin, errors have to be limited.
Senior captain Kenzie Knuckles injured her knee at practice on Wednesday and is out for the rest of the season. Playing without her is a significant loss. She played three rotations in the backrow for Nebraska and was a primary serve receive passer as well as an attacker from the backrow. Tonight, Ally Batenhorst played those three rotations which means she now plays all six rotations.
The one positive, from the very hard loss of Knuckles, is that Batenhorst showed she can be a force in the back row and that can bode well for the tournament. She was very effective early in the match but much less so later. This could be a function of fatigue or her lack of experience in playing all six rotations.
Nebraska set their middle hitters a good deal tonight which is something Coach Cook has emphasized from the beginning of the season. It is a joke on the radio show and students in Devaney hold up “set the middle” signs. Tonight, it happened and it was great. Kaitlyn Hord led the Huskers with 13 kills and Bekka Allick had 9. It was a good night for the middle hitters.
Next up for Nebraska is Minnesota tomorrow night at home. The match is at 8 pm on BTN. Minnesota beat Ohio State in four sets tonight. The selection committee cares about the results of this match against Minnesota. A win is evidence for a #2 seed in the tournament as well as internally, Nebraska is working through line up changes and finding stability in a line up with Knuckles. Tomorrow matters. GBR!