Nebraska 3 vs Northwestern 2 - 27-29, 25-20, 23-25, 25-23, 15-6
Nicklin Hames stepped behind the service line to start the match against Northwestern. She delivered a short serve that clipped the top of the net and tumbled to the Wildcat’s side of the floor. Ace! The next play Ally Batenhorst stuff blocked Northwestern’s Kathryn Randorf.
This is it! The game plan is working. Nebraska serve and block is executing. Unfortunately, it was a roller coaster of play for Nebraska after these opening plays.
The statistics for the match do not accurately represent the struggle Nebraska faced. As a team Nebraska hit .289. Three players, Whitney Lauenstein (16), Madi Kubik (15) and Lindsay Krause (14), had double digit kills. Everyone was involved offensively although Bekka Allick struggled with too many hitting errors tonight.
The stats show us six serve receive errors but that doesn’t represent how off the reception was. Passing was the main reason Nebraska was behind in set one early when it came down to the back and forth trading points at the end of set one, Northwestern had a metric ton of confidence on their side and just kept coming at the Huskers.
The outside hitters from Northwestern were the main threat. Temi Thomas Ailara was unstoppable. She had 26 kills and 57 attempts. Hanna Lesiak also hammered away at the Nebraska defense. She only hit cross court shots but Nebraska rarely stopped her with the block. Lexi Rodriguez had 10 digs and Hames had 19. Hames was tenacious on defense and that always pays off. She gave Nebraska another chance at scoring again and again.
In the middle of set five, Northwestern’s setter, Sienna Noordermeer, ran after a ball heading toward the stands. She flew into the stands and collided with some parts of her body. Play was stopped when she didn’t get up. After about fifteen minutes, she was helped from the stands by a stretcher and paramedics. After the match, both teams prayed together. Wishing Sienna health and recovery.
Nebraska has a full week of practice which Coach Cook says he is really looking forward to. He says this gives them a chance to really work on skills and plays. He was also baffled by the inconsistent play against Northwestern. He said the team has had some excellent practices and that he was surprised by the teams level of play tonnight.
The next match is at home against Iowa at 6 pm. Iowa, 1-13 in the Big Ten, played Maryland tough today but lost in four sets. The match is on B1G+