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Nebraska Volleyball Continues to Adjust their Line up During the NCAA Tournament; Tonight they Meet Kansas

Nebraska (25-5, B1G 16-4) vs Kansas (19-10, Big 12 8-8)

When: Friday, December 2nd, 2022, 7 pm
Where: Devaney Center
Video: ESPN+
Radio: Husker Radio Network

Nebraska (25-5, B1G 16-4)

#1 Nicklin Hames 5’10’’ SR Setter, Maryville, TN
#2 Kenzie Knuckles 5’8’’ SR DS/L, Yorktown, IN
#4 Anni Evans 5’9’’ JR Setter, Waverly, NE
#5 Bekka Allick 6’4’’ FR MB, Lincoln, NE
#7 Maisie Boesiger 5’6’’ FR DS/L, Firth, NE
#8 Lexi Rodriguez 5’5’’ SO DS/L, Sterling, IL
#9 Kennedi Orr 6’0’’ SO Setter, Eagan, MN
#10 Madi Kubik 6’3’’ SR OH, West Des Moines, IA
#13 Whitney Lauenstein 6’2’’ SO OH, Waverly, NE
#14 Ally Batenhorst 6’5’’ SO OH, Houston, TX
#22 Lindsay Krause 6’4’’ SO OH, Papillion, NE
#23 Kaitlyn Hord 6’4’’ SR MB, Lexington, KY
#33 Hayden Kubik 6’2’’ FR OH, West Des Moines, IA
#44 Maggie Mendelson 6’5’’ FR MB, Ogden, UT

University of Kansas (19-10, Big 12 8-8)

#1 Kennedy Farris 5’7’’ JR L, Lansing, KS
#2 Rachel Langs 6’3’’ FR MB, Fairview, TX
#6 Molly Schultz 5’7’’ SO DS, Rockford, MN
#7 Katie Dalton 6’1’’ FR RS/Setter, Parker, CO
#8 Anezka Szabo 6’3’’ SR RS, Sioux Falls, SD/University of Nebraska
#14 Caroline Bien 6’0’’ SO OH, Overland Park, KS
#15 Lauren Dooley 6’6’’ FR MB, Plano, TX/University of Florida
#17 Ayah Elnady 5’10’’ FR OH, Cairo, Egypt
#22 Camryn Turner 5’8’’ SO Setter, Topeka, KS

This 2022 Jayhawk team looks very similar to the 2021 team that made big waves in the NCAA Tournament with a first round upset of Oregon and second round upset of Creighton, before finally losing to Pitt in the sweet 16.

Unseeded Kansas is at it again this year, with an upset yesterday of the eight seed in this quadrant, University of Miami, in three sets, 25-17, 25-18 and 25-20. Kansas was strong blocking and finished the match with 13 team blocks. They were efficient hitting with only 10 errors on 108 attempts for a team hitting average of .278.

Their setter, Camryn Turner, is undersized at 5’8’’ but she is fast, can jump and is also left handed which comes into play when she jumps and swings on the second ball rather than setting it. She is a strong offensive threat that forces opponents to change their blocking scheme when she is front row. She earned four kills on nine attempts in a three set match. That is an active setter!

We don’t know if we will see Nebraska’s super senior setter, Nicklin Hames. Coach Cook said it is not up to him when she plays again because she needs to be cleared by the training staff. He said she is dealing with multiple ailments.

Whitney Lauenstein was also limited last night against Delaware State due to illness. She came into the game during the third set. Maggie Mendelson played most of the match last night and did some excellent things. She is not, however, the same offensive threat as Lauenstein.

We also saw Lindsay Krause play both the right and left side attacker position. Krause played the left side position in place of Ally Batenhorst in the third set against DSU.

Batenhorst is the stronger passing left side and Krause is the stronger attacking left side. This leaves the coaching staff with a choice; Kansas is a difficult serving team and given that passing is essential to the offense and it won’t matter if Krause is a better attacker if the setters can’t get to the ball.

Nebraska will serve tough to ace, and to pull passes off the net. KUs setter is athletic enough that she will still get to the passes off the net, but at least then it eliminates her offensive threat and the block knows she will set an outside. She likes to set against the flow which means if she is moving forward, she likes to set it back to the right side players.

This normally catches blockers moving with the flow and when she sets it back they are heading in the wrong direction. Nebraska’s middle blockers must wait and then move once they see where the ball is set. Couple this with Turner’s offensive threat and you can start to see how the Jayhawks stress blockers. Middle blockers, especially, have a lot to pay attention to.

Lots of other action in the NCAA tournament tonight as the Thursday/Friday locations as well as the Friday/Saturday schedule locations start up. Nebraska was the only Big Ten team to play a Thursday/Friday schedule. Tonight the other five Big Ten teams play on ESPN+:

Purdue vs Tennessee 5 pm CT
Ohio State vs Tennessee State 6:30 pm CT
Penn State vs UMBC 6:30 pm CT
Wisconsin vs Quinnipiac 7 pm CT
Minnesota vs Southeastern LA 7 pm CT

Creighton is also in action tonight vs Auburn at 6:30 pm CT