#1 Nebraska White (0-0) vs #1 Nebraska Red (0-0)
When: Saturday, August 20, 2022, 6:00 pm (CT)
Where: Devaney Center Lincoln, NE
Radio: Husker Radio Network
#1 Nicklin Hames 5’10’’ SR Setter/DS
#2 Kenzie Knuckles 5’8’’ SR DS/L
#4 Anni Evans 5’9’’ JR Setter/Serving Specialist
#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
Earlier today, players signed posters, shirts, balls and whatever thousands of fans brought to the first ever Fan Day.
We won’t know everything about this squad after the Red-White Scrimmage, but we will have a look at freshmen Maggie Mendelson, Hayden Kubik and Maisie Boesiger and that is a lot. We saw Bekka Allick in the spring match vs Kansas, but certainly she has developed since then and we should see more of her tonight.
Kaitlyn Hord is a familiar player to Husker fans, having played across the net for Penn State the last four years, so integrating her to our offense and blocking scheme is exciting. She may not be the captain for Nebraska this season, but she will bring leadership to the court and be an example others can look to.
Coach Cook said in the August edition of Kicking Back with the Cooks that Kenzie Knuckles is training as a DS/L and OH. She is 5’8’’, and so would be smaller than the average OH in D1 volleyball. A smart 5’8’’ hitter can take advantage of a block in a different way than a taller player. Hitting under high hands makes the ball ricochet to the side and makes defense virtually impossible.
We watched Leketor Member-Meneh, also 5’8’’, tear teams up for Pitt in the NCAA tournament last season. We know Knuckles is strong fundamentally in volleyball and played outside hitter in high school in Indiana. She hits effectively from the backrow so adding her in the front row gives Coach an option if the other outsides are not effective. Knuckles could stay in when she rotates to the front for a fresh look for the Huskers.
The setting performance and hitting options are top on the list of what to watch tonight. I expect Kennedi Orr to set a side (red or white team) and then Nicklin Hames and Anni Evans to set out of the backrow on the other side. This 6-2 system would allow them both to play floor defense (which they excel at) but not play the front row (where they get hit over on the block).
I would also look for a period of time when Hames does not set but rather just passes while she is in the backrow. The ability to pass serve is one of the most important skills that a DS must have. Since Nicklin set (second contact) the past four years, she never received serve (first contact) so it is about the only thing she has not done at an All American level thus far in her college career. She needs to prove that she can pass serve well and do it consistently.
There is volleyball in Devaney tonight!! GBR!!!