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Nebraska Volleyball’s Setting Dilemma

Jordan Opp

Who will set for Nebraska this season? At the moment there is no dilemma because of the Nicklin Hames injury, but the decision point for establishing the permanent starting setter (or setters) for a championship run is coming, and coming fast (whenever Hames is healthy), and I find myself holding my breath each time the starting line up is announced.

Nebraska’s hitters struggled to earn kills early on this past Sunday in the match against Kentucky because of the inconsistent set location of Kennedi Orr. Orr subbed out when she came to the front row, as planned, and Anni Evans set for her three rotations across the backrow.

By the time Orr came back into the match for her second time through the backrow, her sets were improved. Orr did have one significant setting error later in the match when she set the ball over the net and the Kentucky outside hitter attacked.

But by the third set Orr was setting both middles very well and set locations to the outside hitters were consistent. Nebraska hit .302 for the match. Good. Each set improved .273, .278 and .361. Orr was the setter we all hoped she could be... but it took her to the third set to get there. If Kentucky had a better match that night (they were off that night), or when Nebraska plays better teams, Orr must be good from the first serve until the last kill.

Coach Cook says he sees her ability in practice, but when it comes to games, she falters. The big question is, then, doesn’t more games help her get better? I am a yes for this question. Play her! But coach doesn’t see it that way, clearly. And he kind of knows what he’s talking about.

Terry Pettit is a well respected voice in all of volleyball, but especially here in Nebraska. He has some strong opinions on setting, namely that the coach and setter need to have a close relationship.

Hames and Coach Cook seem to have that through the years, and especially this season as her “bonus” year. We’ve heard Coach Cook talk about the respect he has for Evans and watched as the volleyball program found a way to award her a scholarship. Check out the video, that sure is relationship building. So, what is the relationship with Orr like? Could this be an issue? Perhaps it is growing.

Here’s the wizard, Coach Pettit, talking about how to train setters and is here teaching other coaches. Is there anything here that might clue us in to Orr’s progress? I am not sure, but we need Orr to be the cornerstone of this team if we’re going to get to the Final Four in Omaha this December.

For every Husker volleyball fan, setting is at the front of the mind as the conference season begins. GBR! and go Setting!