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Nebraska Sweeps Michigan State and Looks to Improve Against Ohio State Tonight

#3 Nebraska (9-1) vs #7 Ohio State (5-4)
When: Saturday, September 24, 2022, 7:00 pm (CT)
Where: Devaney Center
Video: Nebraska Public Media and BTN+
Radio: Husker Radio Network

#3 Nebraska (9-1)

#1 Nicklin Hames 5’10’’ SR Setter
#2 Kenzie Knuckles 5’8’’ SR DS/L
#4 Anni Evans 5’9’’ JR Setter
#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

Ohio State (5-4)

#3 Mia Grunze 6’3’’ SR OH
#6 Kylie Murr 5’6’’ SR Libero
#8 Gabby Gonzales 6’3’’ SR OH
#9 Reilly Macneill 6’2’’ SR MB
#10 Mac Podraza 6’2’’ SR Setter
#16 Adria Powell 6’2’’ SR OH
#18 Jenaisya Moore 6’0’’ SR OH
#20 Rylee Radar 6’2’’ JR MB
#22 Emily Londot 6’3’’ JR OPP

Coach Cook won his 800th match last night. What have you ever done successfully 800 times? He said he was touched by the thoughtful gift from the athletic director and staff. He doesn’t have a belt buckle and every cowboy needs one, he said.

Coach also said he wasn’t happy with the overall performance against MSU. He thought the team played the first set focused and then made mental errors in sets two and three. Those mental errors gave the Spartans life and made set three much closer than it needed to be.

To end the third set Coach subbed in Anni Evans to set a 5-1. The strategy was successful and the last three points earned. There will be multiple strategies ready to employ against OSU tonight. Coach Cook will use them quickly as getting down to the Buckeyes is a hard hill to climb.

When OSU loses, they lose quick. They are yet to play a five set match this season and they have played in some competitive matches. What this means is they are not adjusting well during the match. When they win, they have executed the game plan well and when they lose the game plan was flawed or they didn’t execute well. But in either case, they don’t adjust much because they either can’t, or don’t need to.

The Buckeyes are unique in that they have ZERO transfer portal players. Their roster is very much the same as last year with five seniors and three juniors receiving most of the court time.

You will see Mac Podraza run the offense as their senior setter. She sets Emily Londot and Gabby Gonzalez twice much as anyone else. Londot is a 6’3’’ heavy hitting right side averaging 4.23 kills per set. Gonzalez is a 6’3’’ heavy hitting left side averaging 2.97 kills per set.

Riley Rader and Janaisya Moore handle the middle blocker responsibilities. Rader is an excellent blocker and earns about one block per set. She also contributes 2.17 kills per set. She is a good middle. Kylie Murr is the libero and a very very good one.

Ohio State is stacked with talent, oozing experience and coached well by Jen Flynn Oldenburg. But they keep hitting a wall, the one that separates very good programs from excellent programs. Player for player there are no holes on this team. Their losses are all to very good teams and they in turn have beat very good teams.

Key Wins: 3-1 vs #3 Louisville
3-0 vs #10 BYU
3-1 vs #5 Georgia Tech
Key Losses: 0-3 vs #1 Texas
1-3 vs #1 Texas
0-3 vs #15 San Diego
0-3 vs #12 Pitt

Nebraska needs to beat OSU on defense. They need to dig more balls (especially those falling in the middle of the court) and block more balls. Hitters and servers need to limit errors even as they work on difficult shots. Of course, in order for hitters to reduce errors, set location needs to be accurate. Serve receive was very good last night so this is a maintain.

I’ll be in the stands tonight with my daughter at her first Husker volleyball game! GBR (extra loud)!!