Nebraska 3 vs Ole Miss- 25-13, 25-23, 25-21
Nicklin Hames was the starting setter with Kennedi Orr coming in three rotations later. Nebraska ran a two setter offense tonight. This option allowed Orr to set but also watch and learn while she was out. This allows her to get immediate feedback from the coaches when she comes to the bench.
This system can transition to a one setter offense later in the season, and is evne something that can be done during a match if Nebraska runs low on subs. These are good options for Coach Cook, but let’s be clear the setter is a work in progress.
Anni Evans and Hames ran the two setter offense in set three. Coach Cook said after the match that Orr was missing too many sets so he gave Evans the shot in the third. What I hear him saying is that he wants her to compete and to realize her full potential as a setter.
She can be the starting setter this season and take Nebraska on a championship run, but first she has to set the ball to the correct location 97% of the time and she needs to serve the ball not in the bottom of the net. Let’s see if she responds to the challenge!
Nebraska missed their first two serves of the night and a quick glance at the coaching staff tells you that this is a continued source of frustration. Serving is something they are working on in practice, but they are not seeing results in the match.
Nebraska also had trouble blocking tonight. Ole Miss hit off hands and snuck balls between the block and the net. These are errors in blocking position. Ole Miss ran a fast offense, which caused some of the position errors, but there were just too many miscues overall.
On the bright side, Madi Kubik was stellar tonight with 13 kills and hit .400. Lexi Rodriguez made pivotal digs. Set two ended with a great dig from Rodriguez and set for a kill to Kubik. That was electric to end the second set. Rodriguez ended with 9 digs and 7 set assists.
Whitney Lauenstein continues to be a force for Nebraska. She is often an outlet for the set and a go to player when Nebraska needs a kill. What hasn’t changed from last season is her blocking, and she gets great blocks again this year. But this season she is consistently earning kills in critical situations. Lauenstein is a fun player to watch and a productive player for the team. Tonight she had 9 kills and 6 blocks.
Next up for Nebraska is #17 Creighton on Wednesday September 7th at 5 pm.