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#3 Nebraska Volleyball vs Rutgers and Maryland Preview

Scott Bruhn

#3 Nebraska (10-1, B1G 2-0) vs Rutgers (7-7, B1G 1-1)
When: Friday, September 30 2022, 6:00 pm (CT)
Where: Piscataway, NJ
Video: BTN+
Radio: Husker Radio Network

#3 Nebraska (10-1, B1G 2-0) vs Maryland (9-5, B1G 0-2)
When: Sunday, October 2 2022, Noon (CT)
Where: College Park, MD
Video: BTN+
Radio: Husker Radio Network

#3 Nebraska (10-1, B1G 2-0)

#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

Rutgers (7-7, B1G 1-1)

Rutgers hosted Michigan and Michigan State last weekend and beat one of them. You get two guesses. Yes, it was Michigan State in five sets. Rutgers plays a lot of players and shuffles them around. I don’t know who they are going to start or sub in.

I do know their leaders in kills are:
1, Alissa Kinkela, 6’4’’ freshman OH from Australia
2. Kristina Grkovic, 6’2’’ junior MB from Serbia
3. Taylor Humphrey, 6’3’’ freshman OH from Michigan
They will get on the floor.

Lauren DeLo, 6’2’’ junior setter is consistently on the floor but then sometimes senior Alyssa Nayar 5’10’’ sets too.

The win over Michigan State is the best win on their schedule. Their 7-7 record is indicative of a third year coach working to change the direction of a program. Since joining the Big Ten, Rutgers has gone 1-79 in volleyball contests.

They did not fair well in the American Athletic Conference the one year, 2013, they were in that conference, finishing 1-17. Before that they were in the Big East and the most recent winning record in that conference was in 2001 when they went 10-2. This program lost any semblance of forward momentum long ago, and third year head Coach Caitlin Schweihofer is working to gain it back.

Maryland (9-5, B1G 0-2)

Maryland lost both of their Big Ten matches last weekend. The Terrapins lost to Illinois is four sets and Indiana in five. Earlier in the season, they lost to Arizona in five sets and beat Navy which is notable to this Army gal.

They are led emotionally by graduate student Rainelle Jones. She is a 6’3’’ MB who earns 1.65 kills per set and an impressive 1.75 blocks per set. You don’t normally see more blocks than kills per set!

Maryland primarily sets to the outside. Waiting for that set on the pin are Sam Csire with 3.8 kills per set and Laila Ivey with 2.54 kills per set. Ivey is from Annapolis, MD so that win over Navy should have been a fun match for her. Sydney Dowler runs the offense and at 6’0’’ also puts up a nice block. She is averaging over a block a set which is great especially for a setter.

This is a long way to travel for two wins but that is what will happen on this visit to the east coast for Nebraska. It becomes a much more productive trip when the Huskers use it to work on putting tough serves in the court consistently during a match, which has been a struggle so far in this campaign. They can also make hay by finding connections and rhythm between setters and hitters. It is harvest time in Nebraska after all. GBR!