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Week 7 Volleyball Preview - #2 Huskers Hit the Road to Michigan

After 2 thrilling road wins, the Huskers hit the road again, but this time to Michigan

Volleyball Day in Nebraska Photo by C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Another week, another road trip for the Huskers. This time to Michigan. They were tested last week in Indiana. For the first time this season, I actually thought we were going to lose a match because of how slow the team came out in the first set of both matches.

The Huskers will travel to East Lansing to play Michigan State on Friday, October 6th at 6:00 pm CST and then will head to Ann Arbor to play Michigan on Saturday, October 7th at 7:30 p.m. CST.

Not one, not two, but three Huskers earned B1G Honors this week. Merritt Beason was named Big Ten Player of the Week for the second time, Bergan Reilly was named co-Big Ten Setter of the week for the second week in a row, and Harper Murray was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the third time.

Beason led the team with 4.56 kills per set with a .384 hitting percentage. She also averaged 2.33 digs per set. In the match against Indiana, she had a career-high 22 kills and hit .400.

Reilly averaged 11.89 assists per set and had 1.89 digs per set as well. She also had 8 kills and a .323 hitting percentage. She also had a career-high 54 assists against Purdue.

Murray had 4.22 kills per set while hitting .278 in the two matches. She also added 1.67 digs per set onto that as well. Murray also had a career-high, like the other two, with 21 kills against Purdue.

We finally saw the return of Lindsay Krause in the Purdue match. These were her first minutes since getting injured in a car accident weeks ago. She has been suiting up since the Ohio State match, but hasn’t played. She had 8 kills and hit .412 against Purdue. She played a little better against Indiana and had 9 kills and hit .471. The Huskers will look to continue to rotate her into that OH position more.

#2 Nebraska Cornhusker at Michigan State Spartans

The Spartans are currently 11-4 on the season and are 3-1 in B1G conference play. Their only four losses come at the hands of #13 Arkansas, Tulsa, Duke, and a conference loss to Illinois.

Michigan State was ranked 12th of the 14 teams in the preseason poll. Although the Spartans aren’t looked at as one of the top teams, they shouldn’t be taken lightly as anything can happen on any given night.

Michigan State had no All-Americans last year, but return one of their top hitters in Aliyah Moore. Last season, Moore finished with 322 kills, hitting .172. This season, she already has 92 kills and is hitting .302.

Along with Moore, Freshman OH Taylah Holdem has been a star for the Spartans. She leads the team with 194 kills and is hitting .216. She has also recorded 101 digs and is averaging 1.87 digs per set. Junior Grace Kelly follows close behind with 106 kills and a .260 hitting percentage.

Freshman Setter Cameron Berger and Junior Julia Bishop have been sharing the setter role this season. Berger has edged Bishop out with thirteen more sets played and 314 assists on the season. They are both close in total digs with 69 and 67 respectively, but Bishop has 2.33 digs per set while Berger has 1.60. We will mostly likely see Julia Bishop getting the start against Nebraska.

#2 Nebraska Cornhuskers at Michigan Wolverines

The Wolverines are currently 2-11 and have clearly been struggling this year. They are 0-4 in the Big Ten and are tied for last place with Rutgers and Iowa.

There is something to play for in this match though. Bragging rights. Harper Murray’s sister, Kendall Murray, is a senior on this Wolverine squad so this match will be a battle for bragging rights between the two sisters.

Michigan’s only two wins of the season come against Sacred Heart and North Carolina. Their last win was Friday, September 8th. Almost a month ago. Michigan will clearly be hungry for a win and knocking off the #2 team would be a good win for this team.

Michigan is also a team that had no All-Americans last season, but are returning one of their best OPP/OH in SR Kendall Murray. Last season, she averaged 2.13 kills a set and was hitting .161. So far this season she is hitting .157 and has 120 kills. She has also added a team high 119 digs to that too.

Freshman Valentina Vaulet is another OPP/OH who has been having herself a season as well. She has 93 kills on the season and is averaging 2.38 a set. She has also held her own at the net with 12 block assists. She will be one of their top blockers that Nebraska will need to hit around.

Junior Jacque Boney has a similar kills stat as Vaulet with 92 kills. Boney is a middle blocker for this Wolverine team. She leads the team in blocking as well. 6 solo blocks along with 29 assisted blocks. Overall, she has 35 blocks. She will need to be watched on both offense and defense by the Huskers.

Michigan will look to get their first B1G victory over Nebraska this weekend when the Huskers enter the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor.

#2 Nebraska (13-0, B1G 4-0)

#2 Bergen Reilly 6’1” FR S
#5 Bekka Allick 6’4” SO MB
#6 Laney Choboy 5’3” FR DS/Libero
#7 Maisie Boesiger 5’6” SO DS/Libero
#8 Lexi Rodriguez 5’5” JR DS/Libero
#9 Kennedi Orr 6’0” JR S
#10 Caroline Jurevicius 6’2” FR OH
#11 Hayden Kubik 6’2” SO OH
#13 Merritt Beason 6’4” JR OH
#14 Ally Batenhorst 6’5” JR OH
#15 Andi Jackson 6’3” FR MB
#22 Lindsay Krause 6’4” JR OH
#27 Harper Murray 6’2” FR OH
#44 Maggie Mendelson 6’5” SO MB

Michigan State (11-4, B1G 3-1)

#1 Nalani Iosia 5’8” SR DS/Libero
#2 Karolina Staniszewska 6’0” FR OH
#6 Nil Okur 6’1” SO MB
#12 Evie Doezema 6’3” SO MB
#13 Aliyah Moore 5’9” JR OH
#14 Taylah Holdem 6’2” FR OH
#16 Grace Kelly 6’0” JR OH
#17 Jayhlin Swain 5’4” SO DS/ Libero
#19 Amani McArthur 6’3” 5th MB
#23 Cameron Berger 5’11” FR S
#25 Julia Bishop 5’11” JR S

Michigan (2-11, B1G 0-4)

#1 Serena Nyambio 6’2” SO MB
#3 Brooke Humphrey 5’10” SR DS/Libero
#4 Scottee Johnson 6’0” DR S
#7 Morgan Burke 6’0” FR S
#8 Mira Chopra 6’3” JR MB/OPP
#11 Amalia Simmons 5’11” R-FR OH/OPP
#13 Valentina Vaulet 6’1” FR OPP/OH
#17 Jacque Boney 6’4” JR MB
#19 Maddi Cuchran 5’5” JR DS/Libero
#27 Kendall Murray 6’2” SR OPP/OH