#5 Nebraska 3 vs Utah State 0 - 25-21. 25-17, 25-17
Nebraska was challenged by Utah State but stayed in control of the match and came away with their first win of the season. The Huskers did it in three sets. They walk away with pieces of the game to celebrate and others that need more work at practice.
Freshmen setter, Bergen Reilly, set an excellent match. She made smart choices in who to set and rarely missed in her location. The biggest take away from her performance is the speed at which she sets the ball to the outside hitters. The ball gets there fast! The speed of this set gives the outside hitters an advantage against the blockers. The blockers just don’t have time to set up.
The even distribution of the sets is also worth celebrating. Nebraska used five hitters tonight and each one received sets in almost exactly the same ratio that a coach draws up prior the match.
Harper Murray 20
Lindsay Krause 21
Merritt Beason 20
Bekka Allick 8
Maggie Mendelson 9
That type of distribution stresses the opposing block and forces them to respect each hitter. The Huskers hit .274 for the match which is lower than expected because of some hitting errors. Huskers want to delete some of those errors and keep the balance of hitting distribution.
Blocking looked both excellent and concerning depending on which play you were watching. At times Utah State hit straight down the line because the block was in a poor position. In another play, Murray blocked balls straight down. Murray and Allick stood out as excellent blockers for this team.
While we are talking about stand outs, Lexi Rodriguez must be part of the conversation. Rodriguez was a rock for defense tonight. She had nine digs. She both covers a great deal of court and turns challenging digs into perfect passes from which to run the fast offense. She is a captain of this team for the example that she sets on the court.
Nebraska plays at home again tomorrow against Lipscomb at 5 pm CT. Lipscomb lost to SMU earlier today in three sets (17-25, 16-25, 21-25). You can watch the match on BIG+ and listen on the Husker Radio Network.