#4 Nebraska 3 vs #5 Stanford 1 - 25-23, 25-16, 19-25, 25-21
Huskers played high caliber volleyball Tuesday night against one of the best teams in the country. They passed tough serves, they blocked balls straight down and they had hustle plays for the highlight reel.
As a team they hit .333 and held Stanford to .218. While this opponent hitting percentage is higher than what Nebraska normally allows it is also much lower than what Stanford normally hits. Huskers did a very good job of containing All American Kendall Kipp. She hit .219 for the match compare to her normal .310.
The Nebraska block was the first effort to contain Kipp and the Cardinal offense. Bekka Allick was a star. She blocked eight balls and while that stat is impressive in a four set match, it doesn’t even begin to describe the momentum she gave her team through her timely blocks. She also had a couple super athletic effort plays where she dove for balls. Coach Cook talked about her diving player after the match and said “there are no other middles in the country doing that”.
The second effort to contain was the Husker floor defense; it was relentless. Defenders dug HARD driven balls and chased down tipped balls. Laney Choboy chased down a ball in set four that prevented a Cardinal kills and resulted in a Husker point. That type of point swing can crush the soul of the other team.
Serving was shaky for both teams with 17 misses for Nebraska and 15 for Stanford. Some misses were the results of nerves while others are about going for the corner and missing by inches. Totally different misses but of course they end up on the same stat line. Huskers will revisit this in practice.
Freshman outside hitter, Harper Murray, did everything and did it well. She had 12 kills on 24 swings to hit .417 against the #5 team in the country. Wow! She blocked Kipp twice and added a third block from the left side. She passed serve very well and was solid on floor defense. She adds a great deal to this Husker team. We can stop talking about her as a freshmen. She is just a great player.
Merritt Beason also shined brightly tonight. She led the team in kills with 15 and added two blocks to the effort. Stanford chose to modify their starting rotation based on who they wanted blocking Beason. When teams start changing big things to slow you down, you are making an impact.
It all happened offensively because Bergen Reilly was moving the ball around to her hitters. She had great set location and kept the Cardinal block moving by including every hitter consistently.
What an impressive effort and win by the Huskers. They will take take this win, learn from some areas they could have improved tonight and keep raising the bar as they head home to face #21 Kentucky on Sunday at 6:30 pm CT.