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Volleyball: #2 Nebraska vs #12 Minnesota Match Thread

Both teams are fresh off of Friday night wins

NCAA Womens Volleyball: Omaha at Nebraska Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

#2 Nebraska (10-0, B1G 1-0) vs #12 Minnesota (5-4, B1G 1-0)
When: Sunday, September 24, 2023, 6:30 pm (CT)
Where: Devaney Center Lincoln, NE
Video: BTN/FoxSports
Radio: Husker Radio Network
Live stats

A highly ranked Gopher team enters the Devaney Center with a first year head coach a group of highly talented players. Gopher head coach Keegan Cook’s first year started off with a very challenging preconference schedule. Minnesota has already played TCU (W), Baylor (W), Texas (L), Florida (L), Oregon (W), Stanford (L) and Creighton (L).

These are all tough teams that regularly make deep runs in the NCAA tournament. You can see in the parenthesis wins and losses and why this talented Minnesota team is just 5-4. Just like the very good Kentucky team Nebraska met last week, Minnesota is better than their record indicates.

Along with a new head coach, Minnesota is also working on integrating new players into their team. They have three transfer players in critical roles on the court. Kylie Murr is a 5th year libero. She transferred from Ohio State. Both middle blockers are transfers; Phoebe Awoleye is a 6’2’’ senior from Loyola Marymount and Lydia Grote is a 6’2’’ senior was a Cal Bear last season.

These players are new to Minnesota, but are highly experienced in the game. They compliment the returning Gopher crew who beat Nebraska in straight sets last season. Senior setter Melani Shaffmaster, junior outside hitter Taylor Landfair and sophomore outside hitter Mckenna Wucherer carry this team.

The Huskers will be looking for a heavy dose of swings from Landfair and Wucherer, elite outside hitters, who are also is part of a strong team block. The Gophers average 2.36 blocks per set. While this is less than the Nebraska average at 2.95 blocks per set it is much higher than what previous opponents average against the Huskers which is 1.8 blocks per set. Summary, expect blocks.

The Gopher’s will need to be creative attackers, as so far this season their offense has sputtered in critical moments. Shaffmaster can be a scoring threat on the dump, and quick sets to the middles may throw off Nebraska’s block which is going to be focused on Landfair and Wucherer.

Landfair also has an aggressive serve so the Nebraska passers will focus on passing well to get out of her serving rotation quickly. On the reverse side, Landfair is not an excellent passer so Husker servers will target her often.

This is an excellent match up. Go Big Red!

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

#2 Bergen Reilly 6’1’’ FR Setter
#5 Bekka Allick 6’4’’ SO MB
#6 Laney Choboy 5’3’’ FR DS
#7 Maisie Boesiger 5’6’’ SO DS/L
#8 Lexi Rodriguez 5’5’’ JR DS/L
#9 Kennedi Orr 6’0’’ JR Setter
#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

#12 Minnesota (5-4, B1G 1-0)

#3 Mckenna Wucherer 6’1’’ SO OH
#5 Melani Schaffmaster 6’3’’ SR Setter
#6 Kylie Murr 5’6’’ 5th year Libero
#9 Lydia Grote 6’2’’ SR MB
#12 Taylor Landfair 6’5’’ JR OH
#7/17 Phoebe Awoleye 6’2’’ SR MB
#22 Julia Hanson 6’1’’ SO OPP