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Nebraska Volleyball vs. Long Beach State Preview

Former Nebraska assistant coach, Tyler Hildebrand, returns to Devaney as the head coach of LBS

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

#4 University of Nebraska (6-0) vs Long Beach State (3-3)
When: Saturday, September 9 2023, 7:00 pm (CT)
Where: Bob Devaney Center
Video: Nebraska Public Media & BTN+
Radio: Husker Radio Network

#4 Nebraska (6-0)

#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

Long Beach State (3-3)

#0 Abby Karich 6’0’’ JR OH
#1 Zayna Meyer 6’1’’ SO Setter
#6 Kameron Bacon 6’4’’ JR MB
#9 Hanna Lesiak 6’1’’ GR OH
#10 Savana Chacon 5’8’’ JR DS
#16 Nicole Hoff 5’9’’ GR Libero
#18 Katie Kennedy 6’1’’ GR OPP
#23 Jenna Giambi 5’5’’ JR Libero
#24 Elise Agi 5’11’’ JR OH
#28 Maura Hayes 6’2’’ JR OPP

Long Beach State enters the Devaney Center fresh off a three set win over Omaha to improve their record to 3-3. Perhaps you are surprised to hear they are .500 because, after all, they beat then #1 ranked Texas and that should be worth five wins. But it isn’t.

They suffered losses to Pepperdine, UCLA and Washington. Along with beating Texas, they also have wins over Loyola Marymount University and just last night against Omaha. They are a good team with real talent that is working through early season line-up changes.

Former Nebraska assistant, Tyler Hildebrand, is in his second year as the head coach of LBS. He has 23 players on the roster and has played 16 of them on and off through the first six matches of the season. Suffice it to say, he is not settled on a starting line-up. In comparison, Nebraska has 14 players on the roster and has played 11 of them with consistency.

The number of potential players that Nebraska will face while playing the Beach is challenging to prepare for. The Husker coaches will prepare for the most likely starters which includes nine different hitters compared to the average team with five to six different hitters.

LBS has transfers on the roster, which again, makes scouting and knowing who you are facing challenging. Hanna Lesiak is a graduate transfer from Northwestern, Elise Agi is a junior transfer from Oregon and Abby Karich is a junior transfer from Utah. These three outside hitters are likely to see playing time against Nebraska.

On Nebraska’s side of the court, we have seen the same starting lineup for a few matches in a row. We will see that line up against the Beach as well.

Setter - Bergen Reilly
OH - Lindsay Krause and Harper Murray
MB - Bekka Allick and Andi Jackson
Libero - Lexi Rodriguez
Defensive sub(s) - Laney Choboy and Maisie Boesiger

Against Creighton, Coach Cook rotated Ally Batenhorst into the outside hitter position and Maggie Mendelson into the MB position. He is working on keeping them ready for a match in the future when the team needs them. They will need them when someone is not able to produce kills/blocks or if there is an injury.

Perhaps the next questions is, why isn’t that happening at the setting position? While an off night or an injury is just as likely at the setting position, the change that subbing a setter out causes is far larger than that of a hitter.

If the reward of the subbing strategy is to keep the next player on the depth chart match ready then we can say that the risk of subbing the setter is usually not greater than that reward. Subbing Reilly out to give Kennedi Orr match time could change the entire timing of the offense. Don’t expect to see this sub.

Nebraska needs to stay focused through this entire match. LBS will readily sub players who are fresh and error free. Those players will bring energy and a belief that they can win even if their team lost the last set by ten points.

You can watch this match on BTN+ or listen on the Husker Radio Network. GBR!