Posted By: Sports
Courtesy: UNL Media Relations
The second-ranked Nebraska volleyball team will look to avenge its only loss of the season when it travels to face No. 19 Ohio State on Friday at St. John Arena in Columbus, Ohio. First serve is set for 5 p.m. (CT) on Big Ten Network. The Huskers will then travel to Maryland for a Noon (CT) match on Sunday, which will not be televised but will have a BTN Plus Internet stream available for purchase. It marks the second of three straight weekends where the Huskers play on a Sunday.
Husker Sports Network will carry all the action this weekend on HSN affiliates, including 107.3 FM in Lincoln. Friday’s match will be carried on 105.9 FM in Omaha, and Sunday’s match will air on AM 590 in Omaha.
• Nebraska is 11-7 all-time against Ohio State, but the Buckeyes have won the last three meetings, including a 3-1 (17-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-13) win in Lincoln on Oct. 1. Nebraska’s last win against Ohio State was Oct. 25, 2013 in Columbus (3-1). Ohio State is the only Big Ten school Nebraska does not own a winning record against since NU joined the Big Ten in 2011, as the series is split 4-4.
• The Huskers are 7-0 all-time against Maryland and 4-0 as Big Ten foes. The Huskers picked up a 3-1 win in College Park last year on Nov. 14 and swept the Terrapins in College Park in 2014.
• Nebraska head coach John Cook is in his 17th season at Nebraska and 24th overall season as a head coach. Cook is 482-63 at NU and 643-136 overall.
• Geoff Carlston is 183-110 in his ninth year as head coach at Ohio State. He is in his 16th year overall as a head coach with a record of 376-174.
• Steve Aird is in his third season as head coach at Maryland and has a 35-50 record.
About the Huskers
• Nebraska enters the weekend with a 14-1 overall record and 5-1 mark in Big Ten play. The Huskers are ranked No. 2 in the AVCA Coaches Poll and were ranked No. 1 for the first six weeks of the season.
• The Huskers are second in the Big Ten and third nationally with a .310 hitting percentage.
• NU is second in the Big Ten and eighth in the nation with a .142 opponent hitting percentage.
• The Huskers are third in the Big Ten in kills per set (14.22) and blocks per set (2.86). In conference matches only, Nebraska is leading the Big Ten with 3.10 blocks per set.
• The Huskers have won 11 straight road matches, equaling the longest road win streak since 2003-05, when the Huskers won 26 in a row on the road.
• Nebraska’s .884 win percentage under head coach John Cook is the best by any program since Cook took over in the 2000 season.
• Nebraska won 28 straight matches from Oct. 30, 2015 to Sept. 28, 2016, which was the program’s longest winning streak since 2006-07.
• Since John Cook became head coach at Nebraska in 2000, the Huskers have won at least 20 straight matches nine times.
Last Time Out
• The Nebraska volleyball team put on a defensive clinic in a 25-17, 25-13, 25-17 sweep of No. 17 Purdue in front of 8,004 fans at the Bob Devaney Sports Center Sunday afternoon. The Huskers (14-1, 5-1 Big Ten) tallied 11 blocks as a team, including nine by Amber Rolfzen, to limit the Boilermakers (11-6, 1-5 Big Ten) to a season-low .031 hitting percentage. Nebraska never trailed after an early 2-1 deficit in the second set. Offensively, the Huskers hit .273 and got better as the match went on, finishing with a .364 clip in the third set. Kadie Rolfzen had 11 kills and nine digs while hitting .350. Mikaela Foecke had eight kills and hit .368. Briana Holman and Andie Malloy each had seven kills. Amber Rolfzen had five to go with her season-high nine blocks. Kelly Hunter had 30 assists to go with five blocks - all of which came with Amber Rolfzen, including four in the second set.
• Nebraska returns home next week for the Weekend of Champions celebration. Nebraska will host Wisconsin on Friday at 8 p.m. on BTN and Minnesota on Sunday at 1 p.m. on BTN. The Huskers will honor their 1986 (NCAA finalists), 1996 (NCAA semifinalists) and 2006 (NCAA champions) squads.
Scouting Ohio State
• After their upset of the top-ranked Huskers on Oct. 1, Ohio State lost two straight matches to Michigan State (3-0) and Michigan (3-1) on the road to fall to 12-6 overall and 2-4 in the Big Ten. Of the Buckeyes’ six conference matches so far, five have been on the road. Ohio State leads the Big Ten in assists per set (13.48) and is second in digs per set (14.45). The Buckeyes are third in service aces per set (1.52). OSU ranks 11th in hitting percentage (.251) and 12th in blocks per set (1.98). Taylor Sandbothe averages 3.83 kills and 1.03 blocks per set. Audra Appold, who did not play against the Huskers the first time around because of an illness, averages 3.37 kills and 2.37 digs per set. Setter Taylor Hughes, who had 11 kills and 41 assists against the Huskers on Oct. 1, averages 10.46 assists per set and has a Big Ten-leading 28 aces this season. Luisa Schirmer had 16 kills and 12 digs in the first meeting and for the season averages 3.03 kills per set and 2.68 digs per set.
• Maryland is 8-10 overall and 0-6 in the Big Ten, though it took No. 24 Illinois to five sets on Oct. 2 and took a set at both No. 23 Michigan and No. 21 Michigan State last weekend. The Terrapins average 2.77 blocks per set to rank fifth in the Big Ten. They are hitting .185 this season and holding opponents to .185 as well. Gia Milana ranks sixth in the Big Ten with 3.83 kills per set, while Ashlyn MacGregor is second in the Big Ten with 1.59 blocks per set and has a .342 hitting percentage. Kelsey Wicinski is second in the conference as well with 4.36 digs per set.
Three-Time All-American Kadie Rolfzen Leads the Attack
• Senior outside hitter Kadie Rolfzen was named a first-team AVCA All-American in 2015, her third career All-America honor but first selection to the first team. Rolfzen was also a unanimous All-Big Ten selection, her third straight season on the team.
• Rolfzen leads the Huskers with 3.28 kills per set and adds 2.46 digs per set. Her double-double (17 kills, 13 digs) against Creighton was the 43rd of her career. She also has served 15 aces and is hitting a career-best .322 this season.
• Rolfzen ranks ninth in school history with 1,358 career kills and is ninth in career digs with 1,076. She is one of just four Huskers to rank in the top 10 in both career kills and career digs, joining Jordan Larson, Hannah Werth and Eileen Shannon. Against New Mexico on Sept. 10, Rolfzen became the fifth Husker all-time to reach 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs.
• Rolfzen was named the most valuable player at the Nebraska Invite, Lobo Classic and Ameritas Players Challenge this season.
• Rolfzen was not only productive on the court in 2015, she excelled off of it. The graphic design major posted a perfect 4.0 GPA in 2015-16 to earn Big Ten Distinguished Scholar honors.
Amber Rolfzen Set to Build On Second-Team All-America Honors
• Senior Amber Rolfzen made a position switch from outside hitter to middle blocker before the 2015 season, and the switch resulted in second-team AVCA All-America honors and the Big Ten blocks title for the Papillion, Neb., native.
• Rolfzen is averaging 1.80 kills per set and a team-high 1.48 blocks per set. Rolfzen ranks fourth in the Big Ten and 16th nationally in blocks per set. In conference matches only, she is second in the Big Ten with 1.81 blocks per set.
• Rolfzen moved to No. 9 on NU’s career block assists chart with 423 after the win over Purdue on Oct. 9.
• Rolfzen was named to the All-America second team and the All-Big Ten Team after posting 1.58 blocks per set in 2015, which led the Big Ten and ranked fourth nationally. Her block average was the best by a Husker since Melissa Elmer’s school-record 2.17 in 2005.
• Rolfzen was named to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team after 10 kills and four blocks with a .625 hitting percentage in the championship win over Texas.
• Rolfzen accumulated three Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors in 2015.
Wong-Orantes Back For More After Breakout Season
• Senior libero Justine Wong-Orantes burst onto the national scene in 2015 with third-team AVCA All-America honors and the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year award.
• Wong-Orantes is averaging 3.70 digs per set this season and was named the best libero at the Nebraska Invite and Ameritas Players Challenge.
• Wong-Orantes ranks second in school history with 1,593 career digs. She is chasing Kayla Banwarth’s career record of 1,706. Banwarth is the starting libero for the U.S. Women’s National Team, and Wong-Orantes is trending on that path. Wong-Orantes played with the U.S. Women’s National Team at the Pan American Cup over the summer, averaging 4.8 digs per set while helping the Americans to the bronze medal.
• The Cypress, Calif., native averaged 4.55 digs per set with a total of 555 digs in 2015, the third most by a Husker in school history.
Experienced Hunter Leads Huskers as Captain Again
• Despite being in her first season as the Huskers’ starting setter last year, Kelly Hunter was picked as one of the team captains. Now a junior, Hunter is the Huskers’ lone captain as selected by head coach John Cook.
• Hunter is averaging 10.92 assists and has served a team-best 16 aces. Hunter ranks fourth in the Big Ten and 25th nationally in assists per set.
• Hunter was named the Big Ten Setter of the Week for the third time in her career after 12.43 assists per set on opening weekend, as well as 1.43 kills per set and 2.00 digs per set. She was named to both the Nebraska Invite and Lobo Classic All-Tournament Teams.
• She earned her fourth career Big Ten Setter of the Week honor on Sept. 26 after a season-high 53 assists with 10 digs and six blocks in a 3-2 comeback win at Michigan State.
• The Papillion, Neb., native guided the Huskers to the national title in 2015 and received AVCA All-America honorable mention. She was named to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team after posting 42 assists, four digs and three blocks in the championship match.
• Hunter averaged 11.64 assists per set last season and totaled 1,501, the third most in the nation. She had 10 double-doubles and was the Big Ten Setter of the Week twice.
Foecke In Rare Company
• Mikaela Foecke was the NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player last season, becoming just the third freshman to earn the honor, after 19 kills on .385 hitting in the championship win against Texas. The other freshmen to win the award were Deja McClendon (Penn State, 2010) and Kerri Walsh (Stanford, 1996)
• This season, Foecke is averaging 2.70 kills per set and has served nine aces.
• Foecke received AVCA All-America honorable mention and was a unanimous selection to the All-Big Ten Freshman team in 2015.
• Following her freshman season, Foecke was a finalist for the AAU Sullivan Award, presented annually to the top amateur athlete in the United States.
Holman Makes Long-Awaited Return
• Junior middle blocker Briana Holman made her first official appearance in a collegiate match since December 2014 when she took the court with the Huskers at the season-opening VERT Challenge. Holman transferred from LSU to Nebraska but did not receive her scholarship release, so she was forced to sit out the 2015 season.
• Holman is averaging 2.26 kills and 1.10 blocks per set. She is hitting .353. Holman was named to the Ameritas Players Challenge All-Tournament Team.
• On opening weekend, Holman had an immediate impact. She was named the espnW National Player of the Week after averaging 2.57 kills and 1.43 blocks per set while hitting .571 in the wins over Florida and Texas. Holman had 10 kills and seven blocks against the Gators, and eight kills and three blocks against Texas with a .727 hitting percentage.
• Holman was a first-team AVCA All-American at LSU in 2014 with 3.94 kills and 1.47 blocks per set. She was a two-time All-SEC performer for the Tigers and represented the U.S. Collegiate National Team at the World University Games in South Korea in July 2015.
Malloy Brings More Experience to Husker Roster
• Senior transfer Andie Malloy gives the Huskers more depth and experience at outside hitter. A two-time All-Big 12 performer at Baylor, Malloy earned her degree in 2015 and had one season of eligibility remaining.
• Malloy is averaging 2.56 kills per set for the Big Red. She had a season-best 14 kills at New Mexico and was on the Lobo Classic All-Tournament Team.
• Malloy came to Nebraska after ranking second in the Big 12 in kills per set (3.89) and double-doubles (17) in 2015.