NU VB: Huskers Host Ameritas Players Challenge

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Huskers Host Ameritas Players Challenge

The No. 5 Nebraska volleyball team returns home this weekend to host the Ameritas Players Challenge at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. Nebraska will play three matches with one on Friday and two on Saturday. The Huskers open the tournament against UC Davis on Friday at 6 p.m. Nebraska’s Saturday matches are against South Florida at 10 a.m. and Georgia Tech at 3:30 p.m. Unlike at the season-opening Nebraska Invitational, fans will not have to clear the arena between matches on Saturday. One ticket will allow fans to stay for the 10 a.m., Noon, 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. matches. Friday’s match against UC Davis will be streamed online with a BTNPlus subscription. Saturday’s matches vs. South Florida and Georgia Tech will be available online with a HuskersNSide subscription.

The Huskers (4-1) are coming off a split at the VERT Challenge last weekend in Austin, Texas. Nebraska dropped a 3-2 match to No. 3 Texas, then responded on Saturday by rallying from an 0-2 deficit to win 3-2 against No. 11 Oregon. The Huskers have won 14 straight matches in the Ameritas Players Challenge dating back to 2009.

UC Davis (2-4 entering the week) is coached by Dan Conners, a Husker assistant in 2010 and 2011. USF (2-4 entering the week) features Papillion native Adyson Goodnight on their team. Georgia Tech (7-1) is coming off wins against Georgia (3-0) and Auburn (3-1). Tech Head Coach Michelle Collier is a former foreign exchange student at Holdrege High School in Nebraska.

About the Huskers

• Setter Kelly Hunter guides the Husker offense with 11.2 assists per set. The sophomore had a career-high 57 assists and nine kills in the comeback win against Oregon on Sept. 5. Hunter was named the B1G Setter of the Week on Aug. 31 and Nebraska Invitational MVP after putting up 12.0 assists per set with 2.2 digs and 1.2 kills per set.

• Outside hitter Kelsey Fien, an All-Big performer in 2014, is averaging a team-best 3.55 kills per set through three matches played with a .352 hitting percentage. Fien matched her career-high 19 kills and hit .390 against Oregon on Sept. 5.

• Two-time All-American Kadie Rolfzen leads the team with 55 kills and 3.44 kills per set. The junior also adds 2.25 digs per set and had a double-double of 15 kills and 13 digs against Texas on Sept. 4.

• Redshirt freshman outside hitter Olivia Boender had a career match against Oregon on Sept. 5 with 15 kills and eight digs. Boender came off the bench to play sets three, four and five and led the Huskers to the 3-2 comeback win. Boender is averaging 2.57 kills and 2.71 digs per set.

• Libero Justine Wong-Orantes averages 4.5 digs per set.

• Outside hitter Annika Albrecht, who played all of her freshman season in the back row, has showcased her all-around ability this season with 33 kills and 55 digs. Albrecht has two double-doubles, including a career-high 18 kills to go with 10 digs in the win against Pittsburgh on Aug. 29.

• True freshman outside hitter Mikaela Foecke is second on the team in kills with 40 and is averaging 2.0 per set. She is one of four Huskers to play every set so far this season.

• Middle blocker Cecilia Hall has a team-high 15 blocks and an average of 0.88 per set.

Scouting UC Davis

The Aggies (2-4) played a match at Omaha on Wednesday. All-Big West first-team outside hitter Kaylin Squyres leads the team with 99 kills (4.3 per set). UC Davis picked up its first two wins against Radford and Princeton, both sweeps, last weekend. In those contests, UC Davis held its opponents to hitting averages of .080 and .032 and combined for 22.0 blocks.

Scouting South Florida

The Bulls get 3.0 kills and 3.42 digs per set from Dakota Hampton. The Bulls have three players with at least 50 set assists already this season: Molly Burkhardt (5.73 per set), Alex Mendoza (4.39 per set) and Natalia Soares (3.64 per set). USF won its first two matches against Alabama A&M and North Florida before dropping its last four.

Scouting Georgia Tech

The Yellow Jackets are led by Teegan Van Gunst’s 3.67 kills and 3.07 digs per set. Van Gunst was named ACC Co-Player of the Week on Monday following 51 kills in four matches last weekend. Sydney Wilson adds 2.59 kills and 1.22 blocks per set. The Yellow Jackets’ lone loss was in five sets to Coastal Carolina.

Huskers Fifth in AVCA Coaches Poll

The Huskers are ranked No. 5 in this week’s AVCA Coaches Poll. The Huskers fell one spot after losing at No. 3 Texas and beating No. 11 Oregon.