NU Vball: Huskers Meet Hawkeyes on Saturday Night

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Posted By: Sports

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Courtesy: UNL Media Relations

The Nebraska volleyball team heads to Iowa City to face the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday night at 8 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The match will not be televised but will be streamed online at BTN2GO.com with a BTN Plus subscription. Husker Sports Network will broadcast the action on HSN affiliates, including 107.3 FM in Lincoln and 105.9 FM in Omaha.

The top-ranked Huskers (25-1, 16-1 Big Ten) have won 13 straight matches and could possibly clinch at least a share of the Big Ten title on Saturday with some help. Nebraska would need to win on Saturday, and Wisconsin – currently 14-2 in the Big Ten – would have to lose at home to either No. 18 Michigan on Friday or No. 13 Michigan State on Saturday. The Huskers have not won a conference title since 2011, their first year in the Big Ten.

Series History

• Nebraska leads the all-time series with Iowa, 23-0. The Huskers have won 14 in a row by sweep, and 21 of the 23 matches overall in the series have been Husker sweeps. The Hawkeyes’ last set victory against the Huskers was in 1987 in Iowa City. Nebraska swept Iowa in Lincoln on November 9, 25-14, 25-18, 26-24. Briana Holman had 12 kills and four blocks in that match, while Amber Rolfzen had nine kills and five blocks.

Coaches

• Nebraska head coach John Cook is in his 17th season at Nebraska and 24th overall season as a head coach. Cook is 493-63 at NU and 654-136 overall.

• Bond Shymansky is 45-48 in his third season as head coach of the Hawkeyes. He is 335-157 overall in his 14th year as a head coach.

About the Huskers

• The Huskers are ranked No. 1 in the AVCA Coaches Poll, where they spent the first six weeks of the season before falling from the top spot for two weeks. In total, Nebraska has spent 11 weeks at No. 1 this season.

• At 25-1, the Huskers have their best record since beginning the 2008 season 25-1.

• Nebraska’s 16-1 Big Ten record is its best-ever Big Ten record through 17 matches. The Huskers’ best Big Ten record in their five years in the conference is 17-3 in both 2011 and 2015.

• Nebraska has held 10 straight opponents below .180 hitting, including Penn State hitting a season-low .065 on Wednesday night.

• Nebraska leads the Big Ten in kills (14.36 per set) and hitting percentage (.300) and ranks third nationally in hitting percentage.

• Defensively, the Huskers boast the top opponent hitting percentage in the conference at .138 and rank fourth in the nation. The Huskers are second in the Big Ten in digs (14.58 per set) and blocks (2.89 per set).

• Nebraska’s defense in conference play has been stellar. The Huskers lead all teams in blocks (2.98 per set) and opponent hitting percentage (.143) in conference matches. Their opponent hitting percentage is significantly better than the next team, Minnesota (.194).

• The Huskers are a perfect 9-0 in road matches this season including an 8-0 mark against Big Ten teams. Five of the Huskers’ eight Big Ten road matches have been against ranked teams. The Huskers have won 16 straight road matches, the longest streak since 2003-05 (26 straight), and they’ve won 23 straight matches played away from the Devaney Center.

• Nebraska is 5-0 when losing the first set this season and is 3-0 in five-set matches.

• Nebraska’s .887 win percentage under head coach John Cook is the best by any program since Cook took over in the 2000 season.

• Since Cook became head coach at Nebraska in 2000, the Huskers have won at least 20 straight matches nine separate times.

• Nebraska’s win on Wednesday was its 25th of the season, marking the 16th time in his 17 years that Cook’s Huskers have reached 25 wins.

• Nebraska won 28 straight matches from Oct. 30, 2015 to Sept. 28, 2016, which was the program’s longest winning streak since 2006-07.

Up Next

• The regular season comes to an end next week, as Nebraska will travel to play at No. 2 Minnesota at 8 p.m. on Wednesday before capping the regular season with senior night at the Devaney Center next Saturday against Michigan at 7 p.m.

Scouting Iowa

• Iowa (19-10, 9-8 Big Ten) has already posted its most overall wins in a season since 1994 and most conference wins since 2000. Iowa’s .266 hitting percentage ranks fourth in the Big Ten. Lauren Brobst leads the team with 2.89 kills per set. Meghan Buzzerio adds 2.41 kills per set. Setter Loxley Keala puts up 11.25 assists per set to rank third in the Big Ten. Annika Olsen is fourth in the Big Ten in digs per set with 4.10.

Huskers Ranked No. 1 in AVCA Coaches Poll

• Nebraska is the unanimous No. 1 in this week’s AVCA Coaches Poll, its fifth straight week holding the top spot.

• The Huskers began the year at No. 1 in the preseason poll for the fifth time in school history (2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2015) and spent the first six weeks of the season at No. 1. The 2006 squad went wire-to-wire to win the national title. This year’s Husker team is aiming to become the first in program history to repeat as champions.

• The Huskers have been ranked No. 1 in 97 all-time polls, the most in NCAA history.

• The Huskers have been ranked in the top 10 a total of 454 times, which is the most in NCAA history.

• Nebraska has been ranked in the top 10 in the last 30 polls dating back to December of 2014.

• Nebraska has appeared in all 507 AVCA Coaches Polls since it was established in 1982. Nebraska and Stanford are the only two programs to be ranked in every poll all-time.

First-Team All-American Kadie Rolfzen Closing Out Husker Career in Style

• 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 3.11 kills per set and adds 2.50 digs per set. She has 44 career double-doubles, has served a career-best 17 aces this season and is hitting .292.

• An NCAA Senior CLASS Award finalist, Rolfzen ranks seventh in school history with 1,468 career kills and is seventh in career digs with 1,173. She joins Jordan Larson as the only Huskers to rank in the top seven all-time in career kills and digs.

• Rolfzen, who was chosen to the CoSIDA Academic All-District 7 team this year, was named Big Ten Player of the Week on October 17 after posting 21 kills and 11 digs at Ohio State and nine kills and eight digs at Maryland.

• Against New Mexico on September 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 Building on Breakout Season at Middle Blocker

• 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, Nebraska native.

• Rolfzen is averaging 2.05 kills per set and a team-high 1.40 blocks per set. Rolfzen ranks fifth in the Big Ten and 26th nationally in blocks per set. She is hitting .356.

• Rolfzen picked up a plethora of awards the week following her standout performances vs. Wisconsin and Minnesota on October 21 and 23, respectively. Rolfzen had a career-high 16 kills in both of those matches and hit .560 with nine total blocks. She was named the Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week, espnW National Player of the Week and Big Ten Player of the Week.

• Rolfzen ranks sixth in school history on NU’s career block assists chart with 464. She has been named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week twice this season and five times in her career. She ranks 10th in school history in career blocks with 513.

• 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 and has one so far in 2016 after 2.33 blocks per set against Purdue and Indiana.

Wong-Orantes Positioning Herself as All-Time Husker Great

• 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 4.06 digs per set this season and broke the school record for digs in a single match with 35 against Minnesota on October 23. The previous record was 34 by Maria Hedbeck in 1993.

• Wong-Orantes is Nebraska’s career leader in digs with 1,753. She surpassed Kayla Banwarth’s previous career record of 1,706 in the win at Penn State on November 4.

• 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, California 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 11.19 assists and has served 21 aces, second-most on the team behind Annika Albrecht’s 23. Hunter ranks fourth in the Big Ten and 19th nationally in assists per set. She leads the team in double-doubles this season with six.

• Hunter has been named Big Ten Setter of the Week four times this season, giving her six career awards.

• The Papillion, Nebraska 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 2.83 kills per set and is hitting at a .305 clip, significantly outpacing her .277 average as a freshman.

• 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 Strengthens Huskers’ Middle

• 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 2.42 kills and 1.23 blocks per set. She is hitting .358 on the season.

• 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 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 2.54 kills per set for the Big Red. She had a season-best 19 kills at Penn State and was a member of the Lobo Classic all-tournament team in September.

• Malloy came to Nebraska after ranking second in the Big 12 in kills per set (3.89) and double-doubles (17) in 2015.