Huskers set for road trip to Kentucky
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -The Nebraska volleyball team will look to rebound from its first loss of the season as it heads to No. 13 Kentucky on Sunday for a 2 p.m. match.
Saturday’s match will be televised nationally on ESPN2 and can be streamed at WatchESPN.com
The Huskers Radio Network will broadcast all the action on their radio affiliates, including 107.3 FM in Lincoln and AM 590 in Omaha. A live audio stream will be provided at Huskers.com and the Huskers app. John Baylor is in his 29th season doing play-by-play for the Husker volleyball program. Lauren (Cook) West, a former All-America setter for the Huskers, will provide color commentary.
The Huskers won seven matches in a row to start the season before falling to No. 9 Stanford at home on Tuesday, 3-1. The two teams combined for 37 service errors, the most combined service errors by the Huskers and their opponent in the rally-scoring era (2001-present).
The Huskers are hitting .260 as a team and are holding their opponents to .125 hitting, which ranks sixth nationally.
Nebraska ranks 16th nationally in kills per set at 14.04.
Outside hitter Whitney Lauenstein is averaging a team-high 3.59 kills per set with a team-leading .319 hitting percentage to go with 1.04 blocks per set. Lauenstein had a career-high 25 kills on .385 hitting in a win at No. 17 Creighton on Sept. 7. It was the most kills by a Husker in a match since Mikaela Foecke had 27 kills in the NCAA Championship match against Stanford in 2018.
Outside hitter Madi Kubik is averaging 3.41 kills per set and 2.37 digs per set. Kubik surpassed 1,000 career kills on Sept. 10 against Long Beach State, becoming the 24th Husker all-time to reach that mark.
Middle blocker Kaitlyn Hord is averaging 1.41 kills and a team-best 1.52 blocks per set, which ranks 12th nationally. Hord ranks among the NCAA active career leaders in three categories. Entering the week, the Penn State grad transfer ranks No. 2 among active NCAA Division I players in career blocks (558), blocks per set (1.32) and is No. 3 in career hitting percentage (.405).
Lindsay Krause had a career-high 16 kills in the victory over Creighton on Sept. 7 and averages 2.25 kills per set for the Big Red.
Senior Nicklin Hames has been the leading setter for the Husker attack since switching to a 6-2 system on Sept. 1. Hames has averaged 6.59 assists per set in the last five matches to go with 2.88 digs per set this season. Hames is one ace away from joining Allison Weston at No. 10 on the all-time career aces chart at Nebraska. Hames ranks fourth in school history in career digs, now with 1,437. She is No. 2 in NU history in career assists with 4,749, trailing only Fiona Nepo’s 4,824 (1995-98).
Sophomore libero Lexi Rodriguez is averaging a team-best 4.00 digs per set and leads the Huskers with six service aces. Rodriguez is the reigning AVCA National Freshman of the Year and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.
Kentucky is 5-3 on the season after a 3-2 loss to No. 3 Louisville on Wednesday in Lexington. Kentucky won sets one and four before ultimately falling in the fifth, 15-11.
Kentucky’s other two losses are at home to No. 4 Wisconsin (3-0) and No. 19 Marquette (3-2).
Opposite hitter Reagan Rutherford leads the Wildcats with 3.72 kills per set and is hitting .352.
Adanna Rollins averages 3.52 kills per set. The former Minnesota and Penn State player is hitting .291.
Setter Emma Grome paces the Wildcats with 11.31 assists per set, the third-highest total in the nation. Kentucky is hitting .326 this season, the second-best mark in the country. Kentucky’s 14.76 kills per set also rank second nationally.
Kentucky’s opponents are hitting .209 on the season.
Nebraska is 9-2 all-time against Kentucky and has won eight matches in a row. The last time Kentucky beat Nebraska was Oct. 7, 1983.
The teams last met on Dec. 7, 2018 in an NCAA Regional Semifinal in Minneapolis, Minn. The Huskers won 3-0 on their way to finishing as runner-up at the NCAA Championship.
John Cook is 4-0 as head coach of Nebraska facing Kentucky and Craig Skinner, who was an assistant coach under Cook at Nebraska 2000-04.
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