10 Year Member
Davis with the kill. 21-22.
Undertow, thanks for the post...very informative. Will look forward to more from you.Congrats to Mary Wise and the Gators. They came into Devaney and handled the big stage and the bright lights much better than the home team. I thought having the red-white scrimmage in front of a capacity crowd the week before would be advantage Nebraska. But Foecke and Maloney and the youngsters came out tighter than a drum and somewhat disjointed early on. Coach Cook indicated in the post game press conference that he thought Foecke and Maloney were trying to do too much. Stivrins was the only one who seemed to have a semblance of normality in the first game. Schwarzenbach had a couple of good blocks, but struggled offensively. Service errors and hitting errors carried over from the red-white scrimmage. Much of the hitting error problem early on can be attributed to the poor passing. I haven't seen a ton of Nebraska volleyball on TV, but that first game was easily the worst passing performance I've seen from a Husker volleyball team, which obviously isn't what you want when trying to get a young setter into a rhythm.
But as the match wore on,the play on both sides got better, and on the Nebraska side, dramatically so. In the 3rd game, Capri Davis came in and provided a spark, and then Jazz Sweet caught fire and absolutely drilled some kills. Schwarzenbach became more effective offensively with some slide kills. The first twenty or so points of the 4th game were played at an extremely high level by both teams, but then the service errors started slowing down the Nebraska momentum, killing any offensive flow. I thought Densberger had a solid game defensively, but she was off her serve game. Without going back and watching the replay, I believe she tentatively put a serve into the net toward the end of the 4th game that put the brakes on, and had Cook shaking his head. Maloney also had a service error late in the 4th game, but it was a bit different. She had being serving short to the service side most of the match and was giving Florida some problems doing so. Cook then had her go cross court and deep and she nearly buried it. If the serve is 2 inches shorter, Nebraska probably wins game 4 and we play a game 5.
It would be too simplistic to say their Gatorade National Player of the Year (Hall) outplayed our Gatorade National POY (Foecke) while the third Gatorade National POY (Sun) sat on the Nebraska bench. Florida's setter is a redshirt senior who has All-American credentials on her resume' while Nebraska's setter is a true freshman. Florida consistently was passing better and in system offensively, while Nebraska was out of system much of the time, particularly early on. Still, Hall was impressive in her debut at the collegiate level (20 kills on 60 swings) AND it was disappointing that Foecke was unable to get untracked. She hit below 0.100 for the match. During the post-match presser, Coach Cook was unwilling to speculate why she struggled, and said he needed to watch the replay to come to any conclusions.
I was surprised by the final stats. It seemed Florida outplayed Nebraska most of the game, but the statistics were surprisingly even. Same number of kills, Nebraska outdug Florida by 6, blocks were essentially even. Nebraska did have 8 more hitting errors than did the Gators.
This is Huskers.com take on the match and it includes the final stats and John Cook's presser.
There will be growing pains with the four freshman, who all seemingly will see significant playing time, and also with Foecke and Maloney adjusting to their leadership roles now that matches are being played. I don't think the growing pains will last very long as evidenced by how quickly the freshman adjusted during their first match. I will say that it appears to me, sitting thousands of miles away and having no insight or insider info, that Stivrins is the emotional leader of this team, and by everything I've heard or seen, Hames is a natural leader and is not hesitant to insert herself in such a role. I hope those dynamics play out naturally and Foecke or Maloney don't feel threatened by it.
I'm still very optimistic about this team.
Final note. Brooke Smith, transfer from K-State, was declared ineligible by the NCAA yesterday before the match. Coach Cook did not say why. He was clearly disgusted by the decision and said they would appeal.