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NU v. New Mexico--9/14/18

Undertow

Inactive as of 11-01-2018
Sooo……….Coach Cook was finally able to get his 1998 Ferrari F1 Spider out of the shop and give it a test drive. And while there were a few bumps in the road, most of the maiden voyage was enjoyable, even exhilarating. You hope there are no breakdowns in the future, but it looks like Cook has added a sporty classic in the form of Lexi Sun to his vintage car collection.

One of the road bumps is the change of rotation and roles by introducing Sun into the line up. Sun is a six rotational player while Davis and Slaughter are not which changes substitution patterns in the back row. It took one set for the players to adjust, unfortunately that adjustment period meant the Huskers lost that set to New Mexico. I thought that Nebraska might lose a set this weekend, but not to the Lobos. However, the new assignments and inspired play by New Mexico proved to be too much for the Huskers to overcome.

In the Central Michigan post I had mentioned that the blocking was non‑existent in the first two sets, but recovered somewhat in the third. Coach Cook didn’t mention anything about blocking in the post-match interview with Baylor, but in the pre-match dialogue prior to the Lobo match, he was very explicit about his disappointment with the block, especially when the opponents were out of system.

Enter one Callie Schwartzenbach. She started the avalanche of blocks early in the 2nd set and others followed suit. It also helps when you can substitute Szabo in, the team’s best blocker, in specific situations. The Husker block was a signature stamp on the remainder of the match and a huge reason that the Big Red cruised in the final three sets. Schwartzenbach ended up with thirteen blocks and the team had 16.5 vs. 3 for New Mexico.

Hames did a good job of distribution to the Four Horseman. Foecke had 28 attacks, Sun had 26, Sweet had 21, and Stivrins ended up with 16 swings. If you add Schwarzenbach’s swings then the middles had 23 attacks. Out of the Four, Sweet had an off night offensively and never got into a rhythm (she did help in 5 blocks). But the other Three did more than compensate for Sweet’s less than stellar performance. And that’s the point. The more multiple the Husker’s are on offense, the better they are able withstand a below average performance by one of their stars.

Hames did struggle with service errors. As did the rest of team (6 aces, 13 errors). It seems that when the team addresses one weakness (i.e. blocking), another facet of the team suffers (service errors or passing). However, you can see the potential in this team when they are “on.” It is just a matter of being more consistent in all defensive aspects; digging, passing, serving, and blocking. Offensively this team has a higher ceiling than last year’s team, but they are lagging behind serving and defensively.

It would be easy to get hyperbolic on Lexi Sun’s initial performance. So for tonight, I’ll try and curb my enthusiasm. But it is hard not to be effusive on her performance and what it means to the team this season.

In other action, BYU handled Utah in what is their last major test prior to conference play. BYU plays in the Big West Conference, and while Loyola Marymount is ranked, the remainder of the conference is pretty weak. Don’t be surprised if BYU is undefeated come NCAA Tournament time. No. 2 Stanford won two matches over No. 3 Texas, so as long as the Big Red takes care of business, chances are that Nebraska will move up to the No. 3 slot. Michigan continues to impress by a straight set victory over Notre Dame in Ann Arbor. As a reminder, Big Blue, the first B1G opponent for Big Red, has not lost a set this season.

Finally, congratulations to Coach Cook as he won his 700th victory as a collegiate coach. He is already a Hall Of Famer. And again, trying to not to get too hyperbolic off of just one match, it appears that he is putting the pieces together AGAIN to make a serious run for the conference title and the NATTY.
 

carrolltonsker

Husker Immortal
10 Year Member
I felt that Lexi was a little rusty in the first two sets, but it didn't take long for her to knock the rust off. She was very impressive in the last two sets.
 

CrnhskrBob

Husker Immortal
15 Year Member
Sooo……….Coach Cook was finally able to get his 1998 Ferrari F1 Spider out of the shop and give it a test drive. And while there were a few bumps in the road, most of the maiden voyage was enjoyable, even exhilarating. You hope there are no breakdowns in the future, but it looks like Cook has added a sporty classic in the form of Lexi Sun to his vintage car collection.

One of the road bumps is the change of rotation and roles by introducing Sun into the line up. Sun is a six rotational player while Davis and Slaughter are not which changes substitution patterns in the back row. It took one set for the players to adjust, unfortunately that adjustment period meant the Huskers lost that set to New Mexico. I thought that Nebraska might lose a set this weekend, but not to the Lobos. However, the new assignments and inspired play by New Mexico proved to be too much for the Huskers to overcome.

In the Central Michigan post I had mentioned that the blocking was non‑existent in the first two sets, but recovered somewhat in the third. Coach Cook didn’t mention anything about blocking in the post-match interview with Baylor, but in the pre-match dialogue prior to the Lobo match, he was very explicit about his disappointment with the block, especially when the opponents were out of system.

Enter one Callie Schwartzenbach. She started the avalanche of blocks early in the 2nd set and others followed suit. It also helps when you can substitute Szabo in, the team’s best blocker, in specific situations. The Husker block was a signature stamp on the remainder of the match and a huge reason that the Big Red cruised in the final three sets. Schwartzenbach ended up with thirteen blocks and the team had 16.5 vs. 3 for New Mexico.

Hames did a good job of distribution to the Four Horseman. Foecke had 28 attacks, Sun had 26, Sweet had 21, and Stivrins ended up with 16 swings. If you add Schwarzenbach’s swings then the middles had 23 attacks. Out of the Four, Sweet had an off night offensively and never got into a rhythm (she did help in 5 blocks). But the other Three did more than compensate for Sweet’s less than stellar performance. And that’s the point. The more multiple the Husker’s are on offense, the better they are able withstand a below average performance by one of their stars.

Hames did struggle with service errors. As did the rest of team (6 aces, 13 errors). It seems that when the team addresses one weakness (i.e. blocking), another facet of the team suffers (service errors or passing). However, you can see the potential in this team when they are “on.” It is just a matter of being more consistent in all defensive aspects; digging, passing, serving, and blocking. Offensively this team has a higher ceiling than last year’s team, but they are lagging behind serving and defensively.

It would be easy to get hyperbolic on Lexi Sun’s initial performance. So for tonight, I’ll try and curb my enthusiasm. But it is hard not to be effusive on her performance and what it means to the team this season.

In other action, BYU handled Utah in what is their last major test prior to conference play. BYU plays in the Big West Conference, and while Loyola Marymount is ranked, the remainder of the conference is pretty weak. Don’t be surprised if BYU is undefeated come NCAA Tournament time. No. 2 Stanford won two matches over No. 3 Texas, so as long as the Big Red takes care of business, chances are that Nebraska will move up to the No. 3 slot. Michigan continues to impress by a straight set victory over Notre Dame in Ann Arbor. As a reminder, Big Blue, the first B1G opponent for Big Red, has not lost a set this season.

Finally, congratulations to Coach Cook as he won his 700th victory as a collegiate coach. He is already a Hall Of Famer. And again, trying to not to get too hyperbolic off of just one match, it appears that he is putting the pieces together AGAIN to make a serious run for the conference title and the NATTY.
I would think, with their weak schedule, they will have a hard time holding onto 1st, even if they go undefeated, The Pac 12 and Big 12 have too many really great teams for BYU to hold onto 1st. Just my opinion.
 
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