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Huskers To Battle Northwestern on Saturday
The Huskers host Northwestern on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Photo Courtesy Scott Bruhn/NU Media Relations
Courtesy: NU Media Relations
10/31/2013
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NORTHWESTERN at NEBRASKA
Date: Saturday, Nov. 2
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Lincoln, Neb.
Arena: Devaney Center
Live Stats: Huskers.com
Online Video: Big Ten Digital Network
Radio: Husker Sports Network, Huskers.com

The No. 11 Nebraska volleyball team will face the Northwestern Wildcats on Saturday, Nov. 2 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. Nebraska’s match with the Wildcats is slated for 7:30 p.m. CT and will be streamed online on the Big Ten Digital Network (http://video.btn.com/allaccess/).

Fans can listen to all of the action with John Baylor and Diane Mendenhall on the 25-station Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and The Wolf 93.3 FM in Omaha. Fans outside the state will also be able to catch the live audio feed for free on Huskers.com.

The match with Northwestern marks the eighth meeting between the two schools. Nebraska leads the all-time series with Northwestern 6-1. The Huskers powered past Northwestern when the two teams met earlier this season on Sept. 27, as Nebraska won the match 3-1. 

Last time against the Wildcats- Sept. 27, 2013 (Evanston, Ill.)

The No. 12 Nebraska volleyball team (8-2, 1-0) opened the 2013 Big Ten Conference schedule with a 3-1 (25-16, 20-25, 25-21, 25-20) win over the Northwestern Wildcats at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Kelsey Robinson led the Huskers in front of her hometown crowd as she recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 25 kills and 12 digs. She tallied 48 swings on the night for a hitting clip of .438. Kadie Rolfzen also had a double-double with 19 kills and 10 digs, recording a .378 hitting percentage. Mary Pollmiller dished out 54 assists, while Cecilia Hall and Meghan Haggerty both had four blocks.

Nebraska hit .307 on the night, while Northwestern hit .200. The Huskers out-blocked the Wildcats 10-9 and out-dug Northwestern 48-43.

Illinois Recap- Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013 (Lincoln, Neb.)

The No. 11 Nebraska volleyball team (16-4, 9-2) swept the Illinois Fighting Illini 3-0 (25-21, 26-24, 25-12) on Wednesday evening at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The Huskers produced a dominant blocking effort on the night, posting 16 total blocks, the most in a three set match this season.

Cecilia Hall led the Husker block against the Illini, recording a career-high of 11. The last Husker to record 10 or more blocks in a match was Brooke Delano (10) at Oklahoma on Sept. 29, 2010.

Offensively, the Huskers were led by Kelsey Robinson as she had a match-high 15 kills on 36 swings for a .389 hitting clip. Kadie Rolfzen recorded a double-double with 13 kills and 11 digs. Amber Rolfzen posted six kills, while Hall and Pollmiller both chipped in five kills. Pollmiller also handed out 31 assists on the night, while Justine Wong-Orantes posted a team-high 12 digs.

Nebraska out-blocked the Illini 16-6.5 and out-dug Illinois 43-40. The Huskers hit at a clip of .318 on the evening and held Illinois to a .143 hitting percentage.

Scouting the Northwestern Wildcats

• Northwestern is 13-9 on the year and has a 5-5 record in Big Ten play.  The Wildcats posted a 1-1 record last week, beating Illinois 3-2, but falling 3-1 to Minnesota. NU will play at Iowa City on Friday, Nov. 1.

• Stephanie Holthus leads the Wildcats on the year as she has 346 total kills and is averaging 4.07 kills per set. She is second in the Northwestern record books on the all-time kills list with 1,640 kills. She needs only 26 kills to become the program’s all-time leader. She was named the AVCA Sports Imports National Player of the Week on Sept. 24.

• Pacing the offense, Caleigh Ryan has  889 assists on the season and is averaging 11.40 assists per set. She was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the second time in her career on Oct. 14.

• Caroline Niedospial has 371 digs on the year to lead the Wildcats defensively. Guiding Northwestern at the net is Savannah Paffen as she has 79 blocks on the season.

• Holthus led Northwestern last week as she had 12 kills against Minnesota and notched 28 kills as the Wildcats came back to defeat Illinois.

• Keylor Chan is in his 14th season at Northwestern and collected his 200th victory on Oct. 11 against Indiana.

Noting the Nebraska Cornhuskers

The information below provides a quick glimpse of a few statistics and brief notes heading into this weekend.

•Nebraska enters this weekend’s matches with a 16-4 record and No. 11 national ranking in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll.

•The Huskers are 14-0 this season when holding opponents below .200 hitting.

•Nebraska has lost 10 Big Ten matches all-time, but has only lost two Big Ten Conference matches at home.

• Nebraska has an all-time winning percentage of .929 (501-38) in conference matches.

•As of Monday, Oct. 28, the Huskers rank in the top 20 nationally in three categories. NU is 13th in assists per set with an average of 13.51, the Huskers are 12th in kills per set with 14.53, while the Huskers are also 16th in hitting percentage with an average of .272. NU ranks first in assists per set and kills per set in the Big Ten Conference.

•The Huskers return AVCA Honorable-Mention All-Americans Morgan Broekhuis and Meghan Haggerty in 2013. They also welcomed 2011 AVCA Second-Team All-American Kelsey Robinson and 2011 AVCA Honorable-Mention All-American Mary Pollmiller to the 2013 roster after both transferred from Tennessee.

• Nebraska is the second-winningest program in Division I history with 1,182 wins and trails only UCLA (1,192) on the all-time list.

• The Huskers finished tied for second in the Big Ten in 2012. They were picked to finish fourth in the league in the Big Ten Coaches’ preseason poll in 2013.

• Nebraska carries a streak of 192 consecutive sellouts into this weekend, the longest sellout streak across all NCAA women’s athletics. The Huskers averaged 4,287 fans per home contest last season at the NU Coliseum.

• Nebraska has seven players on its 2013 roster who were Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 selections, representing the top-50 players in that year’s recruiting class. Six of the Huskers’ last nine recruiting classes have ranked in the top five nationally, including the 2009 class that was ranked second and the 2013 class that was ranked first by Prepvolleyball.com

• Nebraska continued its string of All-America success in 2012, as Lauren Cook was named an AVCA All-American. Cook upped Nebraska’s NCAA-leading totals to 36 players and 74 certificates. Nebraska has had at least one All-American every season since 1983, a total of 31 straight seasons, including 39 All-America awards in Cook’s 13 years at Nebraska. 

AVCA All-America Certificates

No.         School                   Awards

1.            Nebraska             74

2.            Stanford              66

3.            Penn State          58

4.            Hawaii                   53

5.            UCLA                     45

• Head Coach John Cook welcomes a young team, including 10 newcomers, to the 2013 squad. The 2012 team finished 26-7 last season, while Cook has won over 90 percent (403-45) of his matches in 13 years as the Huskers’ leader.

The Last Time Nebraska...

•             Won a match 3-0: vs. Illinois, Oct. 30, 2013

•             Won a match 3-1: at Ohio State, Oct. 25, 2013

•             Won a match 3-2: at Michigan, Oct. 12, 2013

•             Lost a match 0-3: at Purdue, Nov. 12, 2011

•             Lost a match 1-3: vs. Purdue, Oct. 19, 2013

•             Lost a match 2-3: at Texas, Sept. 22, 2013

•             Had 100 kills in a match: vs. Texas Tech, Oct. 26, 1996

•             Had 200 attacks in a match: vs. Iowa State (200), Oct. 21, 2009

•             Had .500-or-more hitting pct.: vs. Kansas (.523), Oct. 10, 2001

•             Had 10-or-more service aces: at Texas A&M (11), Nov. 5, 2008

•             Had 40-or-more total blocks: vs. UCLA (41), Sept. 14, 1991

•             Had 100-or-more digs: vs. USC (109), Dec. 11, 2004

The Last Time a Husker...

•             Had 30-or-more kills: Sarah Pavan (31) at Kansas State, Nov. 3, 2007

•             Had 10-or-more blocks: Cecilia Hall (11) vs. Illinois, Oct. 30, 2013

•             Had 25-or-more digs: Lauren Cook (25) vs. Purdue, Nov. 10, 2012

•             Had two players with 20-or-more kills: Tara Mueller (24) and Jordan Larson (21) at Washington, Dec. 13, 2008

•             Had a triple-double: Greichaly Cepero (10 kills, 38 assists, 12 digs) vs. Texas Tech, Sept. 25, 2002

Nebraska...

•             Is 356-13 (.965) when winning a first set under John Cook and 47-32 (.595) when it loses the opening set

•             Has spent 412 weeks in the top 10 and were ranked in the top 10 for 115 consecutive weeks (2004-Sept. 5, 2011)

•             Is 221-0 under John Cook when hitting .300 or better

Robinson Selected as National Player of the Week

Nebraska senior Kelsey Robinson was honored on Oct. 8 by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) as the Sports Imports/AVCA Division I National Player of the Week.

Robinson received the honor after leading the Huskers to wins over then-No. 8 Minnesota (3-0) and No. 19 Wisconsin (3-2) over the weekend. She totaled 50 kills and 29 digs on the weekend, averaging 6.3 kills per set and 3.6 digs per set, with a .417 hitting percentage for the Huskers.

Robinson recorded a double-double against the Badgers, tallying a career-high 29 kills, a team-high 22 digs and four blocks. She notched 21 kills and hit at a clip of .450 against the Gophers. Robinson was also named the Big Ten Co-Player of the Week on Monday.

The honor marks the 13th time a Husker has received the Sports Imports/AVCA Division I National Player of the Week award, with the most recent coming on No. 22, 2011 when Hannah Werth received the honor.

Huskers Earn Big Ten Weekly Honors

Nebraska outside hitters Kelsey Robinson, Amber Rolfzen, Kadie Rolfzen, middle blocker Meghan Haggerty and setter Mary Pollmiller have all been honored by the Big Ten Conference this season. Amber Rolfzen was selected as the league’s Co-Freshman of the Week on Monday, Sept. 16 and Freshman of the Week on Oct. 7, Kadie Rolfzen was named the Freshman of the Week on Oct. 28, while Pollmiller was named the Big Ten Setter of the Week on Monday, Sept. 30 and Oct. 28, Robinson earned Co-Player of the Week honors on Oct. 7 and Meghan Haggerty was tabbed as the Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 7.

Pollmiller guided the Huskers to road wins over Northwestern (3-1) and Illinois (3-0) during the opening weekend of Big Ten play. She led the Husker offense with 81 assists, averaging 11.6 assists per set. Pollmiller paced the Husker offense last week, averaging 12.3 assists per set and helped Nebraska to a .345 team hitting percentage. She recorded a double-double against the Buckeyes, with 53 assists and 11 digs.

Robinson led the Huskers to wins over No. 8 Minnesota (3-0) and No. 23 Wisconsin (3-2) last the weekend. She averaged 6.3 kills per set and posted a .417 hitting percentage. She recorded a double-double against the Badgers, tallying a career-high 29 kills and a team-high 22 digs. Robinson posted 29 digs on the weekend, averaging 3.6 digs per set. She shares this week’s accolade with Lauren Wicinski of Michigan State. The honor marks her first Big Ten weekly award. The last Husker to earn Big Ten Player of the Week accolades was Lauren Cook on Aug. 27, 2012.

Haggerty also helped the Huskers post a 2-0 record last the weekend with 12 total blocks and an average of 1.5 blocks per set. She recorded a season-high 13 kills against Wisconsin and posted a .389 hitting percentage on the weekend. The honor marks her fifth career Big Ten weekly award and her first Defensive Player of the Week honor. The last Husker to earn Defensive Player of the Week accolades was Hayley Thramer on Nov. 12, 2012.

Amber Rolfzen tallied 12 total blocks on the weekend and averaged 1.5 blocks per set in helping Nebraska take down Minnesota and Wisconsin. She recorded a team-high eight blocks against the Badgers and added 20 digs and 11 kills on the weekend. Rolfzen collects her second Freshman of the Week honor as she last earned the award on Sept. 16, 2013 as she led Nebraska to victories over Saint Mary’s (3-1), Dayton (3-0) and Iowa State (3-0) in the Ameritas Players Challenge. She produced double-doubles in all three matches, averaging 3.6 kills and 3.5 digs per set.

Kadie Rolfzen posted a .449 hitting percentage last week against Iowa and Ohio State, totaling 27 kills and 21 digs and averaging 3.9 kills and 3 digs per set. She recorded the fifth double-double of her career against the Hawkeyes with 11 kills and 12 digs. The honor marks the first Big Ten weekly award of her career.

Cook Reaches Milestone

Nebraska head coach John Cook has earned his 400th career win at Nebraska as the Huskers swept Indiana 3-0 on Friday, Oct. 18. During his 14 seasons with the Huskers he has  guided Nebraska to two NCAA titles (2000, 2006) and five NCAA semifinal appearances (2000-01-05-06-08). He is also a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year (2000, 2005).

Tough Competition

With a match-up against Ohio State last weekend, Nebraska took on its ninth top-25 teams this season. The Huskers hold a 5-3 record against top-25 teams, with losses coming to No. 1 Texas, No. 10 Michigan State and No. 21 Purdue. 

Robinson Sets Herself Apart

Kelsey Robinson has totaled 328 kills, 252 digs and 19 aces so far in 2013. Entering this week, she was the only player in the Big Ten Conference to lead her team in both kills and digs and the only non-libero or defensive specialist to rank in the top 10 in digs in the Big Ten. Following Wednesday’s match with Illinois, Justine Wong-Orantes leads the Huskers in digs with 253.

No Husker has ever led a Nebraska team in kills, digs and aces at the end of the season. Other Huskers to lead a team in kills and digs for the season were Jennifer Saleaumua (2003), Eileen Shannon (1992), Kathi DeBoer (1987) and Cathy Noth (1984).

Among the 81 teams in the seven “major” conferences (American, ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC), Robinson was one of only two players to lead her team in both kills and digs and the only player to lead her team in kills, digs and service aces prior to Wednesday’s match. Below are the two “major” conference players leading their teams in both kills and digs at the start of this week:

Player, School                                   Kills       Digs

Kelsey Robinson, Nebraska         328         252

Erin Fairs, South Florida                 305         354

Robinson is hitting at a clip of .332 for the season and has a .385 hitting percentage during conference play. She recorded only one hitting error in both matches against Illinois this season.

Husker Freshmen Record Double-Doubles

Nebraska freshmen Kadie Rolfzen and Amber Rolfzen rank 16th and 19th, respectively, among freshmen in the nation with double-doubles. Kadie has six on the year, while Amber has four. The leader is Wisconsin’s Lauren Carlini as she has 13. Kelly Hunter posted a double-double against Louisiana-Monroe.

Hot in November

Historically, the Huskers’ two best months are September (310-29) and November (227-23), as they have all-time winning percentages of .914 and .908, respectively. NU has lost only seven matches in September since 2004, including none from 2005-08. The Huskers have only lost eight matches in November since 2004.

Efficient Hitters

Nebraska has hit better than .300 in seven out of 20 matches in 2013, including a .388 hitting percentage against Iowa and a .360 hitting clip against Indiana.

Huskers Earn All-Tournament Honors

Amber Rolfzen honored as the 2013 Ameritas Players Challenge MVP two weeks ago. Kelsey Robinson and Mary Pollmiller were also selected to the all-tournament team. Kelsey Robinson and freshman Justine Wong-Orantes were honored as they were selected to the Marcia E. Hamilton Classic All-Tournament Team on Aug. 31.

How the Huskers Rank

Nebraska ranks first in the Big Ten in assists (13.53) and kills (14.59) and third in hitting percentage (.274). NU is also third in blocks (2.72), sixth in opponent hitting percentage (.166) and seventh in digs (14.52). Individually, Kelsey Robinson is second in kills (4.49), 10th in digs (3.56) and eighth in hitting percentage (.332), while Mary Pollmiller is fifth in assists (10.47). Cecilia Hall is sixth in hitting percentage (.352) and fourth in blocks (1.26). Justine Wong-Orantes ranks ninth in digs (3.47).

As of Sunday, Oct. 27, the Huskers rank 13th nationally in assists per set (13.51), 12th in kills per set (14.63) and 16th in hitting percentage (.272). Individually, Robinson is 18th in kills per set (4.49) and is 18th in points per set (5.02). Through 10 Big Ten matches, Kelsey Robinson is first in kills (4.84) and points (5.42).

Newcomers Make Immediate Impact

Husker newcomers played a pivotal role in Nebraska’s matches the first two weekends of play, as Kelsey Robinson, Mary Pollmiller, Amber Rolfzen, Kadie Rolfzen, Kelly Hunter and Justine Wong-Orantes all saw substantial playing time. Newcomers produced 139 kills (56 percent), 221 assists (98 percent), 251 digs (93 percent) and 25 aces (100 percent) for the Huskers over the first two weeks of play.

Freshmen Amber Rolfzen and Justine Wong-Orantes became just the ninth and 10th true freshmen, respectively, to start a season opener during Coach John Cook’s career at Nebraska. Wong-Orantes became Nebraska’s first true-freshman libero to start a match since Lara Dykstra in 2011.

Nebraska has 13 underclassmen on its roster this season, marking one of the highest totals in program history. The Huskers’ underclassman contingent ties Minnesota as the most in the Big Ten in 2013. NU had 14 underclassmen on its roster in 1977 and 1978, 11 underclassmen in 1997 and 1996 and 10 in 2009 and 2010.

Husker Twins Start Hot

Kadie Rolfzen made her Husker debut against the Villanova Wildcats on Sept. 6. The freshman from Papillion, Neb., led the Huskers with 14 kills on 29 attacks for a .345 hitting percentage. She followed that performance the next night with 14 kills on 31 swings (.323) against Georgia. Rolfzen’s 14 kills in her Husker debut marks the highest kill total for a true freshman in her first career start since Sarah Pavan recorded 16 kills against Notre Dame in 2004.  She posted a career-high 16 kills on 32 swings for a .312 hitting percentage against Iowa State last on Sept. 14. She led NU against Iowa with the fifth double-double of her career, posting 11 kills, a career-high 12 digs and hitting at a clip of .500. She notched another double-double against Illinois with 13 kills and 11 digs.

Amber Rolfzen made her Husker debut in NU’s opening weekend. She had eight kills in her first collegiate match and has not let up since. Rolfzen led Nebraska at the Ameritas Players Challenge, recording 36 total kills on the weekend. She notched a career-high 16 kills in NU’s 3-1 win against Saint Mary’s, hitting at a clip of .382. She tallied a double-double in every match of the Ameritas Players Challenge and was named the tournament’s MVP. Rolfzen has been named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week twice, most recently for her efforts against Minnesota and Wisconsin as she tallied 12 total blocks on the weekend and averaged 1.5 blocks. She added a team-high eight blocks against the Badgers and added 20 digs and 11 kills on the weekend.

Transfers Robinson and Pollmiller Lead the Way

Tennessee transfers Kelsey Robinson and Mary Pollmiller have already distinguished themselves among the leaders on this season’s young Nebraska squad. Pollmiller has guided the Husker offense, tallying 764 total assists and an average of 10.47 assists per set. Robinson has 328 total kills on the year and is averaging 4.49 kills per set.

Dominant Effort Against Louisiana-Monroe

The Huskers produced one of the more dominant showings in program history on Friday, Aug. 30 as they swept Louisiana-Monroe in three sets. The 36 points scored by ULM was the fewest points allowed by a Husker opponent in a three-set match during the rally-scoring era. The Huskers also held ULM to just four points in the third set, which is a school record low for a Husker opponent in the rally scoring era. The previous low had been

seven points, most recently against Duquesne in 2012. The Huskers also held ULM to an NCAA record zero kills in the third set.

Huskers Call the Devaney Center Home

The Nebraska volleyball program opened a new era in its storied tradition by moving into a new permanent home court for the first time in almost 40 years. When Nebraska played its preseason Red-White Match on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, the Bob Devaney Sports Center became the official home of Husker volleyball. The Devaney Center, which received $20 million in renovations designed to create the nation’s premier home court advantage for volleyball, will allow nearly 4,000 more Nebraska fans per game to watch their beloved Huskers.

Nebraska volleyball, which carried the nation’s longest home sellout streak in the history of any NCAA women’s sport with 181 consecutive sellouts (2001-12) at the historic NU Coliseum, has guaranteed another season of sellouts in its first year at the Devaney Center. Not only did the Huskers quickly sell out the new 7,907-seat capacity at the Devaney Center long before the season began, they also have room for nearly 400 standing-room seats at each game and a season-ticket waiting list of well over 1,000.

During the last two decades, Nebraska has ranked among the nation’s top three volleyball programs in average home attendance every season. In 2012, the Huskers finished second nationally by averaging 4,287 fans per match. Hawaii, the NCAA’s annual attendance leader for many years, drew 6,675 per home match in 2012. As the Huskers’ new home in 2013, the Devaney Center will put Nebraska in position to lead the nation in volleyball attendance on an annual basis.

The renovations to the Devaney Center have done much more than change the capacity. Massive red ceiling trusses helped create a similar environment in the arena to the Huskers’ former home in the Coliseum. A great wall, which replicates the old Coliseum entry, adds to an atmosphere steeped in tradition. While the new Devaney Center pays homage to the history of the Coliseum, which served as the home to Husker NCAA Championship teams in 1995, 2000 and 2006, the innovative design and technological advances inside also symbolize the visionary contributions of AVCA All-Time Great Coaches Terry Pettit and John Cook.

The Nebraska Athletic Department honored Terry Pettit on Friday, Sept. 6  by naming the court at the Bob Devaney Sports Center “Terry Pettit Court.” The naming is the result of a generous gift given by Bill and Ruth Scott in honor of former Nebraska head coach Terry Pettit.

Cook Selects Team Captains

Coach Cook selected team captains for the 2013 season prior to the Red/White Match. He selected Morgan Broekhuis, Kelsey Robinson and Hayley Thramer.

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