Huskers Hit the Road for Showdown at Texas
NEBRASKA at TEXAS
Date: Sept. 22
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Austin, Texas
Arena: Gregory Gym
Live Stats: TexasSports.com
TV: Longhorn Network (check provider)
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network, Huskers.com
The No. 12 Nebraska volleyball team travels to Austin, Texas this weekend for a showdown with the No. 6 Texas Longhorns. Nebraska’s match with the defending NCAA Champions is slated for 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22 at Gregory Gym. Nebraska will look to hand Texas its third loss of the 2013 season as the Longhorns have previously been beaten by Hawaii and Arizona State.
Former Big 12 foes, the Huskers and Longhorns have met a total of 48 times, with Nebraska leading the all-time series at 30-18. The last time the two teams met was Oct. 27, 2010 in Austin, Texas, as the Longhorns beat NU 3-1 (15-25, 19-25, 27-25, 25-27). Nebraska will look to gain the advantage on the road against Texas as the two teams are knotted at 10-10 when playing in Austin. The last time the Huskers won in Austin was on Oct. 18, 2006 (3-2).
Fans can listen to all of the action with John Baylor and Lindsay Peterson 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 will also air on the Longhorn Network.
The Last Meeting Between Nebraska and Texas (Oct. 27, 2010)
The No. 2 Nebraska volleyball team dropped its first match of the 2010 Big 12 season on to the No. 10 Texas Longhorns, 1-3 (15-25, 19-25, 27-25, 25-27).
The Huskers (19-2, 11-1) were their own worst enemy on the night as they tied a season high with 30 errors. After hitting over .300 the last three matches Nebraska struggled to find its rhythm and hit a season low of .160, the first time this season the Huskers have hit below .200.
Hannah Werth, Brooke Delano and Lindsey Licht all topped double figures in kills, while Werth added 12 digs to chart her ninth double-double of the season.
Rolfzen Earns Big Ten Weekly Honor
Nebraska outside hitter Amber Rolfzen was honored by the Big Ten Conference on Monday as she was named the league’s Co-Freshman of the Week. The honor marks her first career Freshman of the Week award as she shares the accolade with Purdue’s Faye Adelaja.
Rolfzen led Nebraska to victories over Saint Mary’s (3-1), Dayton (3-0) and Iowa State (3-0) last weekend in the Ameritas Players Challenge. She produced double-doubles in all three matches, averaging 3.6 kills and 3.5 digs per set. Rolfzen also tallied a career-high 16 kills against Saint Mary’s and was named the most valuable player of the tournament.
The last Husker to earn Freshman of the Week honors was Meghan Haggerty on Nov. 19, 2012.
Scouting the Texas Longhorns
• Texas is 5-2 on the year, coming off a weekend where the Longhorns went 1-1 with a 3-0 loss to Arizona State and a 3-2 win over Illinois.
• Haley Eckerman led Texas against Illinois with 23 kills as UT took down the Fighting Illini in five sets (25-23, 23-25, 25-13, 24-26, 15-11).
• Eckerman leads Texas on the year with 102 kills and an average of 3.52 kills per set. Bailey Webster has 85 total kills and is averaging 2.93 kills per set.
• Sarah Palmer has 97 total digs on the year with an average of 3.34 digs per set. Khat Bell leads UT at the net with 33 total kills, including four solo blocks and 29 block assists.
• Jerritt Elliott is in his 13th year as head coach of the Longhorns. Elliott earned his 300th win at Texas and 350th of his career last weekend against Illinois. Former Nebraska assistant Erik Sullivan has been on the coaching staff at Texas for three years.
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 7-1 record and No. 12 national ranking in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll.
•The Huskers are 7-0 this season when holding opponents below .200 hitting.
•NU is back on the road after enjoying two weeks at home against some tough competition. The Huskers recently welcomed Saint Mary’s, Dayton and Iowa State to the Devaney Center for the 2013 Ameritas Players Challenge. All three teams competed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
•The Huskers rank in the top 15 nationally in two categories. NU is 11th in assists per set with an average of 13.70, while the Huskers are eighth in kills per set with an average of 14.93. NU ranks first in both categories 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 1,173 wins and trails only UCLA (1,189) 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 186 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 (391-42) of his matches in 13 years as the Huskers’ leader.
The Last Time Nebraska...
• Won a match 3-0: vs. Iowa State, Sept. 14, 2013
• Won a match 3-1: vs. Saint Mary’s, Sept. 12, 2013
• Won a match 3-2: vs. Purdue, Nov. 10, 2012
• Lost a match 0-3: at Purdue, Nov. 12, 2011
• Lost a match 1-3: vs. Auburn, Aug. 31, 2013
• Lost a match 2-3: at Minnesota, Nov. 16, 2012
• 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: Brooke Delano (10) at Oklahoma, Sept. 29, 2010
• Had 25-or-more digs: Lara Dykstra (28) vs. New Mexico State, Aug. 26, 2011
• 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
• Is 348-12 (.967) when winning a first set under John Cook and 46-30 (.605) when it loses the opening set
• Has spent 409 weeks in the top 10 and were ranked in the top 10 for 115 consecutive weeks (2004-Sept. 5, 2011)
• Is 215-0 under John Cook when hitting .300 or better
Hot in September
Historically, the Huskers’ two best months are September (308-28) and November (227-23), as they have all-time winning percentages of .917 and .908, respectively. NU has lost only seven matches in September since 2004, including none from 2005-08.
After five wins so far in September, the Huskers are 131-10 in the month under Head Coach John Cook.
Huskers Earn All-Tournament Honors
In front of 8,293 fans at the Bob Devaney Sports Center last Saturday night, the Huskers saw Amber Rolfzen honored as the 2013 Ameritas Players Challenge MVP. Kelsey Robinson and Mary Pollmiller were also selected to the all-tournament team.
How the Huskers Rank
Nebraska ranks sixth in the Big Ten in hitting percentage (.256) and is first in assists (13.70). NU is also sixth in blocks (2.22), first in kills (14.93) and second in opponent hitting percentage (.122). Individually, Kelsey Robinson is sixth in kills (3.81), while Kadie Rolfzen is ninth in kills (3.59) and Mary Pollmiller is eighth in assists (9.19). Kelly Hunter is 10th in aces (0.36), while Alicia Ostrander is tied for ninth in blocks (1.00). Justine Wong-Orantes and Robinson are sixth (3.89) and ninth (3.85), respectively, in digs
The Huskers rank 11th nationally in assists per set (13.70) and are eighth nationally in kills per set (14.93). Individually, Kelsey Robinson is 62nd in kills per set (3.81) and 55th in points per set (4.41).
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 have 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 Saturday.
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 recently 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.
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.
Robinson and Wong-Orantes Named to Marcia E. Hamilton Classic All-Tournament Team
Nebraska senior 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. Robinson led the Huskers offensively over the weekend, posting a total of 34 kills (3.40 kills/set), a .329 hitting percentage and six aces. Wong-Orantes led NU defensively with 42 total digs (4.20 digs/set) and also had two aces.
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.
Pettit was inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame in 2009 and was a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year, a seven-time Big Eight Coach of the Year and a two-time Big 12 Coach of the Year. In his 23 years at Nebraska, he guided the Huskers to a national championship in 1995, six Final Four appearances and 21 conference titles.
Huskers Find Even More Talent for 2013
Head Coach John Cook’s 2013 Huskers include 10 talented additions. NU welcomed true freshmen Alexa Ethridge, Kelly Hunter, Melanie Keil, Kira Larson, Brenna Lyles, Amber Rolfzen, Kadie Rolfzen and Justine Wong-Orantes and transfers Mary Pollmiller and Kelsey Robinson.
The 2013 recruiting class was regarded as one of the best in the nation, with four players ranked as the top-25 prospects in the nation. Kadie Rolfzen came in at No. 5, while Amber Rolfzen was ranked eighth, Kelly Hunter was ranked 13th and Kira Larson was ranked 23rd.
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.
Haggerty to Follow Up Successful Freshman Campaign
Meghan Haggerty became just the eighth true freshman to start a season opener during Coach John Cook’s career at Nebraska in 2012. She was named an AVCA Honorable-Mention All-American and All-Mideast selection and also earned Big Ten All-Freshman honors. Haggerty was honored with Big Ten Freshman of the Week accolades four times in 2012. She led the Huskers in hitting efficiency (.333) as a freshman and recorded a hitting percentage of .300 or better 18 times in 2012. Haggerty averaged 1.98 kills and 0.97 blocks per set and finished eighth in the conference in hitting percentage with an average of .333. She posted a team-high 17 kills against UCLA, notching a .600 hitting percentage (17-2-25). Her 17 kills were the most by a Nebraska middle blocker since Tracy Stalls tallied 17 (17-2-26) against UCLA during the 2006 National Semifinal match.
Thramer to Lead the Huskers in 2013
Senior Hayley Thramer suffered a knee injury in the spring of 2013 that will sideline her from competing during her senior season. She will fill the role as student coach and will help lead the Huskers in 2013.