Huskers Head to Michigan, Michigan State
NEBRASKA at MICHIGAN
Date: Friday, Oct. 11
Time: 6 p.m. (CT)
Location: Ann Arbor, Mich.
Arena: Cliff Keen Arena
Live Stats: MGoBlue.com
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network, Huskers.com
NEBRASKA at MICHIGAN STATE
Date: Saturday, Oct. 12
Time: 6 p.m. (CT)
Location: East Lansing, Mich.
Arena: Jenison Field House
Live Stats: MSUSpartans.com
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network, Huskers.com
The No. 9 Nebraska volleyball team hits the road this weekend for a pair of Big Ten road matches. The Huskers will take on Michigan on Friday, Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. (CT) at Cliff Keen Arena and will face Michigan State on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. (CT) at Jenison Field House.
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.
Nebraska leads the all-time series with Michigan 6-2. The Huskers and Wolverines split the series in 2012, with Nebraska winning 3-1 in Lincoln, but falling in five sets in Ann Arbor.
The Huskers have a 11-1-2 advantage over Michigan State. Nebraska also split the series with the Spartans in 2012, winning 3-0 in Lincoln, but losing in five sets in East Lansing.
Robinson Selected as National Player of the Week
Nebraska senior Kelsey Robinson was honored Tuesday 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, helping Nebraska remain undefeated in Big Ten play. 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.
Scouting the Michigan Wolverines
• Michigan is 11-4 on the year and has a 1-3 record in the Big Ten. The Wolverines are ranked No. 17 in the latest AVCA poll. Michigan beat Northwestern 3-1 over the weekend, but fell in five sets to Illinois.
• Lexi Erwin and Jennifer Cross each had double-doubles in Michigan’s win over Northwestern last weekend. Erwin had a match-high 19 kills and posted 10 digs, while Cross had 15 kills and a career-high 11 digs.
• Erwin had 19 kills, nine digs and three blocks in Michigan’s loss to Illinois last Saturday. Cross added 16 kills and seven block assists, while Abby Cole had 11 kills.
• Cross is close to two Michigan records for blocks in a career. She needs just two blocks to break the school record of 472, while she needs 22 block assists to break the record of 419.
• Cross picked up her 1,000 career kill against Ohio State on Sept. 21. She now has 1,070 kills and joins Erwin as current Wolverines that are in the 1,000-kill club.
• Mark Rosen is in his 15th season as head coach of the Wolverines. He is just one win away from earning his 300th coaching victory at Michigan.
Scouting the Michigan State Spartans
• Michigan State is 15-1 on the year and is 4-0 in the Big Ten. The Spartans are ranked No. 7 in the latest AVCA Poll. Michigan State is coming off of sweeps of Illinois and Northwestern last weekend.
• Michigan State’s 15-1 start is the best since its 1995 Final Four season, in which it went 27-1 to start the year and won its first 16 Big Ten matches. MSU has won 13 consecutive matches dating back to the opening weekend of play.
• Lauren Wicinski shared Big Ten Player of the Week honors with Kelsey Robinson on Monday, it was her third weekly honor of the season and second straight. She has a total of 2,112 career kills and needs 143 more to move into the NCAA’s top-25 all-time. With 181 kills, Wicinski will become MSU’s all-time kills leader.
• Alexis Mathews is eighth nationally in hitting percentage (.459) and is 11th in blocks per set (1.42). She owns a .343 career hitting percentage, which ranks 22nd among active players in Division I volleyball.
• Cathy George is in her ninth season as head coach of the Spartans.
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 11-2 record and No. 9 national ranking in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll.
•The Huskers are 10-0 this season when holding opponents below .200 hitting.
•Nebraska has lost eight Big Ten matches all-time, but has only lost one Big Ten Conference match at home.
• Nebraska has an all-time winning percentage of .932 (496-36) in conference matches.
•The Huskers rank in the top 10 nationally in two categories. NU is sixth in assists per set with an average of 13.83, while the Huskers are also sixth in kills per set with an average of 14.87. 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 1,177 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 188 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 (393-43) of his matches in 13 years as the Huskers’ leader.
The Last Time Nebraska...
• Won a match 3-0: vs. Minnesota, Oct. 4, 2013
• Won a match 3-1: at Northwestern, Sept. 27, 2013
• Won a match 3-2: vs. Wisconsin, Oct. 5, 2013
• 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 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: 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 352-13 (.964) when winning a first set under John Cook and 46-30 (.605) when it loses the opening set
• Has spent 411 weeks in the top 10 and were ranked in the top 10 for 115 consecutive weeks (2004-Sept. 5, 2011)
• Is 217-0 under John Cook when hitting .300 or better
Huskers Earn Big Ten Weekly Honors
Nebraska outside hitters Kelsey Robinson, Amber Rolfzen, middle blocker Meghan Haggerty and setter Mary Pollmiller have all been honored by the Big Ten Conference this season. Rolfzen was selected as the league’s Co-Freshman of the Week on Monday, Sept. 16 and Freshman of the Week on Oct. 7, while Pollmiller was named the Big Ten Setter of the Week on Monday, Sept. 30, 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 weekend of Big Ten play. She paced the Husker offense with 81 assists, averaging 11.6 assists per set.
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.
Cook Reaching Milestone
Nebraska head coach John Cook has 398 career wins at Nebraska. 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).
With match-ups against Michigan and Michigan State this weekend, Nebraska will be taking on its sixth and seventh top-25 teams this season. The Huskers hold a 4-1 record against top-25 teams, with their only loss coming to No. 3 Texas.
Robinson Sets Herself Apart
Kelsey Robinson leads the Huskers in kills (214), digs (183) and aces (13) so far in 2013. She is the only player in the Big Ten Conference to lead her team in both kills and digs.
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 is 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. Below are the two “major” conference players leading their teams in both kills and digs:
Player, School Kills Digs
Kelsey Robinson, Nebraska 214 183
Erin Fairs, South Florida 205 261
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 (13.83) and kills (14.87) and fourth in hitting percentage (.262) NU is also fifth in blocks (2.49), seventh in opponent hitting percentage (.156) and second in digs (15.70). Individually, Kelsey Robinson is third in kills (4.55), while Kadie Rolfzen is eighth in kills (3.41) and Mary Pollmiller is seventh in assists (10.30). Cecilia Hall is eighth in hitting percentage (.351) and eighth in blocks (1.09), while Justine Wong-Orantes is ninth in digs (3.66) and Robinson is seventh (3.89) in digs.
The Huskers rank sixth nationally in assists per set (13.83) and are sixth nationally in kills per set (14.87). Individually, Robinson is 14th in kills per set (4.55) and is 18th in points per set (5.10).
Through four Big Ten matches, three Huskers lead the Conference in four different categories. Meghan Haggerty is first in hitting percentage (.446), Mary Pollmiller is first in assists (11.60) and Kelsey Robinson is first in kills (5.67) and points (6.23).
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 tallied 11 kills on 20 swings for a .400 hitting clip, also notching 12 digs against Minnesota on Oct. 4.
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 last weekend as she tallied 12 total blocks on the weekend and averaged 1.5 blocks per set in helping Nebraska take down Minnesota and Wisconsin. She added recorded 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 through the beginning half of the season, tallying 484 total assists and an average of 10.30 assists per set. Robinson has 214 total kills on the year and is averaging 4.55 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.
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.
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.