ILLINOIS at NEBRASKA
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 30
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Lincoln, Neb.
Arena: Devaney Center
Live Stats: Huskers.com
TV: Big Ten Network
Online Video: BTN2Go
Radio: Husker Sports Network, Huskers.com
The No. 11 Nebraska volleyball team will face the Illinois Fighting Illini on Wednesday, Oct. 30 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. Nebraska’s match with the Illini is slated for 6:30 p.m. CT and will air on the Big Ten Network. It will also be available on BTN2Go.
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 the Illini marks the 25th meeting between the two schools. Nebraska leads the all-time series with Illinois 18-5-1. The Huskers swept Illinois 3-0 when the two teams met earlier this year on Sept. 28 in Champaign, Ill.
Last Time Against the Illini- Sept. 28, 2013 (Champaign, Ill.)
The No. 12 Nebraska Volleyball team (9-2, 2-0) stifled the No. 24 Illinois Fighting Illini 3-0 (25-20, 25-14, 25-22) on Saturday afternoon at Huff Hall. The victory closed the opening weekend of Big Ten play for the Huskers as they came away 2-0.
Kadie Rolfzen led NU on the day with 14 kills on 33 swings. Kelsey Robinson notched a double-double as she posted 10 kills and a match-high 15 digs. Mary Pollmiller dished out 27 assists.
The Husker block stifled the Illini on the night as Cecilia Hall led the way eight blocks and Amber Rolfzen had five, helping the Huskers to a total of 11. Illinois recorded just three team blocks.
Nebraska hit .255 for the match, while the Fighting Illini were held to a .144 hitting clip. Both teams had 45 digs.
Ohio State Recap- Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 (Columbus, Ohio)
The No. 13 Nebraska volleyball team (15-4, 8-2) came back to top the No. 24 Ohio State Buckeyes 3-1 (22-25, 25-12, 25-17, 25-19) at St. John Arena last Friday night.
Kelsey Robinson tallied her 11th double-double of the season with a match-high 19 kills and 10 digs, while also recording a .405 hitting percentage. Kadie Rolfzen posted 16 kills and a .419 hitting clip, while Meghan Haggerty notched 10 kills, a .350 hitting clip and five blocks. Mary Pollmiller also posted a double-double with 53 assists and 11 digs. Justine Wong-Orantes led NU with 15 digs and Brenna Lyles had three aces.
Scouting the Illinois Fighting Illini
• Illinois is 9-11 on the year and has a 5-5 record in Big Ten play. The Illini are coming off a 3-1 win at Wisconsin on Sunday, Oct. 27.
• Jocelynn Birks leads the Illini offensively with 297 total kills and an average of 3.76 kills per set. She has also posted 174 digs (2.20 digs/set) and 46 total blocks.
• Pacing the offense, Alexis Viliunas has 764 assists on the season and is averaging 9.79 assists per set. She also has 203 digs on the year and is averaging 2.60 digs per set.
• Jennifer Beltran has led the Illini defensively with 306 total digs on the season and an average of 3.87 digs per set. Liz McMahon has 58 total blocks on the year, including 53 block assists and 0.73 blocks per set.
• McMahon led the Illini offense against Wisconsin with 20 kills, hitting .375 with three blocks. It marked the second time last week that she put up at least 20 kills, having landed 21 at Northwestern last Wednesday.
• Kevin Hambly is in his fifth season at the helm of the Illini. He has led Illinois to three trips to the NCAA Sweet 16, including 2011’s historic run to the national championship match.
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 15-4 record and No. 11 national ranking in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll.
•The Huskers are 13-0 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 (500-38) in conference matches.
•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 1,181 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 191 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 (402-45) of his matches in 13 years as the Huskers’ leader.
The Last Time Nebraska...
• Won a match 3-0: vs. Iowa, Oct. 23, 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: Brooke Delano (10) at Oklahoma, Sept. 29, 2010
• 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
• Is 355-13 (.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 220-0 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).
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 leads the Huskers in kills (313), digs (244) and aces (19) so far in 2013. She is 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.
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 313 244
Erin Fairs, South Florida 305 354
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 five 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.
Nebraska has hit better than .300 in six out of 19 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 (13.45) and kills (14.45) and third in hitting percentage (.269). NU is also fourth in blocks (2.64), sixth in opponent hitting percentage (.172) and sixth in digs (14.65). Individually, Kelsey Robinson is third in kills (4.45), ninth in digs (3.55) and 10th in hitting percentage (.324), while Mary Pollmiller is sixth in assists (10.30). Cecilia Hall is seventh in hitting percentage (.351) and fifth in blocks (1.19). Justine Wong-Orantes ranks 10th in digs (3.42).
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.
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 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 733 total assists and an average of 10.47 assists per set. Robinson has 313 total kills on the year and is averaging 4.47 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.