Huskers Return Home to Host Minnesota, Wisconsin
MINNESOTA at NEBRASKA
Date: Friday, Oct. 4
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Lincoln, Neb.
Arena: Devaney Center
Live Stats: Huskers.com
Online Video: BTN2GO
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network, Huskers.com
WISCONSIN at NEBRASKA
Date: Saturday, Oct. 5
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Lincoln, Neb.
Arena: Devaney Center
Live Stats: Huskers.com
Online Video: BTDN
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network, Huskers.com
The No. 10 Nebraska volleyball team returns home this weekend to host the No. 8 Minnesota Gophers and No. 23 Wisconsin Badgers at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The Huskers will take on Minnesota on Friday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m., and will follow that with a showdown with No. 23 Wisconsin on Saturday, Sept. Oct. 5 at 7 p.m.
Nebraska’s match with Minnesota will air live on the Big Ten Network and will also be available on BTN2Go. The Huskers’ match with Wisconsin will be televised on NET in Nebraska and will also be streamed 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.
Nebraska leads the all-time series with Minnesota 29-5. The Huskers and Gophers split their series in 2012, as Nebraska won 3-1 in Lincoln, but the Huskers fell to the Gophers 2-3 in Minneapolis.
Nebraska has a 15-1-1 advantage over Wisconsin in the all-time series. The Huskers swept UW twice in 2012.
Huskers Earn Big Ten Weekly Honors
Nebraska outside hitter Amber Rolfzen and setter Mary Pollmiller have both 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, while Pollmiller was named the Big Ten Setter of the Week on Monday, Sept. 30.
Rolfzen 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.
Pollmiller guided the Huskers to road wins over Northwestern (3-1) and Illinois (3-0) last weekend. She paced the Husker offense with 81 assists, averaging 11.6 assists per set.
Scouting the Minnesota Gophers
• Minnesota is 14-1 on the year, recently coming off of conference home wins over Indiana (3-0) and Purdue (3-0) last weekend. The Gophers also have a No. 8 national ranking.
• Tori Dixon leads the Gophers on the year with 189 total kills and an average of 4.20 kills per set. She also has 14 aces and leads Minnesota with 60 total blocks and an average of 1.33 blocks per set. She was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week last week averaging 4.00 kills per set and hitting .485 on the weekend, leading the team with five aces, 13 blocks and 26 digs.
• Ashley Wittman has 161 kills on the season and is averaging 3.66 kills per set. She also has 132 digs on the year and has posted an average of 3.00 digs per set. She was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week this week as she had nine kills and tied a match-eight digs in the Gophers’ win over Indiana, en route to her 1,500th-career kill. Against Purdue she added her fifth double-double of the season with 15 kills and 14 digs.
• Alexandra Palmer has 499 total assists on the season and is averaging 10.40 assists per set.
• Hugh McCutcheon is in his second year as head coach of the Gophers. He came to Minnesota after an illustrious career with USA Volleyball.
Scouting the Wisconsin Badgers
• Wisconsin is 13-1 on the year, recently topping Purdue (3-0) and Indiana (3-1) last weekend. The Badgers returned to the AVCA Top 25 this week, coming in at No. 23.
• Ellen Chapman leads the Badgers on the year with 190 total kills. She is averaging 3.58 kills per set.
• Lauren Carlini paces the Badger offense at setter as she has 414 total assists on the year. She is averaging 10.62 assists per set and has also chipped in 111 digs for an average of 2.85 digs per set.
• Haleigh Nelson was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week this week. She was Wisconsin’s first newcomer honoree since 2010. Nelson earned the accolade after aiding the Badgers to a 2-0 start in Big Ten play for the first time since 2007. She had seven blocks against Purdue and added six against Indiana. She hit a team-best .417 on the weekend and added 2.43 kills per set.
• Kelly Sheffield is in his first season with the Badgers. He joined the Badgers after previously coaching at Dayton for five 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 9-2 record and No. 10 national ranking in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll.
•The Huskers are 9-0 this season when holding opponents below .200 hitting.
• NU is into the second week of Big Ten play after a challenging end of the nonconference schedule. The Huskers 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. To close the nonconference schedule, Nebraska fought defending National Champion Texas to the brink in a 2-3 loss to the Longhorns in Austin, Texas.
• Nebraska has an all-time winning percentage of .932 (494-36) in conference matches.
•The Huskers rank in the top 10 nationally in two categories. NU is seventh in assists per set with an average of 13.79, while the Huskers are also seventh in kills per set with an average of 14.79. 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 1,175 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 (391-43) of his matches in 13 years as the Huskers’ leader.
The Last Time Nebraska...
• Won a match 3-0: at Illinois, Sept. 28, 2013
• Won a match 3-1: at Northwestern, Sept. 27, 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 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 350-13 (.964) when winning a first set under John Cook and 46-30 (.605) when it loses the opening set
• Has spent 410 weeks in the top 10 and were ranked in the top 10 for 115 consecutive weeks (2004-Sept. 5, 2011)
• Is 216-0 under John Cook when hitting .300 or better
With match-ups against Minnesota and Wisconsin this weekend, Nebraska will be taking on its fourth and fifth top-25 teams this season. The Huskers hold a 2-1 record against top-25 teams, topping No. 24 Illinois, No. 17 Iowa State, but falling to No. 6 Texas.
Robinson Sets Herself Apart
Kelsey Robinson leads the Huskers in kills, digs and aces so far in 2013. She is the only player in the Big Ten Conference to lead her team in both kills and digs. Robinson is one of nine players in the Big Ten Conference to have at least 100 digs and kills. She has 164 total kills and 154 digs on the season.
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 three 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 three “major” conference players leading their teams in both kills and digs:
Player, School Kills Digs
Kelsey Robinson, Nebraska 164 154
Erin Fairs, South Florida 189 243
Nicolette Serratore, Syracuse 150 139
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.
How the Huskers Rank
Nebraska ranks first in the Big Ten in assists (13.79) and kills (14.79) and sixth in hitting percentage (.256) NU is also sixth in blocks (2.31), fifth in opponent hitting percentage (.146). Individually, Kelsey Robinson is fourth in kills (4.23), while Kadie Rolfzen is eighth in kills (3.69) and Mary Pollmiller is seventh in assists (10.03). Cecilia Hall is eighth in hitting percentage (.371) and seventh in blocks (1.11), while Justine Wong-Orantes is 10th in digs (3.74) and Robinson is seventh (3.95) in digs.
The Huskers rank seventh nationally in assists per set (13.79) and are seventh nationally in kills per set (14.79). Individually, Robinson is 25th in kills per set (4.21) and is 31st in points per set (4.72).
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.
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.
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 391 total assists and an average of 10.03 assists per set. Robinson has 164 total kills on the year and is averaging 4.21 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.
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 Follows 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.