Huskers Split Two Matches in Colorado

The Nebraska volleyball team split a pair of spring exhibition matches on Saturday at the Noodle's and Company College Volleyball Challenge in Denver. The Huskers defeated New Mexico (25-16, 25-23) before falling to Colorado State (25-23, 25-23) as both the matches went a pre-determined two games.

According to assistant coach Lizzy Stemke, the two matches help the Huskers build for the upcoming season this fall.

"It was a good learning experience today, as all matches this time of the year are," Stemke said. "We were able to get players some experience in different roles and that is important as we develop through spring practice"

Stemke said one of the highlights was the performance of middle blockers Amanda Gates and Kori Cooper, as the pair split time at one of the middle blocking sports.

"I really thought Kori and Amanda had a great day," Stemke said, noting that Cooper played against New Mexico while Gates played against Colorado State. "Both of them did a nice job of making themselves available offensively and making smart blocking decisions. They really added a spark on the court and showed a lot of leadership."

"It was important that the upperclassmen show an example and step up in situations and that helps people follow," Gates said. "As middle blocker, there are many ways I can be involved, whether it is making a block or a kill or getting a good touch on a ball, and those are the things I can focus on, and providing that spark for my teammates is important."

"In our match against New Mexico, we did a nice job of being low error," Stemke said. "We hit pretty well and did a good job with our block. New Mexico is a very scrappy team and did a good job on keeping rallies alive, and we had to battle through that and be patient offensively."

Stemke said that the setback to Colorado State also served a strong purpose, as the Huskers work through the spring

"It was good to be in a close match against a veteran team with NCAA Tournament experience," Stemke said. "That experience can only benefit our younger players as they continue through the spring."

The Huskers will wrap up the team portion of spring drills next Saturday, as they host Kentucky at 7 p.m. at the NU Coliseum. Tickets can be purchased by calling the NU Ticket Office at 800-8-BIGRED or on the Internet at Huskers.com.

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