Huskers Fall to Texas

On the afternoon of the Husker Football program's 300th consecutive sellout, the Husker Volleyball team took on what is most likely one of their toughest challenges this season. The number two ranked Texas Longhorns traveled to the Coliseum to take on the sixth ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Set 1

          Nebraska came out in the first set looking like they were ready for challenge in front of them. From the first point, the Huskers were communicating, hustling, and most importantly reading the attacks from Texas. The Longhorns seemed surprised when Nebraska was prepared for every one of their attacks and began to make hitting and service errors that are uncommon for them. Kills from Lindsey Licht and Kori Cooper brought the Huskers up 4-2. Nebraska's wide hits and service errors gave the Longhorns points to tie the set at 7-7. Hannah Werth dominated on the outside with kill after kill giving Nebraska a four point advantage at 12-8. Kori Cooper showed some quick thinking when she jumped up to save a wild pass, pushing it deep into Texas' back row where they couldn't respond. When Brooke Delano found her spot, her hitting was accurate but this set was not her strongest. Nebraska's offense was much stronger than their defense. Texas' Destinee Hooker had such strong attacking it was nearly impossible to get a clean pass off of her hits. The Huskers struggled the most at the end of the set when Texas seemed to get their spark back. The best play came at the end of the set when both teams fought hard to keep the ball alive. During this point, Texas sent the Huskers three short tips but Nebraska was able to recover each time and the point ended early with a net violation from the Longhorns, putting the score at 22 all. A service error from Kayla Banwarth followed this outstanding play and Nebraska was unable to stop Texas as they took the set, 22-25.

Outstanding Players: Kori Cooper, Hannah Werth

. Set 2

            The second set started out like the first with the Huskers on fire and ready to play. They led the entire first half and at one point were up as much as four points. Unable to keep the ball away from Texas' best players, Nebraska began to struggle again against the Longhorns attacking and the set was tied at 11. Unlike the first set, Nebraska didn't let the Longhorns' comeback get them down and they began to turn the game around. Licht had kills down the line and across the court and was the go-to girl for the rest of the second set. Werth began to step up her play and found the open spots in Texas' defense, leaving them stunned and unable to answer back. She earned a .385 attacking percentage and seven points. The Longhorns' looked frustrated and exhausted as they failed to respond to anything Nebraska sent over. Nebraska showed that sometimes the lightest tips are better than the strongest attacks in this second set. They sent the Longhorns into the locker room to figure out how to stop them after a Husker win of 25-18.

Outstanding Player: Kori Cooper, Lindsey Licht

                                                         

Set 3

          The third set started as a back and forth exchange of points. Nebraska didn't look as alive in the third set as they had in the second and the break they got between them wasn't good for their momentum. The Huskers were tied at 8-8 after a kill from Werth but began to trail by larger margins after that. Texas held Nebraska at 11 points for almost four plays and it seemed like the Huskers were trying too hard to hold onto the previous game's fire. The Longhorns began to read all of Nebraska's attacks and eventually had a five point lead, 12-17. A service error from Banwarth took the ball out Nebraska's hands and forced them to try and work around Texas' huge front line of blocking. At 15-22, Mueller seemed to be the only one trying to earn Nebraska some points and she fought hard to get two kills. Delano served at 17-24 but the Longhorns were able to easily tip the ball over for the game.

Outstanding Player: Tara Mueller

Set 4

            Nebraska wasn't able to make a turnaround at the beginning of set four and quickly trailed by three after two hitting errors from Licht. Pendergast's service error added to the Longhorns' lead and Nebraska was looking at a five point climb. Texas took a time-out at 10-12 and it looked like the Huskers had come back to play. Two kills from Texas' Juliann Faucette and Destinee Hooker took away the Huskers' momentum as they trailed by five. Nebraska couldn't come back as the blocks and attacks from Texas kept coming. At 11-20, the excitement that pushed the Huskers in the second set was gone and the score was proof that Nebraska wasn't playing the way they could. Nebraska had eight blocks compared to Texas' 11 and only Anderson and Cooper had attacking percentages over. 300. After one saved game point from Mueller, the Longhorns took the set, 25-17.

 

Overall

            If Nebraska could have kept playing the way they had the second set, they could have beaten Texas. They had nearly as many service errors as they had points in the third and fourth sets. There were 11 service errors in the third and 15 in the fourth. Those points could have brought the Huskers back into winning position had they not wasted them on something they shouldn't be doing this late in the season. Nebraska needed to win set three in order to keep the Longhorns frustrated but they failed to come out alive and on top of their game. This is the second consecutive loss for the Huskers but hopefully they will practice hard this week for their match against Kansas at the Coliseum on October, 7.

 

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