LINCOLN, Neb. - The third-ranked Nebraska volleyball team fell to No. 5 Minnesota, 3-1 (20-25, 25-23, 14-25, 21-25) on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 8,420 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center, the second-largest crowd of the season.
The loss dropped the Huskers to 14-2 overall and 5-1 in the Big Ten and snapped NU's 14-match win streak. Minnesota improved to 12-2 and 6-0 in the Big Ten and is now the only unbeaten team in the Big Ten.
Mikaela Foecke had a team-high 16 kills, while Lexi Sun had 12 kills and 15 digs for her second straight double-double. Jazz Sweet added 13 kills, while Lauren Stivrins contributed 10 kills and hit .450. Nicklin Hames had 44 assists and 18 digs, while Kenzie Maloney chipped in 18 digs.
Minnesota out-hit the Huskers .280 to .194. The Huskers had an 11-7 edge in blocks with Stivrins leading the way with five. But Minnesota had four aces to Nebraska's one and out-dug the Huskers, 77-63.
Adanna Rollins had 17 kills to lead the Golden Gophers. Taylor Morgan added 13 kills.
Set 1: Minnesota jumped out to a 7-2 lead, but the Huskers worked back to within 8-6 after a pair of kills by Stivrins. The Golden Gophers pushed their lead back to four at 13-9, but a solo block and a kill by Sweet drew NU within one, 13-12. Minnesota maintained its lead though after a slew of Husker hitting errors made it 17-12 Gophers. Sun struck for three kills to help the Huskers pull within 20-18, but NU could get no closer than two as Minnesota won 25-20.
Set 2: The Huskers went on a 6-1 run to take a 7-3 lead. Foecke and Sun recorded kills, and a solo block by Sun made it 10-5 Huskers. The Golden Gophers chipped away and took a 17-16 lead after a three-point run. After four sideouts, Minnesota went up 20-18 on an Alexis Hart kill. The Gophers led 21-19 when back-to-back blocks by Schwarzenbach - one with Sweet and one with Sun - tied the score at 21-21. After a timeout, the Huskers won a long rally when Minnesota hit long, but Taylor Morgan answered for the Gophers. Foecke put the Huskers back in front 23-22 with her 10th kill, and a block by Stivrins and Sweet gave NU set point at 24-22. After a service error made it 24-23, Sweet put the set away with a kill.
Set 3: The teams went back and forth throughout the beginning of the set, but Minnesota went on an 11-0 run to stake a 23-11 lead. The Gophers went on to win 25-14 to go up 2-1 in the match.
Set 4: Minnesota pulled away to an 11-6 lead after a 7-2 spurt and maintained its five-point lead at the media timeout, 15-10. Minnesota led 18-11 when Stivrins posted a kill and an ace around a Sun kill to cut it to 18-14. NU cut it to three, 19-16, on a block by Sun and Schwarzenbach, but the Gophers never let Nebraska get closer than three and clinched the match with a 25-21 win.
Up Next: The Huskers host Indiana on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. Wednesday's match will be the Huskers' annual "Pink Night" for breast cancer awareness.
Madison, Wis. - Freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez and sophomore wide receiver JD Spielman produced record-setting performances, but the Nebraska football team came up short in a 41-24 loss at No. 16 Wisconsin on Saturday night in Camp Randall Stadium.
Martinez amassed a Nebraska freshman-record 441 yards of total offense, including a career-high and Husker freshman-record 384 passing yards. He completed 24-of-42 passes and threw two touchdown strikes. He added 57 yards rushing on 13 attempts to give him the fourth-best single-game offensive total in Husker history. It marked his second straight game with more than 400 yards of total offense.
Spielman's record-setting night made an all-time dent in the Big Red record book, as he hauled in nine receptions for a school-record 209 yards, surpassing his 200-yard receiving game against Ohio State as a freshman last season. His 75-yard touchdown reception to open the third quarter was Nebraska's longest play of the season and pulled the Huskers to within 20-10 after trailing by 17 points at the half. Spielman owns the only two 200-yard receiving games in Husker history.
Less than halfway through his sophomore season, Spielman has already climbed to No. 14 on Nebraska's career receiving yardage list with 1,291 yards.
Husker senior wide receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. just missed a 100-yard receiving game, hauling in a career-high-matching eight receptions for 93 yards, giving him 17 straight games with three or more catches.
As a team, Nebraska rolled up more than 500 total yards as a team for the third time in five games this season. The Huskers finished with 518 total yards, including 407 passing. However, Nebraska could not contain the Wisconsin running game, as the Badgers rolled up 370 yards on the ground on their way to 533 total yards. Wisconsin improved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten, while Nebraska slipped to 0-5 and 0-3 in the conference.
Jonathan Taylor led the Badgers with 221 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries, including an 88-yard touchdown to cap the scoring for Wisconsin early in the fourth quarter. Taiwan Deal added 74 yards on 10 carries with another score, and Garrett Groshek pitched in 73 yards on nine carries. Alex Hornibrook added 163 yards on 13-of-24 passing. Tight end Jake Ferguson hauled in four receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown, while AJ Taylor added three catches for a team-high 60 receiving yards.
Nebraska's defense bent but didn't break in a low-scoring first quarter, holding Wisconsin to just a field goal on its opening drive. The Badgers controlled the ball in the first quarter, but went to the second quarter with just a 3-0 lead.
Wisconsin added a second short Rafael Gaglianone field goal early in the second quarter to take a 6-0 lead, before Nebraska marched into scoring position on its next drive. The Huskers went 61 yards in 10 plays but were unable to punch the ball across the goal line and settled for a 31-yard Barret Pickering field goal to cut the Badger lead to 6-3 with 9:55 left in the first half.
Wisconsin answered with a six-play, 64-yard drive that was capped by Taylor's three-yard plunge to push the margin to 13-3 with 6:51 left in the half.
On the ensuing drive, Martinez moved the Huskers to the Wisconsin 31, but a pair of penalties and a sack sent the Huskers back, and a 4th-and-11 pass from Martinez to Maurice Washington fell incomplete to give the Badgers the ball back with 2:13 left in the half. Wisconsin capitalized on the opportunity and Hornibrook's 14-yard pass to Jake Ferguson sent the Badgers to halftime with a 20-3 lead.
At the half, Wisconsin held an 18:59-11:01 time of possession edge, and the Badgers ran 41 plays compared to 30 for the Huskers.
But Nebraska showed it was not going away quietly, as Martinez threw a strike to a streaking Spielman down the seam on the second play of the second half for a 75-yard touchdown. Pickering's PAT pulled the Huskers within 20-10 with nearly the entire second half remaining.
Taylor continued to carry the load for Wisconsin on the opening drive of its second half, rushing four times for 41 yards, including a 21-yard dash to push the UW lead back to 17 with 11:04 left in the third quarter.
The two teams exchanged touchdowns the rest of the way, as the Huskers played the Badgers even on the scoreboard in the second half and produced 64 more total offense yards than Wisconsin after halftime.
Nebraska returns to Big Ten road action next week at Northwestern. Kickoff between the Huskers and the Wildcats is set for 11 a.m. (CT) with live national television coverage on ABC.
No. 16 Wisconsin 41, Nebraska 24
Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018
Madison, Wis. (Camp Randall Stadium)
7:08 - WIS - Rafael Gaglianone 30 FG, 15 plays, 53 yards, 7:52, WIS 3-0
12:58 - WIS - Gaglianone 28 FG, 9 plays, 41 yards, 4:12, WIS 6-0
9:55 - NEB - Barret Pickering 31 FG, 10 plays, 61 yards, 3:03, WIS 6-3
6:51 - WIS - Jonathan Taylor 3 run (Gaglianone kick), 6 plays, 64 yards, 2:55, WIS 13-3
0:42 - WIS - Jake Ferguson 14 pass from Alex Hornibrook (Gaglianone kick), 6 plays, 63 yards, 1:31, WIS 20-3
14:13 - NEB - JD Spielman 75 pass from Adrian Martinez (Pickering kick), 2 plays, 75 yards, 0:47, WIS 20-10
11:04 - WIS - Taylor 21 run (Gaglianone kick), 7 plays, 71 yards, 3:02, WIS 27-10
6:50 - WIS - Taiwan Deal 20 run (Gaglianone kick), 6 plays, 59 yards, 2:56, WIS 34-10
4:20 - NEB - Jack Stoll 12 pass from Martinez (Pickering kick), 8 plays, 75 yards, 2:30, WIS 34-17
12:50 - WIS - Taylor 88 run (Gaglianone kick), 1 play, 88 yards, 0:13, WIS 41-17
9:11 - NEB - Martinez 7 run (Pickering kick), 7 plays, 95 yards, 3:26, WIS 41-24
Kickoff Time: 6:40 p.m.
Time of Game: 3:35
The No. 3 Nebraska volleyball team will play its first top-five opponent of the season when it meets Minnesota on Saturday at 7 p.m. The match will be televised on NET and streamed online at BTN2GO.com.
• The Huskers and Golden Gophers will also air on Husker Sports Network radio affiliates, including 107.3 FM in Lincoln and 105.9 FM in Omaha. A live audio stream will be provided at Huskers.com. John Baylor is in his 25th season doing play-by-play for the Husker volleyball program. Lauren (Cook) West, a former All-America setter for the Huskers, will provide color commentary.
About the Huskers
• Nebraska enters the match at 14-1 overall and 5-0 in the Big Ten. The Huskers have won 14 straight matches since a season-opening loss to Florida. Dating back to last season, Nebraska has won 33 of its last 34 matches.
• Nebraska has won 18 straight Big Ten matches dating back to last season. It’s the second-longest current win streak in the nation of any power five conference team (Texas has 22 straight Big 12 wins).
• Saturday’s match marks the beginning of a very tough stretch in the Huskers’ Big Ten schedule. Six of Nebraska’s next eight matches are against teams ranked in the AVCA top 10.
• The Huskers are tied with Minnesota with perfect 5-0 Big Ten records.
• Nebraska leads the nation in opponent hitting percentage at .110.
• Nebraska’s 2.84 blocks per set ranks 10th nationally.
• Nebraska leads the Big Ten and ranks fifth nationally with 1.93 aces per set.
• Senior captain Mikaela Foecke, who has twice been named Big Ten Player of the Week this season, leads the Huskers with 3.69 kills per set and adds 2.44 digs per set and 24 service aces this season. The AVCA second-team All-American is hitting a career-best .338 and is the only active player in NCAA Division I with at least 1,000 career kills, 200 career blocks, 500 career digs and 100 career aces.
• Fellow senior captain Kenzie Maloney is averaging 3.80 digs per set to lead the Husker defense.
• Freshman middle blocker Callie Schwarzenbach ranks first in the Big Ten and second in the nation with 1.63 blocks per set. Schwarzenbach had 13 blocks in a 3-1 win over New Mexico on Sept. 14, the most in the NCAA in a four-set match this season.
• Since debuting for the Huskers on Sept. 14, Lexi Sun has put up 3.12 kills per set and 2.42 digs per set.
• Freshman setter Nicklin Hames has nine double-doubles through 15 matches and is averaging 10.07 assists and 2.93 digs per set.
• Sophomore opposite hitter Jazz Sweet is second on the team in total kills and is producing 2.72 kills per set on .293 hitting.
• Sophomore middle blocker Lauren Stivrins is averaging 2.04 kills on a team-best .388 hitting percentage to go with 1.07 blocks per set. Stivrins was named the Big Ten Co-Player of the Week on Monday after becoming the third Husker in program history to achieve a 1.000 hitting percentage with at least 10 kills. She had 10 kills on 10 swings at Northwestern.
• John Cook, Nebraska: 19th year at Nebraska (545-70); 26th year overall (706-143)
• Hugh McCutcheon, Minnesota: 7th year at Minnesota (173-45); 18th year overall (same)
• Nebraska is 34-7 all-time against Minnesota, including a 3-0 sweep on Sept. 29 last year in the only meeting between the teams. The Golden Gophers won the previous match-up, 3-2, on Nov. 23, 2016. Since joining the Big Ten, Nebraska is 8-3 against Minnesota.
• Minnesota is 11-2 overall and 5-0 in the Big Ten after a 3-0 win at Northwestern on Wednesday.
• The Golden Gophers already own Big Ten wins against Penn State (3-0) and Wisconsin (3-0). In fact, all five of their league wins have been sweeps, and they haven’t dropped a set since Sept. 9 at Stanford in a 3-1 loss.
• Senior setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson leads the Gophers, as the AVCA All-American is averaging 11.17 assists per set and 2.86 digs per set. Stephanie Samedy is putting up 3.84 kills per set.
• Minnesota has the top hitting percentage (.305) in the Big Ten and is second in digs per set (16.05).
Foecke, Maloney Captain Young Husker Squad
• Seniors Mikaela Foecke and Kenzie Maloney are co-captaining the 2018 Husker squad. Foecke and Maloney are the lone players on the team who have been part of both the 2015 and 2017 NCAA Championship teams, and the duo will look to become the first in program history to appear in four straight final fours and win three national championships.
• Foecke, an outside hitter from West Point, Iowa, was selected the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Championship in both 2015 and 2017 after leading the Huskers to their fourth and fifth NCAA titles all-time.
• Foecke became the fourth player in NCAA history to twice be named the MOP - as she also earned the honor in 2015 - and she was the first to earn the honor in non-consecutive years.
• Foecke was named an AVCA second-team All-American and was unanimously selected to the All-Big Ten team and was an AVCA All-North Region pick for the third straight year in 2017.
• Foecke was a unanimous preseason All-Big Ten selection entering her senior season. She had a career-high 25 kills on .351 hitting with 13 digs at Creighton on Sept. 6, earning Big Ten Co-Player of the Week honors for the first of two times this season.
• Foecke ranks 10th on Nebraska’s career kills list with 1,369, which also ranks fourth in the rally scoring era (2001 to present). Her 113 career aces are fourth-most in school history in the rally scoring era.
• Maloney, a libero from Louisville, Kentucky, was named to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament team in 2017 and was a PrepVolleyball.com first-team All-American after serving a school-record 13 aces during the NCAA Tournament.
• In her first season as NU’s libero in 2017, Maloney played all 125 sets and averaged 3.62 digs per set and 0.95 aces per set with season totals of 452 digs and 37 aces, second-most on the team.
• Maloney was named to the preseason All-Big Ten team this year. She is averaging a team-high 3.80 digs per set and had a career-high 25 digs in a win at No. 14 Creighton.
• Maloney became the 11th Husker all-time to reach 1,000 career digs when she did so against Missouri State on Sept. 15. She now has 1,075 career digs, ninth-most in school history in the rally scoring era.
Stivrins, Sweet Stepping Up in Sophomore Seasons
• After earning All-Big Ten Freshman team honors in 2017, middle blocker Lauren Stivrins and opposite hitter Jazz Sweet are both playing bigger roles as sophomores in the program.
• Stivrins is averaging 2.04 kills per set on a team-best .388 hitting percentage to go with 1.07 blocks per set. She added serving to her repertoire this season and is fourth on the team with 16 aces.
• Stivrins finished the 2017 season with 2.07 kills per set on .309 hitting and 1.02 blocks per set while playing all 125 sets. She tallied nine kills on .316 hitting against Florida in the NCAA Championship match and had seven kills and a career-high nine blocks in the NCAA Semifinal vs. Penn State.
• Stivrins picked up her first-career Big Ten Player of the Week honor after becoming the third Husker in school history to post a 1.000 hitting percentage with at least 10 kills when she went 10-for-10 in a sweep of Northwestern on Sept. 28.
• Sweet also played in all 125 sets last season and had 2.22 kills per set on .273 hitting in her first year as a Husker. Sweet posted 12 kills on .375 hitting against Penn State in the NCAA Semifinal.
• This year, Sweet moved into the starting lineup for the Big Red and is third on the team in kills per set at 2.72 and is hitting .293. Sweet also has 48 blocks this season, third-most on the team behind only the two middles.
Sun Shining for Huskers
• Nebraska added sophomore outside hitter Lexi Sun to its attack in the offseason. The University of Texas transfer was a 2017 first-team All-Big 12 selection and received All-America honorable mention in her freshman season with the Longhorns. A native of Encinitas, California, Sun was the PrepVolleyball.com National Player of the Year, the Gatorade Player of the Year and the All-USA Volleyball Player of the Year as a senior at Santa Fe Christian.
• Sun made her Husker debut on Sept. 14 against New Mexico. She had 13 kills on .346 hitting with five digs, and she followed that the next day with nine kills on .368 hitting with seven digs against Missouri State.
• Sun is playing all six rotations for the Huskers and is averaging 3.12 kills and 2.42 digs per set.
Young Huskers Making Instant Impact
• Eight of the 15 Huskers on the roster are new to the team this season, and five are freshmen.
• Setter Nicklin Hames has started every match and has nine double-doubles. The Knoxville, Tennessee native is averaging 10.07 assists and 2.93 digs per set. Her 22 service aces are second-most on the team.
• Middle blocker Callie Schwarzenbach has started every match and leads the team in blocks with 1.63 per set. Schwarzenbach ranks first in the Big Ten and second nationally in blocking.
• Defensive specialist Megan Miller has played in 11 matches and is providing 1.30 digs per set, as well as six aces from the service line.
• Outside hitter Capri Davis has played in seven matches and was huge for the Huskers in a 3-2 comeback win at No. 14 Creighton, providing 18 kills.
• Defensive specialist Chen Abramovich made her first collegiate appearance against Wake Forest on Aug. 31.
Smith Makes Return to Huskers
• Senior setter Brooke Smith was part of the Huskers’ 2015 NCAA Championship team and 2016 Big Ten Championship team. She played the 2017 season at Kansas State before transferring back to Nebraska for her senior season this year. Smith was cleared by the NCAA to start playing for the Huskers on Sept. 7 and has played in six matches, recording six assists and one ace.
Huskers Will Play School-Record 19 Home Matches
• Nebraska will play a school-record 19 regular-season home matches in 2018.
• Nine of the Huskers’ 10 non-conference matches were played at the Devaney Center this season. The only road trip was to Omaha, where NU beat Creighton, 3-2, on Thursday, Sept. 6.
• The 2018 season marked the first time the Huskers didn’t play a non-conference match outside of Nebraska since 2007.
Huskers Aiming for 250th Consecutive Regular-Season Sellout
• Nebraska carries an NCAA women’s record 246 consecutive regular-season sellouts. Should the Huskers continue to sell out, their 250th straight sellout would be on Friday, Nov. 2 against Penn State.
Huskers Ranked No. 3 in AVCA Coaches Poll
• Nebraska is ranked No. 3 in the AVCA Coaches Poll this week.
• The Huskers have been ranked No. 1 in 99 all-time polls, the most in NCAA history.
• The Huskers have been ranked in the top 10 a total of 477 times, which is also the most in NCAA history.
• Nebraska has appeared in all 532 AVCA Coaches Polls since it was established in 1982. Nebraska and Stanford are the only two programs to be ranked in every poll all-time.
Cook Adds to Legacy; Joins AVCA Hall of Fame
• Nebraska head coach John Cook is in his 19th season as the Nebraska volleyball head coach in 2018. He has led the Huskers to four national championships, eight final fours, 12 conference championships and 16 top-10 final rankings since 2000. Cook has 706 career wins and is one of the all-time winningest coaches in NCAA history.
• Since taking over the program in 2000, Cook has led the Huskers to a nation-leading .886 win percentage in that time (545-70).
• Under Cook, the Huskers have achieved 52 AVCA All-Americans and 19 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, both among the best in the nation. He is a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year, earning the prestigious honor in 2000 and 2005, and a seven-time conference coach of the year, including Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2016 and 2017, his first and second Big Ten honors with the Huskers in their Big Ten era (2011-present).
• Cook was named the AVCA North Region Coach of the Year in 2016, his fifth career regional coaching honor and fourth while at Nebraska.
• Cook is one of only four active coaches - and one of six all-time - to be a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year and was honored in 2008 by USA Volleyball, receiving its All-Time Great Coach Award.
• Cook was inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame in 2017, joining former Husker volleyball coach Terry Pettit in the hall.
• Cook became the 10th active Division I head coach to reach 700 career wins with the Huskers’ eighth win of the season on Sept. 14 against New Mexico. Cook is one of 27 Division I coaches all-time to have reached the 700-win mark.
• Cook passed former Husker head coach and AVCA Hall of Famer Terry Pettit on the all-time career wins list earlier this season. Pettit finished his career with 694 career wins, which Cook passed on Aug. 31 when Nebraska beat Wake Forest.
Husker Fans Set Attendance Standard Once Again
• Nebraska fans led the nation in attendance for a fifth straight season in 2017, averaging 8,202 fans per match, nearly 2,000 more than any other school.
• In 2016, the Huskers also led the nation with an average attendance of 8,210 fans per match, a new NCAA attendance record.
• In 2013, the Huskers led the nation in attendance (8,175) for the first time since 1992, ending Hawaii’s 21-year reign as the national leader.
• The Huskers repeated as attendance champions in 2014 with 8,083 fans per match, which included a school-record 8,585 fans at the Oct. 3 win against Penn State.
• Nebraska has ranked in the top three nationally in attendance every season since 1990 (27 straight seasons).
Cook’s Coaching Tree Continues to Grow
• Nebraska head coach John Cook’s assistant coaches have a great track record of moving on to become head coaches.
• Following the 2017 season, Husker assistant Tyler Hildebrand was named the Director of Coaching, Beach Volleyball for USA Volleyball in his home state of California.
• After the 2016 season, Nebraska assistants Chris Tamas and Dani Busboom Kelly both accepted high-level Division I head coaching jobs. Busboom Kelly became the head coach at Louisville, while Tamas accepted the head coaching job at Big Ten foe Illinois. Tamas led his Fighting Illini squad to the Sweet 16 in his first year, while Busboom Kelly made the NCAA Tournament with Louisville and was named the AVCA East Region Coach of the Year.
• Seven assistants under Cook have become head coaches following their time on Cook’s Nebraska staff: Craig Skinner (Kentucky), Lee Maes (Virginia), Lizzy Stemke (Georgia), Dan Conners (UC Davis), Dan Meske (Augustana, Associate Head Coach at Louisville), Busboom Kelly and Tamas.
• In the last eight years, five of Cook’s Husker assistants have become head coaches. with her 1.60 blocks per set.
Foecke Named Senior CLASS Award Candidate
• Thirty NCAA women’s volleyball student-athletes, including Nebraska outside hitter Mikaela Foecke, were selected on Oct. 1 as candidates for the 2018 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate volleyball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
• An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
• A native of West Point, Iowa, Foecke carries a 3.649 GPA majoring in animal science and is a two-time NCAA Championship most outstanding player, making her one of only four volleyball players in NCAA history to accomplish that feat. Foecke was an AVCA second-team All-American in 2017 after leading the Huskers to their second NCAA Championship in three years. Foecke has excelled both on and off the court in her four years at Nebraska, as she is a three-time academic All-Big Ten selection and has received Nebraska’s high honors (silver) academic medallion twice.
Nebraska Volleyball Retires Jersey of Sarah Pavan
• Nebraska volleyball retired the jersey of one of the most decorated student-athletes in NCAA history, Sarah Pavan, on Sept. 9 after the Huskers’ win over Iowa State. She became the ninth volleyball player in school history to have her jersey retired. Pavan was also inducted into the Nebraska Athletic Hall of Fame that weekend.
• The Kitchener, Ontario native is NU’s all-time leader in kills (2,008) and kills per match (4.56). She is one of five players in NCAA history to be named a four-time first-team AVCA All-American, and she helped lead the Huskers win the 2006 NCAA Championship.
• Pavan was the AVCA National Player of the Year, a three-time Big 12 Player of the Year, a two-time ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American of the Year and the Honda Broderick Cup winner, given to the best female student-athlete in the country. She earned a 4.0 GPA majoring in biochemistry. Pavan went on to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, representing Canada in beach volleyball.
The Nebraska women's basketball team was previewed as the No. 34 team in the College Sports Madness Top 44 Women's Basketball rankings on Thursday, Oct. 4, as the website does its day-by-day reveal of its top teams entering the 2018-19 season.
The Huskers, who are the No. 5 team in the 14-team Big Ten Conference according to College Sports Madness, were credited with producing one of the nation's top turnarounds under Big Ten Coach of the Year Amy Williams in 2017-18, while bringing their top five scorers back from a year ago.
Nebraska tied for third in the final Big Ten standings and advanced to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament before earning a trip to the 2018 NCAA Tournament. The Huskers finished with a 21-11 overall record that included an 11-5 mark.
Second-team All-Big Ten point guard Hannah Whitish returns to lead the Big Red on the court after averaging 12.6 points and 4.7 assists per game as a sophomore. Center Kate Cain, who earned Big Ten All-Freshman and Big Ten All-Defensive honors, also returns after shattering Nebraska's single-season block record with 100. She averaged 9.9 points and team bests of 7.0 rebounds and 3.1 blocks as a freshman. Senior Maddie Simon (10.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and junior Nicea Eliely (8.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg) also return to Nebraska's starting lineup, while sophomore Taylor Kissinger was one of the Huskers' top players off the bench as a freshman, averaging 10.0 points per game.
Two-year contributor Grace Mitchell is joined by graduate transfer point guard Kristian Hudson to provide the Huskers with more leadership and experience in 2018-19.
The Huskers also will feature a freshman class that was ranked among the top 20 in the nation by ESPN. Leigha Brown (Auburn, Ind.), Sam Haiby (Moorhead, Minn.), Kayla Mershon (Chanhassen, Minn.) and Ashtyn Veerbeek (Sioux Center, Iowa) will try to help the Huskers continue climbing the ladder in both the Big Ten and national rankings this season.
Season tickets for Nebraska women's basketball are on sale right now at Huskers.com. Nebraska fans can get their first look at the 2018-19 Huskers at an open practice that is free to the public at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 6 p.m.
LINCOLN, Neb. - The No. 3 Nebraska volleyball team posted a 3 -1 (25-10, 23-25, 25-15, 25-11) win over the Iowa Hawkeyes in front of 8,097 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Wednesday night.
Mikaela Foecke had 20 kills and nine digs while hitting .459, Jazz Sweet had 15 kills and Lexi Sun added 13 kills and 13 digs on .385 hitting as the Huskers won their 14th straight match to improve to 14-1 overall and 5-0 in the Big Ten. Iowa dropped to 10-6 overall and 2-3 in the Big Ten.
Nebraska had a .373 to .071 hitting advantage, and freshman setter Nicklin Hames had 47 assists and 11 digs.
Kenzie Maloney had 12 digs as the Huskers posted nine more than the Hawkeyes, 50-41. Nebraska served 11 aces, including three by Sun and Maloney, and two each by Maloney, Hayley Densberger and Lauren Stivrins. Callie Schwarzenbach and Stivrins led the team with five blocks each.
Set 1: The Huskers went up 13-7 after a 4-0 run served by Hames, which included an ace. Six players combined for the Huskers' first nine kills. The lead went to 10 at 18-8 after Sun served an ace and tipped home her fourth kill for a 9-1 Husker run. Densberger served back-to-back aces to end the set at 25-10, giving the Huskers five aces in the set. NU hit a season-best .789 in set one with 15 kills and no errors on 19 attacks.
Set 2: Iowa got off to a quick start in the second set, taking a 5-2 lead. The Huskers trailed 11-6 before Stivrins started a comeback attempt with a solo block and an ace. Sweet and Sun terminated to make it 12-11 Hawkeyes. Sweet recorded two more kills to keep the Huskers within striking distance, and a Foecke blast tied the score at 14-14. Nebraska reclaimed the lead briefly at 16-15 on a tip by Foecke, but Iowa answered with a 4-0 run to go up 19-16. Nebraska trailed 23-20 before a pair of Iowa errors and a Schwarzenbach and Sweet block tied the set at 23-23. A service error by the Huskers gave Iowa set point, and the Hawkeyes won the set 25-23 after a Husker hitting error.
Set 3: Nebraska never trailed in set three, going ahead 15-6 after a 5-0 run sparked by a kill and block by Hames and two blocks by Schwarzenbach. Kills by Sweet and Foecke and a block by Stivrins and Hames made it 21-11 Huskers. Nebraska went on to win 25-15, hitting .333 and holding Iowa to -.026.
Set 4: After Iowa scored the first point, Nebraska reeled off a 7-0 run to take control. Sun served two aces, and Schwarzenbach, Foecke and Sweet all had kills. Iowa pulled within 14-9, but Nebraska went on an 11-2 run to win 25-11 with Foecke contributing two kills and Stivrins posting back-to-back blocks.
Up Next: Nebraska hosts No. 5 Minnesota on Saturday at 7 p.m. The match will be televised on NET and will air on Husker Sports Network radio affiliates, Huskers.com and the Huskers app.
Lincoln – Husker fans can get their first look at the 2018-19 Nebraska men’s basketball team on Wednesday, Oct. 24, as the Huskers will host an open practice and scrimmage at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The 2018-19 Husker Hoops Preview begins at 5 p.m., as the doors will open for the start of the live practice for the Huskers. The Huskers will practice until 6:30 p.m., including a short scrimmage for approximately 15 minutes, before Head Coach Tim Miles will take the microphone to talk about the upcoming season.
The free event will conclude with an autograph session with the Husker players in the south main lobby, and season posters and schedule cards will be available for fans. The first 1,000 fans will also receive a free t-shirt.
The Oct. 24 event will be fans’ first opportunity to see the 2018-19 Huskers in action. Nebraska returns nine letterwinners from last season, including first-team All-Big Ten performer James Palmer Jr. (17.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.0 apg), as well as All-Big Ten selection Isaac Copeland Jr. (12.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.0 bpg). NU brings back three starters from a team that went 22-11 last season, including senior point guard Glynn Watson Jr. (10.5 ppg, 3.2 apg, 1.4 spg), while junior forward Isaiah Roby started 13 games last season, and led the Huskers in both rebounding (6.3 rpg) and blocked shots (2.0 bpg).
The Husker Hoops preview will be the first opportunity to see Nebraska’s five newcomers in action, including Robert Morris transfer Dachon Burke, who earned second-team All-NEC honors last year after averaging 17.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game. Other newcomers include guards Amir Harris and Karrington Davis and forwards Dedoch Chan and Brady Heiman.
Free parking is available in the festival lot behind Pinnacle Bank Arena or fans can pay in the three parking garages on Pinnacle Arena Drive (Red 1, Green 2, Blue 3). Fans are encouraged to enter in the south main lobby entrance at Pinnacle Bank Arena and concessions will be available for purchase. The north concourse entrance will not be open for this event.
Fans are encouraged to follow the clear bag policy at Pinnacle Bank Arena. To review this policy, please visit huskers.com/gameday.
The Huskers open the 2018-19 season with an exhibition game against Wayne State on Thursday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. while the season opener is set for Tuesday, Nov. 6, against Mississippi Valley State at 7 p.m.
Husker Hoops PreviewDate: Wednesday, Oct. 24
Time: Doors open at 5 p.m.
Location: Pinnacle Bank Arena
Entrance: South Main Lobby
Event Cost: Free
Parking: Free Parking: PBA Festival Lot
Lincoln – The Nebraska football team practiced for a little under two hours on Wednesday inside the Hawks Championship Center and outside on the Ed and Joyanne Gass practice fields.
Following practice, Offensive Coordinator Troy Walters met with the media and talked about how the offense will look to build off its second-half performance against Purdue.
“That’s what we want to do,” Walters said. “We want to be the type of offense that puts stress on the defense. We play fast, we take shots, we’re in and out of formations and personnel groupings where we keep them off balance. We showed the offense that when we do things the right way, everybody's on the same page, and we’re fundamentally sound and disciplined, these are the results. We can go down and score on anybody.”
Walters talked about how important perimeter blocking is to the offense.
“It’s a huge part of our offense,” he said. “Most of the run game, we have perimeter passes off of it, and so if you can’t hold up on the perimeter, you’re probably not going to play as much as you’d like to. We have this saying ‘no block, no rock,’ and the guys have to understand that we’re a team, and as the receivers, we’ve got to be able to block the perimeter. We have to protect our brothers who catch the perimeter screen and we’ve got to block for the running backs. Big plays are created because receivers are getting after it downfield.”
Walters also touched on the challenges his unit will face against the Wisconsin defense.
“They’re a reflection of their defensive coordinator (Jim Leonhard),” Walters said. “We were both actually up for the Broyles Award, so we hung out at that award ceremony, and he played 10-12 years in the league. As a player, he was undersized and played with passion and enthusiasm. That’s what they do.
“They’re fundamentally sound, they’re not going to beat themselves. They’re tough, and they really reflect their entire coaching staff. So we’ve got our work cut out. We know where they’re going to line up. It’s just a matter of us executing, doing our jobs and not making the dumb mistakes and having the penalties and turnovers. If we do that, then we give ourselves a chance to win.”
Walters also spoke about the sense of urgency senior receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. has played with.
“He’s done a great job,” Walters said. “He’s everything that you want in a senior and a player that’s played up to the standards we expected of him. He’s passionate, he loves Nebraska, he loves his teammates and he wants to win. So every time we come into that locker room after a loss, it hurts him. You can see it in his eyes and in his words, but he’s stuck with us. He’s not going to quit, he’s not going to throw in the towel. He’s been a great role model for the younger guys, and he’s just done an excellent job.”
The Huskers will be back on the practice field on Thursday morning. Nebraska faces off against Wisconsin this Saturday, Oct. 6 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. at 6:30 p.m. (CT). The game will be televised on BTN.
NEBRASKA at WISCONSIN
OCT. 6, 2018 | CAMP RANDALL STADIUM
MADISON, WIS. | 6:30 P.M. (CT)
TV - BTN (Kevin Kugler, Matt Millen, Rick Pizzo)
RADIO - Husker Sports Network (Greg Sharpe, Matt Davison, Ben McLaughlin)
SATELLITE RADIO - Sirius Channel 126, XM 384
INTERNET RADIO - Huskers.com, TuneIn.com
APP AUDIO - Official Huskers App, TuneIn App
Record: 0-4, 0-2 Big Ten
Last Game: lost to Purdue, 42-28
Coach: Scott Frost
Career/NU Record: 19-11 (3rd Year)/0-4 (1st Year)
vs. Wisconsin: 0-0
Record: 3-1, 1-0 Big Ten
Last Game: def. Iowa, 28-17
Rankings: AP-16, Coaches-12
Coach: Paul Chryst
Career/Wisconsin Record: 56-27 (6th Year)/37-8 (4th Year)
vs. Nebraska: 3-0
Nebraska will travel to Wisconsin on Saturday for its second road test in three weeks against a nationally ranked opponent. Kickoff from Wisconsin's Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday evening will be shortly after 6:30 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on BTN and can be heard on the IMG Husker Sports Network.
Nebraska heads to Wisconsin with an 0-4 record and an 0-2 mark in the Big Ten Conference. The Huskers fell to Purdue, 42-28, on Saturday in Lincoln despite a strong offensive effort. Nebraska gained 582 yards in the loss, with a balanced attack that featured 259 rushing yards and 323 yards through the air.
Wisconsin has captured the past two Big Ten West crowns and enters the matchup with a 3-1 record, including 1-0 in Big Ten play. Wisconsin is ranked No. 16 in this week's AP poll and 12th in the coaches poll. The Badgers opened conference action on Sept. 22 with a hard-fought, 28-17, road win at Iowa, before having a bye last weekend.
The Badgers have their traditional power running game in full gear in 2018, averaging 266 yards per game on the ground to rank first in the Big Ten and eighth nationally. Wisconsin has also been tough on defense early in the season, allowing just 14.5 points per game.
This Week's Numbers
200 - Nebraska features a balanced offensive attack, averaging 203.5 rushing yards per game and 207.2 passing yards per contest. Nebraska is one of 31 teams in the country who are averaging 200 yards in both rushing and passing.
10 - Nebraska senior running back Devine Ozigbo averaged 10.0 yards per rush against Purdue last Saturday. Ozigbo rushed for a career-high 170 yards on 17 carries and had a pair of rushing touchdowns.
2 - Nebraska sophomore receiver JD Spielman snagged 10 receptions against Purdue for the second double-figure reception game of his career. Spielman is one of only two Huskers with two double-digit reception games in their career, joining Marlon Lucky.
Huskers to Face Another Ranked Opponent on Road
The trip to Madison will be Nebraska's second road game in three weeks against a ranked opponent. The Huskers lost at No. 19 Michigan on Sept. 22 in their Big Ten opener.
Nebraska Adds Game with Bethune-Cookman
Nebraska has added a game against Bethune-Cookman University on Oct. 27 at Memorial Stadium to fill an opening on the 2018 football schedule. The contest will replace the Huskers’ Sept. 1 game against Akron which was canceled due to severe storms in Lincoln.
Bethune-Cookman plays in the Football Championship Subdivision and owns a 1-3 record in 2018. The Wildcats compete in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and posted a 6-2 record in league play in 2017. Coach Terry Sims in his fourth season guiding the BCU program.
NU Looks to Find Success in the Running Game
Nebraska churned out 329 rushing yards in the opener against Colorado, and has shown the ability to feature a strong rushing attack this season.
Rushing Battle Often Holds the Key to Success
The ability to win the running game battle has long been key to victory for the Huskers. Nebraska has three losses this season while controlling the run game, which is a rarity.
Offense Hopes to Sustain Momentum at Wisconsin
Head Coach Scott Frost and his staff oversaw one of the nation's most potent offenses at UCF in 2017. Nebraska has shown signs this season of an explosive offense, beginning with its effort in the opener with Colorado when NU had 565 yards of total offense.
Nebraska is coming off a season-high offensive output with 582 yards against Purdue, including 259 rushing yards and 323 on the ground.
Nebraska Passing Game Led by Record-Setting Tandem
In 2017, Stanley Morgan Jr. and JD Spielman combined for 1,816 receiving yards, the highest two-player total in Husker history.
Morgan set an NU record with 986 receiving yards in 2017. Spielman added 830 receiving yards, a total that ranked seventh in school history and was the most ever by a Husker freshman.
Morgan Aims to be Nebraska's All-Time Leading Receiver
After setting a school record with 986 receiving yards in 2017, Stanley Morgan Jr. is challenging to become Nebraska’s all-time leading receiver this fall.
Morgan has 136 career receptions, which ranks in a tie for fifth on NU’s all-time list. He needs 45 receptions to tie Kenny Bell (181) atop the Husker chart. Morgan has 2,012 career receiving yards to rank fifth on Nebraska’s all-time list. Morgan needs 677 yards to tie Bell (2,689) for the most receiving yards in program history.
The New Orleans native put himself in position to challenge Nebraska’s all-time records thanks to a breakout junior season, when he earned All-Big Ten accolades. Morgan caught 61 passes for 986 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2017.
Defense to Face Badgers' Powerful Run Game
The Nebraska defense has shown signs of improved play this fall, and will be put to the test at Wisconsin on Saturday. The Badgers rank first in the Big Ten and eighth nationally in rushing at 266 yards per game. Wisconsin has topped 200 yards in each of its four games, including a 417-yard rushing effort against New Mexico.
Thirty NCAA women’s volleyball student-athletes, including Nebraska outside hitter Mikaela Foecke, were selected Monday as candidates for the 2018 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate volleyball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
A native of West Point, Iowa, Foecke carries a 3.649 GPA majoring in animal science and is a two-time NCAA Championship most outstanding player, making her one of only four volleyball players in NCAA history to accomplish that feat. Foecke was an AVCA second-team All-American in 2017 after leading the Huskers to their second NCAA Championship in three years. Foecke has excelled both on and off the court in her four years at Nebraska, as she is a three-time academic All-Big Ten selection and has received Nebraska's high honors (silver) academic medallion twice. A team captain in 2018, Foecke is leading the team with 3.58 kills per set on .328 hitting with 2.46 digs per set. Foecke ranks in Nebraska's top 15 in career kills and career aces.
Of the 30 candidates, 18 have grade-point averages of 3.5 or higher and 27 have received academic all-conference honors. Fifteen are returning American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Americans, and 10 are members of teams ranked in the AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll. Outside of academics and athletics, all candidates have been consistently involved in community service on their campus or in their communities.
The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship in December.
For more information on all the candidates, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.
Volleyball CandidatesKamalani Akeo, Pittsburgh
Courtney Pence, Illinois State
Tami Alade, Stanford
Jordan Poulter, Illinois
Rachel Anderson, Western Kentucky
Colleen Reilly, Wofford
Ali Bastianelli, Illinois
Michela Rucli, Hofstra
Lauren Bruns, Dayton
Jess Schaben, Iowa State
Santita Ebangwese, Syracuse
Samantha Seliger-Swenson, Minnesota
Gabrielle Eyl, Northeastern
Carly Skjodt, Michigan
Mikaela Foecke, Nebraska
Alexa Smith, Colorado
Cara Guthrie, UNC Asheville
Kirstyn Sperry, Bryant
Erica Haslag, Bradley
Haley Templeton, Miami
Taryn Kloth, Creighton
Abby Thelen, Seton Hall
Haley Libs, Northern Kentucky
Jaila Tolbert, Virginia Tech
AJ Lux, East Tennessee State
Erica Treiber, Tennessee
Patricia Mattingly, Navy
Jaali Winters, Creighton
Alyssa Munlyn, Missouri
Karley York, North Texas
Nebraska middle blocker Lauren Stivrins was honored as the Big Ten Co-Player of the Week on Monday after leading the Huskers to a pair of road victories over the weekend.
Stivrins picked up her first-career Big Ten weekly honor after becoming the third Husker in school history to post a 1.000 hitting percentage with at least 10 kills when she went 10-for-10 in a sweep of Northwestern last Friday. She followed the next night with eight kills, four blocks and three service aces in a 3-1 win at previously unbeaten No. 7 Illinois. The sophomore from Scottsdale, Arizona averaged 2.57 kills per set on .536 hitting for the weekend.
The Huskers have now picked up a Big Ten weekly honor in four consecutive weeks, and Stivrins is the third player-of-the-week honoree in the last four weeks, as outside hitter Mikaela Foecke earned the distinction twice.
Nebraska hosts Iowa on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The match will be televised on BTN, streamed at BTN2GO.com and can be heard on Husker Sports Network radio affiliates, Huskers.com and the official Huskers app.
Big Ten Weekly Awards (Oct. 1, 2018)
Co-Player of the Week: Alexis Hart, Jr., MINNCo-Player of the Week: Lauren Stivrins, So., NEB
Defensive Player of the Week: Kendall White, Jr., PSU
Setter of the Week: Samantha Seliger- Swenson, Sr., MINN
Freshman of the Week: Serena Gray, PSU