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Undertow

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  1. Undertow

    Husker Volleyball Recruiting Thread

    Interesting to say the least. Odd to see a setter of that height. Jordyn Poulter, the generational setter from Illinois is also 6'2" (she graduated last year). I always thought of Poulter as some sort of unicorn--a player so unique in her talents that it really made the opposition change from their normal game plan. Poulter came within two blocks shy of a quadruple double in a match one time (going off memory, might be inaccurate). Now the Huskers have their own unicorn. It will be interesting to see how Cook incorporates her into the game plan. Hames isn't going anywhere. Indeed she (Hames) is likely to be a co-captain this year. One of Hames assets though is her ability to dig (Karch Kiraly once mentioned it's like having "an extra libero" with Hames in the back row). Do you put Drewnick back there at the same time and allow Hames more freedom defensively, knowing there is another setter on the floor and that 2nd contact is not always going to be a bump set if Hames makes the initial dig? One spot she can be put in for, assuming Drewnick has some blocking skills, is when Hames is getting abused on the front row (see Creighton and @Penn State for example). Drewnick can sub in without using the double sub they did last year. With Kurkova leaving the team, it means Senior Night won't be much of a celebration this year. Which means someone (actually a couple) will have to redshirt for the incoming 2020 class unless Stivrins leaves early (she redshirted her freshman year) or someone else on the team is leaving. Then add to the mix Kennedi Orr, a highly touted setter, who is coming in with the class of 2021. I'm sure Cook has a plan to juggle all this talent at the setter position.
  2. Some highlights from the match.
  3. Undertow

    Husker Volleyball Recruiting Thread

    More info about the #2 recruiting class from Wagner at the LSJ https://journalstar.com/sports/huskers/volleyball/nebraska-volleyball-recruiting-class-ranked-no-nationally/article_707928a6-1448-5a42-adf4-50aca78a2f64.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=user-share Stanford is number 1. Ohio State is in the top 5 which is interesting (TCU in the top 8 is also surprising). I don't know where to find the complete top 30 list without a subscription, but rumor has it that Purdue is also ranked highly at around the 10th slot. I'm not sure about the other B1G schools. One projected top 30 list had 10 B1G schools on it.
  4. Undertow

    2019 Husker Softball

    Congrats to Edwards, a 1st team selection, and Simmons, a second team selection. Both are repeat B1G selections from last year, even the team they were selected to. Ironically they show a picture of Edwards playing shortstop, vice at the plate. Unfortunately Edwards led the B1G in errors with 23 (tied with the Penn State shortstop) and ended up with a fielding percentage of .850. The backup shortstop had 12 errors and a similar fielding percentage, so Revelle didn't have a lot of options at that position. In comparison, Michigan the TEAM had a total of 29 errors. Needless to say, Nebraska and Penn State finished at the bottom of the conference in fielding percentage. Despite her fielding deficiencies, Edwards had a monster year at the plate. And enough offensive stats to make the 1st team again. AND she'll be back for one more year. Let's just hope not at shortstop. After the last two years, it is apparent that experiment has failed. Simmons is a senior. I don't know enough about the women's professional leagues to know if she has a chance to make a team. But being 2nd team B1G selection three years in a row isn't chump change.
  5. Undertow

    Husker Volleyball Recruiting Thread

    Not a commit yet, but an interesting article on one Lauren Ware, a two sport athlete out of North Dakota. A Gaterade POY article indicates she is a middle. Her first official visit was at Nebraska. Recruit class of 2020. She would probably count against basketball as far as scholarships. http://www.espn.com/espnw/sports/article/26654901/basketball-volleyball-bucket-full-ice-two-sport-recruit-lauren-ware 2020 is shaping up to be an interesting situation for the incoming recruits. 11 scholarship players currently, no scholarship players graduating. 3 Scholarship players incoming (not even counting Ms. Ware). It looks like a couple will have to redshirt.
  6. Still burning in the outdoor season. 3 seconds off the A standard qualifying time in the 1500 for the World Championships. 4 seconds off the 2020 Olympic A standard time.
  7. If you were trying to look for names from B1G country, I noticed a couple of names missing, namely Poulter and Rettke from the Prep Dig list. Then I went back and looked at the list of names on 30 player roster and found a bunch of other names from B1G teams. I don't know what Prep Dig is or what encompasses "Prep Dig States connections". But the full USA Womens volleyball list can be found in the article below: https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Volleyball/Features/2019/May/01/US-Women-Set-VNL-Prelim-Roster Of the 30 players selected, this is the breakdown by current conference affiliations (yes, I know that Larson was in the Big 12, but I counted her with Nebraska and the B1G conference): B1G: 20 of 30 Pac-12: 3 (None from Stanford) Big 12: 2 (Both from Texas) SEC: 1 (Alabama) ACC: 0 AAC : 1 (Cincinnati) West Coast: 2 (BYU and Pepperdine) Big West: 1 (Hawaii) You have to be stacked at setter when Hunter and Seliger-Swenson can't crack the preliminary team.
  8. Undertow

    Huskers Announce 2019 Volleyball Schedule

    Thanks for the correction on who Stanford was losing. Sometimes I rely on the memory of a 60+ year old brain, and it doesn't quite work out. I WASN'T aware that Stanford had a #1 recruiting class. It appears the Color Cardinal will be a formidable opponent for the foreseeable future. I really didn't concisely answer @man eating mastodon question of what is "realistic expectations" for this year. There is some slight slippage at the top of the B1G, so a conference championship (outright or shared) is realistic in my opinion. I also think a 5th final four in a row is realistic as a B1G championship should put you in the top 4 seeds, which means home court for the 1st two weekends of the tournament. I'll close with this somewhat arbitrary thought. Keep an eye on Madi Kubik. Even though she is only 6'1" (she looks taller when compared with her teammates, but that could be a visual illusion since she ties her hair up above her head), she is singularly focused on advancing her career in volleyball. She did an interview where she flat out stated she came to Nebraska to become an effective six rotational player to help her GO PRO. I doubt she can reach Mikaela Foecke status, but don't be surprised if she becomes a main cog on this team. And sooner rather than later.
  9. Undertow

    Huskers Announce 2019 Volleyball Schedule

    Just based on talk on the radio between Lauren Cook and John Baylor during the CSU match, it appears both Kubik and Knuckles are going to contribute immediately and at a high level. I was a little surprised that Knuckles got the libero nod over Miller, but she played well. Offensively, losing Foecke will hurt in big games and big moments because she was so clutch. Stivrins will have to take up some of the slack to be the go-to person in big situations. Sun would also be a logical choice to step up, and I think she has the mentality to want to do it, but she doesn't have Foecke's physicality to make it happen consistently. Kubik may surprise in this area even though she also isn't as physical as Foecke. However, the offense may be more consistent just because Hames has a season under her belt. The offense struggled last year at times as Hames was adjusting to D1 level ball, but towards the end of the season, her improved play on offense was a major contributor to the late season success and the run in the tournament. Defensively, it may be hard to improve on 2018 statistically, but the 2019 version will rank somewhere in the top 5 nationally. Losing Maloney isn't desirable, but there doesn't appear to be a huge drop off with Knuckles or Miller. Plus having Hames back there is like having a 2nd libero with all the digs she makes. Sun and Kubik are already six rotation players so Cook will be able to substitute in Miller and Densberger as necessary as defensive specialists. I believe Foecke was 3rd in blocks so that's hard to replace, but look for Stivrins to concentrate on that aspect of her game and improve upon it. Don't be surprised if Schwarzenbach regresses slightly with the block stat wise, but she had a ridiculous year as a freshman. It would be hard to duplicate it. My guess is that Wisconsin and Nebraska will be the favorites in the B1G with Nebraska getting the nod because they've been there done that, Wisconsin has a nasty habit of wetting the bed against an inferior opponent at least once or twice a season, and, as I mentioned previously, Nebraska drew a favorable B1G draw for the first time that I can recall. Nationally, Stanford will be the prohibitive favorites to repeat. Everyone is back except their libero (I think that's right) including POY Plummer on the outside. Nebraska will probably start out number 2. I'm guessing 8-1 non-conference, 18-2 B1G play winning (or at least tying for) 1st place in the conference. 26 - 3 should get Nebraska a top 4 seed (probably 2 or 3) which means home court for the 1st 4 games of the tournament and probably another trip to the Final 4. I'm predicting Stanford vs Nebraska in the finals with Stanford winning again. Not an imaginative pick, but from my perspective a likely one.
  10. Undertow

    Huskers Announce 2019 Volleyball Schedule

    Surprisingly, it appears the B1G schedule makers gave Nebraska a break. This is the first time that's happened since the Huskers joined the league at least to my recollection. Usually the B1G schedule targets Penn State and Nebraska and then fills out the remainder of the B1G schedule. Last year, Nebraska was the only team of the 5 B1G teams in the top 10, that played 7 matches against the four other top 10 teams (Minnesota twice, Penn State twice, Illinois twice, and Wisconsin once). This season, they only play 5 matches against those same teams. And this is the first season I can remember that they play both perennial bottom dwellers Maryland and Rutgers twice. The B1G might not be as top heavy this year, but they should be deeper with Michigan State being a year older, Iowa continuing to make steady improvement, and Indiana making upgrades to their talent and their facilities. Nebraska, Minnesota, Penn State, and Wisconsin are probably still in the top ten. Minnesota returns a ton of talent but loses Seliger-Swenson, their All-American setter. They will probably take a minor step back. Penn State loses their setter and an all-conference outside hitter, but had a lot of young talent that got better as the year progressed. Wisconsin returns all their key players and even in 2019, like the Huskers, don't have a lot of seniors. Illinois probably lost the most with Poulter (All-American setter) and Bastianelli (All-American middle) gone. They still have the robotic arm of Quade on the outside and have the 2018 Gatorade volleyball player of the year coming in. Because of the drop off in the setter position, they are probably just outside the top ten. They should be followed by Purdue and Michigan. Still easily the best conference in the country with probably 8 to 9 teams making the tourney this year, 5 teams hosting first round matches, and 2 teams (Wisconsin and Nebraska) in the top 4 hosting matches in the 2nd weekend.
  11. Undertow

    Foecke is UNL Female Athlete of the Year

    Mikaela Foecke......... Female athlete of the year and female student-athlete of the year. Senior CLASS award winner for all of female indoor volleyball. Sullivan AAU award finalist. 3.61 GPA in veterinary medicine which is similar to pre-med. All-American 1st team with AVCA and Volleyball.mag. Best player on the floor in the NCAA finals. Yet she didn't get recognized as a CoSIDA Academic All-American (she did get on the regional team). Someone needs to explain how that happens?
  12. Undertow

    2019 Husker Softball

    Well that didn't take long............. The 2019 season is just past the halfway point (barely started conference play) and the wheels have come off the Husker Softball team wagon. Completely. The season started out innocuously enough, losing close to teams ranked in the teens and twenties, losing big to the occasional top tier team, but predominately beating lesser teams, including a pair of ACC patsies. At one point the Huskers were 10 - 6, Tristen Edwards and Alyvia Simmons were hitting well, Bri Cassidy and Bree Boruff were making surprising contributions at the plate, Lindseey Walljasper was a solid add pitching and hitting (particularly for a freshman), and Reagan Mergele had an ERA under 2 even though she didn't have a record to match. Three weekends ago, they traveled to Wichita State and suffered a sweep where they were only competitive in one of the three games. The Shockers have a solid team, but they are not ranked nor are they receiving votes in the polls. Then comes the Rock Chalk Challenge against Tulsa and Kansas, playing each team twice. Tulsa is a good team that is currently receiving votes in the polls, while Kansas was struggling at the time coming into the challenge at 5 - 17. The first game against Tulsa was close with the Huskers losing in extra innings. And then the bottom fell out. The bats went stone cold, and the pitching was doused with gas, and lit on fire. On Saturday (March 16), the Jayhawks trotted out a 2 - 10 pitcher, who promptly shut out Big Red 2-0 and then turned around on Sunday and doubled her win total for the season by shutting out the Huskers again 1-0. In between those blankings, the Golden Hurricane tossed their own shutout 6-0. Last weekend, Nebraska traveled to play a ranked Michigan squad, and was crushed in all three games being shut out in two of them. And last night, in the Huskers home opening, the mighty Drake Bulldogs (unranked and not receiving votes) easily swept a doubleheader from the home team, with another shutout being applied in the second game of the twinbill. In the last eight games, Nebraska has been shutout 6 times, scored 1 run in one game and 2 runs in the other. In the last eight games the mercy rule has been applied 3 times. In the last eight games, the Huskers have been outscored 57 - 3. And the last eight games are just the tail end of a 12 game losing streak. Edwards is second on the team in hitting and leading the team in slugging percentage, however, her fielding has been abysmal. She already has 17 errors this year, 4 more than she had all of last year, and her fielding percentage is hovering around .800. I haven't seen that low a fielding percentage for a shortstop since grade school. Regardless of her hitting, I don't see how she repeats as 1st team B1G with a fielding deficit that awful. Obviously the team as a whole is struggling to push across runs recently, something that was assumed to be a strength. The supposed question mark of this team was the pitching. Mergele's ERA has steadily climbed from 1.8 to the current 3.83 and will likely be over 4 before April comes around. And she has the only ERA under 5. The composite team ERA is just a shade under the 5.00 mark. The B1G tournament invites 12 of 14 softball teams, but at this juncture I don't see Nebraska making it. They've played 28 games and have 23 remaining. The B1G has 3 teams ranked with 4 receiving votes (in fact 6 teams in the top 30), which means the conference is deeper than normal. Nebraska is going to have a hard time getting to 17 wins, which would be half of their projected losses at 34. And that's probably the high end of the spectrum. The bio for Revelle says "She has guided the team to the NCAA's in 20 of 26 years." That is about to become 20 of 27. And three years ago it said 20 of 24. Revelle is a Hall of Famer. Her job is undoubtedly secure even with missing the NCAA tournament 3 years in a row. But at what point do you start pushing the HOF coach to the side based on poor recent performance. Enough of the mid-season update doom and gloom. Please return to the optimism that is spring football and the spring volleyball exhibition match. Plus the Fightin' Erstads are doing well on the baseball side also.
  13. Undertow

    2019 Beach Season

    Put a fork in it. Huskers finish the beach season at 12-12 after losing to Stanford 5-0 and Washington 4-1. Stivrins/Hames were the 1 point against Washington, and two other matches went 3 sets. So the state of Nebraska beach volleyball is that they are better than most the Div 2 , Div 3, and NAIA teams they play, very close to beating unranked Div 1 teams like Boise State and Washington, but still a ways off from ranked Div 1 teams. That probably won't change anytime soon (maybe a few more wins against the Boise States and Washingtons of the world). I sometimes question why Cook continues with the beach season except maybe for conditioning and to keep the team interacting with each other for a few more weeks in winter and spring. Also it is a reward of sorts for the team to go to Hawaii every year. And even though the beach season doesn't generate revenue, the amount of profit from the indoor season more than covers it. Volleyball is still a revenue generating sport at Nebraska even when you subtract the beach season expenses. Indoor volleyball teams are limited to the number of practices they have in the spring, so some teams in the B1G are complaining about the "extra" practice that Nebraska gets by doing the beach season. As one writer (Brent Wagner I believe) put it, there is nothing stopping other B1G schools from starting a beach volleyball team. To me, beach and indoor volleyball are dissimilar and I'm not sure how much of the skill set is transferable between the two. It doesn't seem to be alot, but I haven't played, so I'm not the expert.
  14. Congrats on Mikaela Foecke being a Sullivan finalist. Pretty sure she gets a trip to New York out of the deal. Nebraska fan coming through again. On a somewhat related note, someone will have to explain to me how a pre-veterinary major with a 3.61 GPA, All-American Volleyball 1st Team, and Senior CLASS Volleyball award winner does NOT qualify as an CoSIDA Academic All-American. Just something I thought strange as Foecke continues to pile up the awards.
  15. Hmmm.......what's more impressive? Selling out the spring football game in Memorial Stadium , or small town Nebraska having a line this long to get tickets for an olympic sport exhibition match over a month away? People do love their Huskers.
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