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  1. A final tag on the VNL thread from the Women's Volleyball Pan Am Cup. The USA ran away from the competition by beating Columbia 3-0 in the semis, and the Dominican Republic 3-0 in the finals for the gold. Details from the Columbia match: https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Volleyball/Features/2019/July/13/Team-USA-Breezes-into-Pan-American-Cup-Gold-Medal-Match Details from the Gold Medal match https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Volleyball/Features/2019/July/14/Pan-Am-Cup-Gold-US-Women-Win-Third-in-Row The USA dominated the tournament going 6-0 and losing only one set the entire competition. The sweep over the Dominican Republic was particularly impressive since it was reported that they (the Dominican Republic) fielded the same team that went 8-7 in the VNL and just missed the playoffs. The USA also garnered many of the individual awards for the tournament including a couple of former Huskers (K. Rolfzen - best attacker, Wong-Orantes - best libero, best receiver). Both Kadie and Justine started 5 of 6 matches and hopefully improved their status in the overall scheme of USA Volleyball. Next for the Women's USA team is an Olympic qualifier in Louisiana against Bulgaria, Argentina, and Kazakhstan starting August 2nd. 3 matches in 3 days in a round robin affair.
  2. Didn't know a good place to post this, so instead of creating a new thread I stuck it at the end of the VNL thread. The team selected for the Pan Am Cup (of which there are two former Nebraska players K Rolfzen and Wong-Orantes) has made it through pool play undefeated at 4-0 and jumps past the quater-finals to the semi-final round due to being the top team in the pool. In the four matches, they've lost one set (24-26) to Puerto Rico. https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Volleyball/Features/2019/July/10/US-Women-Defeat-Puerto-Rico-Advance-to-Pan-Am-Semis The team consists of a mixture of names from the VNL 25 player roster that didn't make the final round team (Lowe, Kingdon-Rishel), players that were part of the 30 invited for the VNL tryouts but didn't make the cut (Rolfzen, Wong-Orantes), and then some big names from the next tier (Plummer from Stanford, Jones-Perry from BYU, Hannah Tapp from Minnesota). Some of the vets took a pass like Carli Lloyd and Kim Hill. Not quite the USA's 2nd best team, but a solid assemble of talent. The semis are on the 13th and the medal round is the next day. BTW both Rolfzen and Wong-Orantes are major contributors in the matches thus far. Some thoughts on the VNL final round. Robinson has apparently supplanted Larson on the outside. However, Bartsch-Hackley did not look that impressive in the semis and finals. Poulter and Dixon gave the US a spark in the semis against China (props to Kiraly for having the confidence to put in Poulter, a rookie, at that moment), and Larson and Dixon literally changed the momentum and won the match when they came in the third set down 0-2. And congrats to the opposites as Drews was the final round MVP and of course Thompson went off in the first match against Brazil with 30 kills on 51 attempts. Next is the Olympic qualifier in early August which is on home turf in Louisiana. It wouldn't surprise me to see two Nebraska gals, Larson and Robinson, starting on the outside with Bartsch-Hackley coming off the bench. Dixon was clutch in the middle when it counted so she may get more time. Ogbogu is a definite starter at middle, and Washington had a good final round, so maybe Dixon's role will be similar to what happened in the VNL semis and final matches. Come off the bench and provide a spark. The opposites are set with the dynamic play of Drews and Thompson. Kiraly appears to be sold on Poulter along side the other 6'2" setter Carlini with Lloyd out of the picture for now. And then you have the libero position........Kiraly seems set on Megan Courtney. Lake didn't sniff the court in the four final round matches. And for Nebraska fan, of the 8 outside positions slotted for the VNL finals team and the Pan Am team, FOUR (4) are occupied by former Huskers. Not that Coach Cook needs another recruiting pitch to aspiring young girls, but that fact should carry some weight in itself.
  3. The US team won pool B in VNL finals play by beating Brazil in fairly convincing fashion 25-18, 25-19, 20-25, and 25-21. Here are stats and photos of the match: http://www.volleyball.world/en/vnl/women/schedule/9998-usa-brazil/post Jordan Thompson lit it up with 30 kills in 51 attempts from the opposite, while Larson and Foecke went 11 kills in 28 attempts and 10 in 26 respectively at the 'attack' or outside position. Highlights from the match: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbvugvld9HI&list=WL&index=7&t=0s Some Thompson centric highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g83lZnNx1Xc&list=WL&index=5 This is likely the 17th different line up in 17 matches in VNL play for Kiraly. The guess that this iine up would be heavy with the 7 people who didn't play in the first match of pool play came to fruition as it was a different line up with the exception of setter Carlini (not unexpected) and ........wait for it........libero where Courtney again played the entire match and Lake sat. I've given up trying to get into Karch's brain on the libero position. Kiraly did use 8 players this match by subbing in Robinson for Foecke. It had to be while Foecke was rotating to the back row since Kelsey had 0 kills on 0 attacks. For those scoring at home, Jordan Thompson still has eligibility left at the University of Cincinatti where, last year, she had the third most kills in a single season in NCAA history. The US will now play China in the semis (the "late" game starting at 7:30 AM Saturday morning). Turkey, which won pool A play, will compete against Brazil. At this point it is foolish to try and predict the line up, but since I have no self-respect I'll take a stab at it. Bartsch-Hackley and Robinson on the outside, Ogbugo and Washington in the middle, Drews intially at the opposite, Lake at libero (I know, pure guesswork) and Carlini at setter. Kiraly will be more a little more liberal in substituting and Thompson will essentially split the opposite time with Drews. If either outside struggles, Larson will be first off the bench.
  4. I'm pretty sure that this was the 16th different line up in 16 VNL matches for Kiraly. He also doesn't like to substitute often going with 7 regardless how the match progresses. It will be interesting to see what he does against Brazil since the US has already qualified for the semis (actually both teams have qualified) with Poland being eliminated. It's just a matter do you want to play Turkey on the 5th or on the 6th. My guess it will be heavy with the 7 who didn't play in the first game with maybe the exception of Ogbogu in one middle and Carlini at setter. As far as Wong-Orantes, her status in USA volleyball seems to have dropped off precipitously. From starting on the 2018 VNL team, to being replaced in the 3rd game by an outside hitter, to not even making the VNL team this year. In fact she originally was NOT on the Pan Am roster when it first came out on June 27th. https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Volleyball/Features/2019/June/27/Youthful-Womens-Roster-to-Represent-USA-at-Pan-Am-Games Then they revised the roster (doesn't say why changes were made) and they added her as the 2nd libero. https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Volleyball/Features/2019/July/01/USAV-Selects-Womens-Pan-Am-Cup-Roster
  5. The finals of the VNL arre here. The US started pool B play by defeating Poland 21-25, 25-16, 25-15, and 26-24. Here are some stats and photos of the match: http://www.volleyball.world/en/vnl/women/schedule/9994-usa-poland/post Kiraly went with 7 again with Drew at opposite, Bartsch-Hackley & Robinson at attack, Ogbogu & Washington in the middle, Carlini at setter, and the big surprise at libero, Megan Courtney. Foecke and Larson didn't play. Drew had 21 kills in 41 attacks while Robinson was 15 in 30. Bartsch-Hackley had an off night having only 9 kills in 26 attacks. Again I was surprised to see Courtney at libero since it was her first action since week 3 in Lincoln. An article from USA volleyball about the match: https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Volleyball/Features/2019/July/03/US-Women-Down-Poland-in-VNL-Finals-Pool Next is Brazil on the 5th to complete pool B play as Brazil and Poland play tomorrow. Pool A consists of China, Turkey, and Italy. Turkey defeated China 3 - 1 in the first match of pool A play.
  6. Undertow

    Huskers Traveling to Japan, China

    The Huskers have completed the volleyball portion of the Asian trip and ended up going 3 wins 4 losses. The 2nd day in Tianjin was supposed to be a match, but instead turned into another practice session with an informal scrimmage. https://twitter.com/Huskervball/status/1145307026370781184 Now a couple of days sight seeing then back to the States https://twitter.com/Huskervball/status/1145352759635582977
  7. The roster has been set for the final rounds of the VNL for 2019. Here is an article detailing the next matches in China: https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Volleyball/Features/2019/June/29/US-Women-Head-to-VNL-Finals-Seeking-2nd-Gold Larson, Robinson, and Foecke populate the outside position along with Bartsch-Hackley. That trio of Huskers is almost a complete list of the elite outside hitters Cook has produced in the past decade. The only other American not on that list would be Kadie Rolfzen, and she made the USA team selected for the Pan Am games. The Pan Am roster is essentially the best of the remaining USA players not making the VNL 25 player roster and also includes Plummer from Stanford on the outside, Hannah Tapp from Minnesota in the middle, and Samantha Seliger-Swenson at setter. I badly missed on my prediction for the libero position as both Lake AND Courtney are on the team (no idea yet why Courtney didn't play the last 6 matches of the preliminaries) . The middles I guessed better at as Rettke was added to join Ogbogu, Washington, and Dixon. Gibbemeyer is the odd man out. The biggest surprise for me (aside from Courtney making the trip) was Poulter being the other setter. I didn't realize Carlini was also tall, but both setters for the US are 6'2". Carli Lloyd started all 19 matches at setter last year during the VNL and was the setter for the 2016 Olympic Team which got the bronze. And she didn't make the roster. And for all the B1G fans counting. 11 of the 14 players on the final VNL roster are from B1G schools with Nebraska leading the way with 3. Matches start July 3rd and teams making it to the semis out of pools will play 4 matches in 5 days.
  8. For those following along, Mary Lake, one of the liberos, could not enter Russia for the final week of pool play because she lost her passport on the flight from China to Russia (or it was stolen from her). Megan Courtney has 'health issues" and has had them since pool play in China. What they are exactly----no idea. For the final round, I expect one of the libero slots to be filled by Lake and the other by committee. As I stated previously, I think Foecke has earned a spot on the 14 team roster headed into the finals. It will be interesting to see if Rettke makes the finals roster or not. Nixon and Gibbemeyer would be the ones on the chopping block in my opinion. I know Ogbogu makes it, and I think Washington has earned a spot as well. And now, a VLOG from one Kelsey Robinson:: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZDOyMDyNFA The fact that I'm watching this video (and actually enjoying it) probably means I have to turn in my man card. Which is fine. My man card wasn't worth a ton anyway. And finally, a shout out to Karsta Lowe. Since she has rejoined the team, she has been relegated to the bench with the opposite position playing time being dominated by Drews and the freak that is Jordan Thompson. So when Karch finally calls her number, she simply puts up a 20 spot to lead all US players in the match against Thailand. A consummate PRO. You have to appreciate that.
  9. Undertow

    Husker Volleyball Recruiting Thread

    The 2021 recruiting class is already making an impact on the U18 USA team https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Volleyball/Features/2019/June/20/USAV-Selects-Girls-Youth-National-Training-Team Of the 24 girls selected, 4 are committed to Nebraska (Orr, Rodriguez, Batenhorst, and Krause). The only 2021 Nebraska recruit not to make the team is Rylee Gray, a middle from Elkhorn, who is still a highly regarded recruit. The B1G has 11 commitments on the team, 8 to the other Power 5 conferences, and 5 uncommitted. That's right. Nebraska has more representation than any CONFERENCE outside the B1G.
  10. The US finishes the VNL preliminary round at 12 wins and 3 losses, tied with China for first. They also tied with China with 35 points. Evidently the tie-breaker isn't head to head since China is listed as number 1. It probably goes sets won / lost ratio then points won / lost ratio since that is how it is listed in the standings. China had a superior sets won / lost ratio over the US. https://www.volleyball.world/en/vnl/women/resultsandranking/round1 Congratulations to Mikaela Foecke as I think she played her way onto the final round roster. She was a late add to the team in Russia and Mary Lake was a late withdrawal. Lots of speculation about Lake withdrawing (everything from personal reasons to Karch not being happy with her reception percentage) on the VolleyTalk boards but no concrete news. Lets talk USA team Libero which is turning into the proverbial "riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma." Lake is pulled at the last minute. Megan Courtney makes the trip but doesn't play a set AND (depending on which box score you look at for the China match), hasn't played in 6 matches. First Karch sticks Robinson at the position against the Russians, which makes sense since that is what Kelsey played the majority of last year in the VNL after Kiraly dumped Wong-Orantes from the line up early on. And then he puts Bartsch-Hackley, his best attacker and one of his better servers, back at Libero, a position she can do neither, in the Netherlands match. For the Thailand match, I was betting on Larson at Libero and instead he puts in a rookie with Foecke. I have no idea what is going on with Megan Courtney. Unsubstantiated rumor is that Kiraly thinks she is too slow. If that is the case or if she was injured, why was she on the roster. And still no word on the status of Mary Lake. Hell, if Kiraly is looking for more athleticism at Libero, he should take a long look at Kenzie Maloney. Or talk Kayla out of retirement (just kidding). The final round is next. Last year they split up the six teams into two pools of 3. Those three teams play each other with the bottom team being eliminated from each pool. I don't know how the tie-breakers go (last year none were needed), but I imagine that if all three teams go 1-1, then they go to the match points (3 points for a slaughter, 2 points for a close win, and 1 point for a close loss), then sets won / loss ratio, and finally points won / loss ratio. I'm not sure how they decide to set up the pools, but last year when the US won the preliminary round, one pool had the 1, 2, and 5 ranked teams, while the other pool had 3, 4, and 9 (9th being China which had automatic entry since they hosted). After pool play, the remaining four teams play a typical semifinals (no. 1 team from pool A plays no. 2 team from pool B and vice versa) and finals. If you get out of pool play, the teams play 4 matches in 5 days. I don't know if, or how often, a team can adjust it's 14 roster line-up in the final round, but all indications are that Foecke will be on that list with Larson and Robinson. And at this point I would guess that Kiraly will carry one Libero, and rotate an outside hitter to that position if necessary. And finally, what is the deal with China. Out of the 5 weeks of pool play, they play in their own country for 4 of them. China in week one went to Brazil (where they went 1-2 by the way) and since have not left the country (4 weeks and 12 matches going 11 - 1). Plus for the 2nd year in a row they host the championship. I understand that women's volleyball is popular in the country and as a pro, the Chinese leagues and teams pay well, but still, it looks a little rigged. Just sayin'.
  11. Undertow

    Bill Moos Hires New Women's Golf Coach

    Football, men's basketball, men's golf, men's tennis, women's rifle, women's gymnastics, baseball, women's golf............. There may be more.
  12. Undertow

    Seat Yourself

    Not to go far off topic, but it is related tangentially. Does anyone know if Devaney can be expanded by 1000 to 2000 capacity? Used to be 13.5K for basketball. Wisconsin recently (last year) uncovered the upper decks of their arena and increased capacity from 5900 to 7100 (approximately). They don't sell out as much as the Huskers, but they increased their average attendance by 1000 putting them above Hawaii. If it can be expanded, does the athletic department have any plans to do so? With the growing popularity of girls and women's volleyball and the insatiable demand of Nebraska fan, I would think it would be a smart bet to gain a million or so in revenue to the department. Particularly if you could somehow add some suites.
  13. Here is a link to the US - China results and photos. No video yet; that will be populated later in the day. https://www.volleyball.world/en/vnl/women/schedule/9969-china-usa/post Obviously a huge win and a sweep to boot. China had been rolling along and was on its home court. Again Kiraly played only 7 players with the only difference between the Poland and China line ups was Washington for Dixon in the middle vs China. It will be interesting when Rettke becomes available if Washington goes out of the rotation or if one of the more experienced middles takes a seat (Ogbogu isn't going anywhere). After that comment I went and looked at the stats and saw Courtney was the only US player in the top 15 in digs and had nearly 1.5 more digs per set than Lake. I was going to throw that stat back but decided against it. A good thing I held back. Apparently Kiraly agrees with @knapplc assessment of the libero position. In wins over Poland and China, Lake played every set and Courtney played none. As the line up starts to get more defined, Kiraly is going with Lake over Courtney. The next set of matches are in Russia and, at least by rankings, this is the easiest group the US has had (Russia, Netherlands, and Thailand). The US currently sits in 4th and has a two match lead over Japan and Poland (6 & 7 in the rankings). Barring a complete collapse, it appears the US will make the final round of 6 for the 2 million bucks.
  14. Undertow

    2019 Season Notes

    It's not surprising that Hames and Stivrins are expected to be leaders, I do find it interesting that they are not selected captains yet. For some reason I thought one of the two walk-ons (DS Emma Gabel) was injured and wouldn't be able to participate until fall. APPARENTLY that was bad info on my part (I thought I heard it during the radio broadcast of the spring game vs. Colorado State). And now for the irrational. I'm a little concerned in that I've heard or seen little of Lexi Sun. Hopefully the Asia trip will put those fears to bed. I fully expect Madi Kubik to be a significant contributor to the team this year, but the reality is that you're replacing Mikaela Foecke. Kubik will need to produce early, but Sun will need to raise her level play also. And raise it significantly if the Huskers are going to make another run to the Final Four. The same type of improvement will be required of Jazz Sweet or Anezka Szabo needs to insert herself into the equation at opposite. I thought Sweet regressed from her freshman year, especially during B1G play. It is more than good that Hames has a year under her belt. The offense should function more efficiently this season.
  15. As mentioned above, the US was sweep by Turkey in the opening match at China. Here are some stats and highlights: https://www.volleyball.world/en/vnl/women/schedule/9952-usa-turkey/post Fortunately the US came back and beat Poland this morning in four sets: https://www.volleyball.world/en/vnl/women/schedule/9960-poland-usa/post Drews led the US followed by Bartsch-Hackley who saw extended play for the first time this season. Kiraly played only 7 for the entire match. Next up is China who just swept league leader Turkey after sweeping Poland the opening night. This looks to be a tough out for team USA.
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