No. 3 Nebraska Set for Tilt With No. 20 Utah
The No. 3 Nebraska volleyball team (6-0) returns home this weekend, welcoming No. 20 Utah (6-0) on Saturday, Sept. 11. First serve in the top-20 matchup between the two unbeaten teams is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Devaney Center.
The match will be streamed Big Ten Network+. This week's action will be carried on Huskers Radio Network with the NU radio team of John Baylor and Lauren Cook West. Baylor is in his 28th season handling play-by-play duties for the Husker volleyball program, and West, a former All-America setter at NU, will provide color commentary for the sixth straight year.
Huskers Radio Network will carry the matches on HRN radio affiliates, including 107.3 FM in Lincoln and AM 590 in Omaha. A live audio stream will be available at Huskers.com and on the Huskers app.
• After a 3-0 weekend at the Ameritas Players Challenge and a midweek sweep of No. 19 Creighton, Nebraska remained undefeated. Entering the week, NU moved up one spot to No. 3 in the national rankings.
• Wednesday's battle of the unbeatens in Omaha also brought the Huskers' first meeting with a ranked opponent this season. They play four straight top-20 opponents between Sept. 8-18 with No. 19 Creighton, No. 20 Utah, No. 14 Stanford and No. 10 Louisville.
• The Nebraska-Creighton match was played in front of 11,279 fans at the CHI Health Center Omaha, marking the NCAA's largest regular-season crowd this season and the 10th-largest regular-season, volleyball-only crowd in NCAA history.
• Kayla Caffey was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Monday for the first time in her career.
• Caffey's .500 hitting percentage ranks ninth nationally and third in the Big Ten.
• Ally Batenhorst made her career debut last weekend, making her the fifth NU freshman to see the court this year.
• Madi Kubik was NU's leader in kills in three straight matches vs. K-State (13), Omaha (16) and Georgia (15). Lexi Sun has led the way in the last two vs. Arizona State (14) and Creighton (11).
Scouting the Utah Utes
Utah is 6-0 on the season after sweeping Weber State Thursday night at home. Dani Drews posted 18 kills with no errors, hitting .486 in the match, and added a match-high 20 digs. Madelyn Robinson tallied a career-high 19 kills on .378 hitting.
Last weekend, Utah went 3-0 at the Utah Classic with wins over No. 22 San Diego (3-1), Hawaii (3-1) and Cal Poly (3-0), part of a five-match home stand. The Utes' trip to Lincoln begins a five-match road stretch through the remainder of September.
Utah finished 13-5 (13-4 Pac-12) last spring, falling to Pittsburgh in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Drews was one of two Utes named an AVCA All-American and became the first two-time first-team honoree in program history after averaging a nation-leading 5.1 kills per set. Additionally, Drews was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year and picked up All-Pac-12 accolades, and Robinson earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention.
Head coach Beth Launiere is in her 32nd season at Utah with a career record of 606-375.
Nebraska leads the all-time series with Utah, 3-0-1, including 1-0 in the John Cook era.
Nebraska plays its final non-conference road match on Tuesday, Sept. 14, visiting No. 14 Stanford. First serve is set for 7 p.m. CT, and the match will be televised on Pac-12 Network. John Baylor and Lauren Cook West will have the radio call on Huskers Radio Network.