Last Updated 11:10 PM, November 19, 2021

No. 11 Nebraska volleyball takes down No. 15 Penn State in straight sweep

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NCAA women's volleyball bracket predictions ahead of the selection show
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3:44 am, November 20, 2021

Nebraska secures home sweep over Penn State

Nebraska pulled off a sweep over Penn State with a 25-23 win in set three in front of its home crowd at the Devaney Center. 

The Huskers hit for a low percentage, as they have been often this season, but they found other ways to win. They wore down Penn State with aggressive serving, a lot of momentum shifts in their favor and some great defense. They got points when they needed it most, and on top of that, the Huskers saw performances from everyone. Lauren Stivrins did it all, from the service line, with her swing, and at the net with a big block. The senior posted seven blocks on the match. Kayla Caffey was hammering down balls with her monster swing, she posted seven kills on a team-high .636 hitting efficiency. Lexi Sun posted eight kills on senior night and then we saw a big-time performance from Whitney Lauenstein off of the bench. Lauenstein notched five kills on eight swings for a .600 clip, and gave the Huskers a huge spark when they needed it most. 

Most importantly, they got the win from the service line. They successfully got the Nittany Lions out-of-system, and in doing so, they were able to take Kaitlin Hord out of the game entirely. Jonni Parker got a lot more swings, especially out of the back row because of it, and she did phenomenal with 14 kills on the match, but it wasn't enough. Hord was held to just five kills on .125 hitting, largely in-part due to Nebraska's serving. The Huskers in-turn set up their defense and block to perform really well. Lexi Rodriguez was great out of the backcourt, we saw some awesome digs, and the Huskers tallied 14 total blocks on the match. 

Overall, this was a great performance for a fired up Huskers team and at a crucial part of the season. The Huskers move to 20-6 on the season and 14-3 in conference. 

3:27 am, November 20, 2021

We are tied in set three

The Nittany Lions are facing a must-win third set, but we are in the midst of a fairly even set, with multiple ties and rarely more than a one-point lead. Hitting has improved drastically for both teams in the third, with Nebraska hitting .227 and Penn State hitting .316. But, the Nittany Lions just notched their eighth service error on the match, with four of them in the third set alone. 

We are tied up at 16. 

2:52 am, November 20, 2021

Nebraska sparks huge comeback to win set two 25-23

Nebraska just pulled off an incredible comeback after trailing the entire set. The Huskers went on a 10-1 scoring run and 6-0 run to take the set 25-23. Kubik now leads the Huskers with nine kills. Nebraska amped up their service game to get Penn State's offense off-balance, and ultimately pulled off the win to move to 2-0 on the match. 

With Penn State three away from sealing the deal in set two, Nebraska called a timeout and went on a 4-0 scoring run to make it 22-19 before Kaitlin Hord ended the scoring run. Whitney Launstein came off the bench and came up big for the Huskers on the right side, and then Lauren Stivrins and Nicklin Hames both came up with back-to-back big blocks to get it within one, down 23-22. Stivrins then hammered one down to tie it up at 23. The Huskers then made it a 9-1 run to take the lead 24-23 and set up set point, and then Penn State's Jonni Parker sent one long to drop 2-0 on the match. 

Also, while we are here, check out this insane dig from Lexi Rodriguez ...

 

2:39 am, November 20, 2021

Penn State leads by two, 10-8 in set two

Roles are reversed in terms of hitting in set two, with Nebraska currently hitting in the negatives. Neither teams are hitting well, but the Nittany Lions have stepped it up to take an immediate lead in the second set. Jonni Parker is now up to six kills on the match on .286 hitting. The Huskers are right there with them though, and within just two points. 

2:30 am, November 20, 2021

Nebraska takes 1-0 lead

The Huskers took set one 25-14 in a pretty dominating start to the match. Madi Kubik posted five kills, followed by Lexi Sun with four and Kayla Caffey with two on .500 hitting. Nebraska finished the set hitting .242 and held Penn State to -.097 hitting. Jonni Parker posted four kills on the set, but aside from that, Adanna Rollins chipped in one kill and that is it. Nebraska out-blocked the Nittany Lions eight to four, a big difference for the set. 

This is a big match in terms of Big Ten standings. Penn State and Nebraska are separated by just one game. 

2:12 am, November 20, 2021

Nebraska leads early in set one

The Huskers took an early lead in set one 20-11. They are currently holding the Nittany Lions to negative hitting, but are hitting just .227 themselves. Madi Kubik and Lexi Sun are currently leading the Huskers with three kills apiece. Jonni Parker is currently the only Nittany Lion with any offensive points on the board. She has three kills. 

1:39 am, November 20, 2021

Nebraska vs. Penn State — Pregame

We are just moments away from first serve at the Devaney Center for a huge Big Ten matchup between two powerhouse volleyball programs. Here are the starting lineups for tonight's match:

10:54 pm, November 17, 2021

How to watch Penn State vs. Nebraska

Nebraska Volleyball

The Huskers and Nittany Lions meet for the second time this season when the two battle Friday night. Here's how you can watch:

Time: 9 p.m. ET
Date: Friday, Nov. 19
Watch: Big Ten
Live stats: Click or tap here

 

10:45 pm, November 17, 2021

Preview Nebraska vs. Penn State

Penn State VB

No. 11 Nebraska and No. 15 Penn State will face off on Friday, Nov. 19 on BTN. Nebraska and Penn State already faced once this year, and the Huskers won in four sets. When Ohio State and Penn State faced even earlier in the year, PSU swept them to make a big statement. But Penn State has since also lost to Wisconsin, Illinois and Purdue, so they fell to No. 15 in the rankings. 

The Huskers beat Penn State in the midst of their 10-0 winning streak in the Big Ten this season. It was on the brink of Lauren Stivrins' return, and they seemed to be on the upswing. Madi Kubik was the star of the match for the Huskers as she matched her season high with 19 kills and added 12 digs, a block and an ace for her second double-double of the year. As you might know, the Huskers spent the better half of their non-conference schedule mixing up their lineup, incorporating freshman talent, etc. It seemed that they had landed on a lineup that didn't include previous Husker offensive star Lexi Sun in the starting rotation, but Sun has been back in the mix as of late. In Nebraska's latest win over Indiana, she led the scoring effort with 11 kills and two service aces. She started alongside Lindsay Krause and Madi Kubik as the three hitters. Ally Batenhorst wasn't in the starting lineup, but still notched 11 kills herself. I am excited to see Sun back involved in a big matchup against Penn State. The last ranked matchup they had was a three-set loss to Ohio State. 

Penn State is coming off of four straight wins since its surprising loss to Illinois. In their last win they displayed an extremely balanced offensive front with Adanna Rollins, Kaitlyn Hord, Jonni Parker and Allie Holland all in double-digit kills. They dropped in the rankings following the loss to Illinois, and now they have two huge opponents to prove themselves before selections. The Nittany Lions have been hot and cold this season, but they are still clearly capable of taking down top notch teams. An upset here is extremely possible. This team also ranks in the top-10 in blocks per set at No. 6. So it should be a tough force at the net for Nebraska to hit around. 

Plus, throw all of the numbers and outcomes from this season out the window and you still have two of the most historically dominant teams in college volleyball facing off at the Devaney Center this time. We should have a great matchup on our hands. 

 

10:35 pm, November 17, 2021

What the stats say

Here is how Penn State and Nebraska matchup statistically:

Nebraska STAT Penn State 
19-6 (13-3) Record (Big Ten) 19-7 (12-4)
No. 11 AVCA ranking No. 15
Def. Indiana, 3-1 Last time out Def. Michigan State, 3-1
.225 Hitting percentage .277
13.8 Kills per set 14.5
.150 Opponent hitting .204
2.5 Blocks per set 2.8
17.1 Digs per set 14.7
124/177 Aces/Service errors 125/214
Madi Kubik, 292 (3.44 k/s) Kills leader Jonni Parker, 365 (3.76 k/s)
Nicklin Hames, 855 (10.56 a/s) Assist leader Gabby Blossom, 1083 (11.16 a/s)
Lexi Rodriguez, 388 (4.44 d/s) Digs leader Jenna Hampton, 418 (4.31 d/s)
10:31 pm, November 17, 2021

AVCA top 25 rankings

Both Penn State and Nebraska are within the top 15 in the latest AVCA top 25 poll. They are however, vying for a top 16 seed for the 2021 DI women's volleyball tournament. Here is the full top 25. 

Through Games NOV. 15, 2021

RANK

TEAM

POINTS

RECORD

PREVIOUS

1 Louisville (61) 1,597 24-0 1
2 Texas (3) 1,526 20-1 2
3 Pittsburgh  1,449 24-2 3
4 BYU 1,347 25-1 5
5 Wisconsin 1,284 21-3 4
6 Purdue 1,274 20-5 9
7 Baylor 1,211 16-5 6
8 Kentucky 1,181 20-4 7
9 Minnesota 1,068 17-7 8
10 Ohio State 1,041 21-5 10
11 Nebraska 956 19-6 11
12 Washington 901 20-4 13
T-13 Georgia Tech 798 21-4 14
T-13 UCLA 798 20-4 12
15 Penn State 725 19-7 15
16 Oregon 648 20-6 17
17 Utah 598 18-7 16
18 Western Kentucky 494 24-1 18
19 Stanford 387 14-10 20
20 Florida 323 17-6 22
21 Creighton  281 26-3 23
22 Washington State 268 16-9 21
23 San Diego 248 19-5 19
24 Illinois 116 17-10 25
25 Pepperdine 82 19-5 NR