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Author: HuskerGeek

Omaha Challenge Review and Husker Weekend Preview

Written By: HuskerGeek

The Omaha challenge was last week and I was there for all but one game. Nebraska, Kansas State, Northern Iowa all went 2-1 in the competition while the host UNO went 0-3.  However, that’s getting ahead of myself.  Let’s first start off with the games.

Kansas St. vs. Omaha (2017-09-14)

Top Performances

Bryna Vogel

Kansas St.


Game WPA

0.9164

Offense: 0.5001

Defense: 0.4163

Attacking: 0.5912
Setting:0.0426
Serving:-0.1338
Blocking:-0.0286
Digging:0.4449

Sydney O'Shaughnessy

Omaha


Game WPA

0.7576

Offense: 0.2635

Defense: 0.4940

Attacking: 0.0527
Setting:0.3528
Serving:-0.1419
Blocking:-0.1566
Digging:0.6506

Peyton Williams

Kansas St.


Game WPA

0.6339

Offense: 0.5435

Defense: 0.0904

Attacking: 0.5435
Setting:0.0000
Serving:0.0000
Blocking:0.0904
Digging:0.0000
Source: 114210

Game 1.  Kansas State and Omaha.  The Wildcats have fallen off a bit from their typical results.  Usually, near Top 25 status, ViPR started off the week rating the Wildcats around the sixty mark.  Omaha started off just beyond 210th.  Neither team was particularly clean during the match, but Kansas State’s superior talent did show throughout.  Omaha, for their part, played above their predicted level and won the second set handily.  Setter Sydney O’Shaughnessy was the star for the Mavericks and did her part taking the second spot in the WPA Top Performers and contributing thirty-four assists and twenty digs.   Bryna Vogel of KSU took Top Performer awards in the top spot by terminating on thirteen of twenty-eight swings with only two errors.  She also added sixteen digs and two blocks.

Omaha may have lost the game, but they were competitive throughout the game and as it would turn out later, the weekend.

Nebraska vs. Kansas St. (2017-09-15)

Top Performances

Kelly Hunter

Nebraska


Game WPA

0.9255

Offense: 0.5955

Defense: 0.3300

Attacking: 0.1234
Setting:0.4591
Serving:0.0130
Blocking:-0.0494
Digging:0.3794

Annika Albrecht

Nebraska


Game WPA

0.9043

Offense: 0.3837

Defense: 0.5206

Attacking: 0.3018
Setting:0.0023
Serving:0.0796
Blocking:0.0206
Digging:0.5001

Kenzie Maloney

Nebraska


Game WPA

0.5971

Offense: 0.0453

Defense: 0.5518

Attacking: 0.0000
Setting:0.0609
Serving:-0.0156
Blocking:0.0000
Digging:0.5518
Source: 113054

Game 2.  After a hotly contested first set, Nebraska cruised through the rest of the match and completed a comfortable 3-0 sweep of KSU.  Nebraska swept the Top Performers list as well with Kelly Hunter, Annika Albrecht, and Kenzie Maloney taking the honors.  Kelly Hunter’s thirty-seven assists, eleven digs, three kills, three blocks, and a service ace were enough for top honors.  Annika added an ace, two blocks, six kills, and fifteen digs.  Kenzie Maloney continued a streak of strong performances from her Libero position with sixteen digs.

Both Husker middles had a strong day with Briana Holman acquiring ten kills on eighteen swings with one error and Lauren Stivrins terminating ten times on fourteen swings with three errors.

Kansas State’s Kylee Zumach stands out for the Wildcats with ten kills on twenty-seven swings with only two errors.  She added an ace and two blocks for a solid day all-around.

Omaha vs. UNI (2017-09-15)

Team Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Sets
Omaha142518221
UNI251925253

Top Performances

Bri Weber

UNI


Game WPA

0.8531

Offense: 0.2618

Defense: 0.5913

Attacking: 0.2239
Setting:0.0316
Serving:0.0062
Blocking:0.0000
Digging:0.5913

Heather Hook

UNI


Game WPA

0.7246

Offense: 0.4673

Defense: 0.2572

Attacking: 0.1554
Setting:0.3326
Serving:-0.0207
Blocking:0.0002
Digging:0.2571

Claire Mountjoy

Omaha


Game WPA

0.6334

Offense: 0.0132

Defense: 0.6202

Attacking: 0.0000
Setting:0.0319
Serving:-0.0187
Blocking:0.0000
Digging:0.6202
Source: 113383

Game 3.  The last match on Friday between Omaha and Northern Iowa was almost a repeat of Omaha’s previous match with Kansas State.  Both games ended in 3-1 losses for the Mavericks, but that one was a comfortable second set win by Omaha.  In this case, Omaha took the second set 25-19.

Bri Weber takes the Top Performer crown in this game despite having a bit of a rough day hitting.  Weber had fourteen kills on forty-one swings with eight errors but also acquired a team-high twenty-three digs and an ace.   Bri wasn’t the only hitter to struggle as both teams found terminating to be tough sledding.  Omaha hit .105 for the match and Northern Iowa managed only .160 in what was a decidedly defensive struggle.

Claire Mountjoy’s match-high twenty-eight digs propelled her into Third Place on the Top Performers list.

Nebraska vs. UNI (2017-09-16)

Team Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Sets
Nebraska202325211
UNI252514253

Top Performances

Bri Weber

UNI


Game WPA

0.9688

Offense: 0.7238

Defense: 0.2450

Attacking: 0.6294
Setting:0.0404
Serving:0.0541
Blocking:-0.0099
Digging:0.2549

Heather Hook

UNI


Game WPA

0.8775

Offense: 0.8783

Defense: -0.0008

Attacking: 0.2618
Setting:0.5446
Serving:0.0720
Blocking:-0.1299
Digging:0.1291

Karlie Taylor

UNI


Game WPA

0.7745

Offense: 0.3322

Defense: 0.4423

Attacking: 0.4117
Setting:0.0000
Serving:-0.0795
Blocking:0.0000
Digging:0.4423
Source: 113504

Game 4.  Northern Iowa’s upset of tenth ranked Nebraska was the only game of the weekend I did not see but don’t worry I was watching a game that was equally frustrating for Husker fans if not more so.  Watching the football team spot NIU two touchdowns and fail to recover was pain enough.

Statistically, the game was exceptionally close.  The teams scored the exact same amount of points and a quick back-of-the-napkin calculation tells me that UNI edged out Nebraska by 0.017 in ViPR Point Efficiency.  A razor-thin margin in statistics, but due to Nebraska dominance in the third set, not so close in actual win probability added.

Bri Weber once again stands out for Northern Iowa with fifteen kills and six errors on forty-five swings.  Adding nine digs, four assists, three aces, and a block completed a very good day for Weber and led UNI.  The three aces for UNI were not the only ones on the score sheet for the Panthers as Taylor Hedges added another three and one apiece from Heather Hook and Piper Thomas.  Nebraska’s struggles in serve-receive were not alone as it appears that they struggled to pass and dig.  Despite having one more dig and the same number of kills, Nebraska took five fewer swings than Nothern Iowa which suggest some control issues on the back side of Nebraska’s court.  A team that had graded out as the best defensive team in the country by ViPR’s viewing coming into the weekend, Nebraska’s struggles on the back end of this match must be concerning to those hoping for a deep tournament run.

Kansas St. vs. UNI (2017-09-16)

Team Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5 Sets
Kansas St.25242923153
UNI2226272562

Top Performances

Bryna Vogel

Kansas St.


Game WPA

2.1140

Offense: 0.8616

Defense: 1.2524

Attacking: 0.9050
Setting:0.0114
Serving:-0.0547
Blocking:0.1806
Digging:1.0718

Bri Weber

UNI


Game WPA

1.9518

Offense: 1.1180

Defense: 0.8337

Attacking: 1.1811
Setting:-0.0116
Serving:-0.0515
Blocking:0.1348
Digging:0.6990

Heather Hook

UNI


Game WPA

1.6296

Offense: 0.8812

Defense: 0.7485

Attacking: 0.2586
Setting:0.9424
Serving:-0.3198
Blocking:0.0262
Digging:0.7223
Source: 113481

Game 5.  Kansas State would top UNI in what was a game of runs back and forth.  Those runs led to a fairly high scoring affair by WPA standards as Bryna Vogel led the way.  Vogel accumulated fifteen kills on thirty-six swings and committed only three errors.  To that, she added twenty-three digs, six blocks, and an ace.  Bri Weber once again led the way for Northen Iowa with twenty-two kills on sixty-two swings and eight errors.  Weber completed her double-double with seventeen digs.

Both teams struggled to stop long runs from their opponents during this match and momentum shifted quickly and completely.  After the first four tumultuous sets, the fifth set was a breather for Kansas State when they took control early and never let go of it.  Their five-set victory completed the cycle between Nebraska, UNI, and Kansas State.  Nebraska beat Kansas State on Friday afternoon and lost to Northern Iowa on Saturday afternoon.  Northern Iowa beat Nebraska on Saturday afternoon and lost to Kansas State on Saturday night.  And finally, Kansas State lost to Nebraska on Friday afternoon and beat Northern Iowa on Saturday night.

Nebraska vs. Omaha (2017-09-16)

Top Performances

Annika Albrecht

Nebraska


Game WPA

0.7341

Offense: 0.5808

Defense: 0.1533

Attacking: 0.6382
Setting:0.0317
Serving:-0.0892
Blocking:-0.0314
Digging:0.1847

Sydney O'Shaughnessy

Omaha


Game WPA

0.6763

Offense: 0.4324

Defense: 0.2439

Attacking: 0.1974
Setting:0.2125
Serving:0.0226
Blocking:-0.0220
Digging:0.2659

Kelly Hunter

Nebraska


Game WPA

0.5452

Offense: 0.3790

Defense: 0.1662

Attacking: 0.0972
Setting:0.2732
Serving:0.0086
Blocking:0.0010
Digging:0.1652
Source: 113503

Game 6.  Nebraska concluded the Omaha Challenge by sweeping Omaha.  After a hotly contested first set where Omaha had the chance to take the set, Nebraska cruised to comfortable wins in sets two and three.

Annika Albrecht takes top honors for the match with fifteen kills on thirty-two sings with three errors.  Sydney O’Shaughnessy once again led the way for Omaha with twenty-three assists and nine digs.

Unfortunately, Nebraska’s story of the match was Briana Holman.  The senior middle blocker went down with an ankle injury in the third set and was in obvious pain as she left the court.  According to Coach Cook during his weekly press conference, Nebraska will be playing it carefully on just when Briana will be back.  It appears to be an ankle sprain and Briana could be back at any time, but the staff will undoubtedly be cautious with the senior going forward.

Upcoming

Nebraska starts off the weekend continuing their storied history with Penn State on Friday at State College.  The now fourteenth ranked Huskers will take on the second ranked Nitany Lions on BTN at 7 PM Central.

On Saturday, Nebraska will take on Rutgers.

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