The Nebraska volleyball team returns home following sweeps over Michigan State and Michigan on the road. Saturday’s win over the Wolverines marked Nebraska’s seventh-straight win. The road trip also followed trips to Rutgers and Maryland the previous weekend, which made for quite the two weeks of travel for the Huskers.
“They handled it really well,” coach John Cook said on Tuesday. He added that while it was a lot from a travel perspective, “this team likes hanging out with each other.” As a result, it didn’t get old for the players to spend time together which he appreciated (and told them as much).
With that said, Cook added that the team is ready to be home. Nebraska faces Penn State on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Northwestern on Sunday at 2 p.m.
One thing that will be different in this go-around for the Huskers is that Russ Rose won’t be on the opposite bench this time. The head coach retired from Penn State after 43 seasons with the team. Cook said he’ll miss sitting and visiting with Rose, but that he felt he received some closure at the end of the 2021 season with the longtime Nittany Lions coach.
“When they last played here, he had sent something to my granddaughter and I wanted to pay him back,” Cook said. “I really appreciated it so I’m glad that happened. I didn’t know that would be his last time coaching here so I feel like we got some closure.”
More news and notes:
>> Sounds like the illness bug may have bit the Huskers over the last few days. After learning that Bekka Allick wouldn’t be available to play against Michigan, Cook said the team is working through various illnesses.
As for Allick he said the Huskers were “getting on the bus to go to the match” when the trainers alerted him to what was going on, so adjustments had to be made quickly. Cook said the team has done a nice job adjusting as needed throughout the season, which includes changing up the rotations.
>> Sophomore outside hitter Ally Batenhorst missed some time due to a lingering abdominal muscle injury, but she’s back in action for Nebraska. In fact, as the Huskers realized they would need to make adjustments to the lineup against Michigan, Cook turned to Batenhorst.
“She missed quite a bit and it’s taken her awhile to get back into it,” Cook said, adding that he told her on the bus that this was her opportunity to get into it. She did just that, stepping into the lineup and contributing seven kills and two blocks for Nebraska.
“Ally competes,” he said, adding that he’s always had confidence in her.
>>To watch Cook’s full video from the podium, you can check it out on our YouTube channel now.
Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.