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Notes from Nebraska’s Practice Ahead of Red-White Scrimmage

August 23, 2019

Nebraska volleball was back in the gym on Thursday in preparation for Saturday’s Red-White Scrimmage. I stopped by and was able to watch about an hour-and-a-half of practice.

Here are some notes and observations from what I saw and heard.

>> I was really impressed with what I saw of Madi Kubik, who spent the whole time I was there with the starters. Looks like she's the favorite for the L2 (the second outside hitter spot) along with Lexi Sun replacing Mikaela Foecke at L1.

She's got a powerful swing and a few plays caught my eye. On one, a set went wide but she still managed to adjust and keep the ball in play without hitting the pin, which led to a point for her team even though she didn't get the kill. Later, Kubik blasted a kill off a double-block, then on the next play she saw the same double-play and tipped it right over the top for another point.

>> Freshman Kenzie Knuckles spent the whole time playing libero with the top group. Megan Miller switched between the two sides as the defensive specialist, subbing in for Jazz Sweet in the back row at times.

>> Chen Abramovich is in a walking boot after breaking her foot about 4 weeks ago; Cook isn't sure when she'll be back. Freshman DS Emma Gabel tore her ACL on the last point of her last club match back in the spring – she served an ace and tore her ACL coming down. Brutal. She'll miss the whole season.

>> Amber Rolfzen was helping out at practice today, though she's not planning to take part in the Red-White Scrimmage.

>> Freshman Riley Zuhn worked mostly at middle blocker while I was there. For one segment of practice she was with the top group while Callie Schwarzenbach was with the B-Side. But when Cook switched to a new segment of practice those two swapped sides. Cook said Zuhn is splitting her reps almost 50-50 between outside hitter and middle blocker.

>> Sophomore Capri Davis is still a little wild with her shots but when her aim is true she packs a ton of power behind her swings. She had some really nice kills.

>> Schwarzenbach finished strong with a couple of nice kills but she really struggled to terminate for most of the practice that I saw. That was her biggest problem last season.

>> The B-Side got the better of the starters, which Cook said is happening quite a bit. I overheard him talking about how many more errors the starters had.

>> Nicole Drewnick had a really nice setter dump right into the middle of the defense. Cook said afterward that they always have to be ready for that on the second touch. I'm far from an expert, but I thought Drewnick's sets looked pretty good.

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