LINCOLN – A team from Nebraska only has to look youthful and inexperienced after four consecutive Final Four appearances, but Stanford did so on Wednesday night.
The cardinal with five high-ranking starters used his top game In 2016 and 2018 he won the national championships and played four games against top 10 opponents this season to win a 25: 21-, 22: 25-, 25 : 1
Coach John Cook said his Huskers had a high level of play but their inexperience made them make straightforward mistakes.
"The biggest difference is that Stanford plays consistently at a high level and does not offer you anything, and we're not there," Cook said. "I thought that this was the best volleyball all year round. We did not get the result we wanted, but Stanford is really good.
Second to a stoppage of 8,632 at the Devaney Center, Stanford remained calm to start the game.
"We're used to this environment by now," Stanford coach Kevin Hambly said. "Besides, did our seniors participate in how many big games? You have seen a lot. "
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In the middle of the first set, NU hit .074 and followed 16-9, but then the offensive came alive and hit the rest of the way .500. Newcomer Madi Kubik, who finished the set with five kills, triggered the turnaround.
She began using the Stanford Block to her advantage and hit him outside the borders. For the match, Kubik scored the team's top 14 kills, but they also committed 10 errors at 46 strokes.
Other Husker attackers followed Kubik's lead as NU lowered its deficit to 21-19. The two-time player of the year, Kathryn Plummer, who ended with 19 victories, but ended the rally with three wins on the track.
Nebraska was more stable in the second set. After Stanford 16-15 took the lead, NU ran off four straight points and took the lead. The cardinal tied it 22-22 before Lauren Stivrins made a connection on her fourth kill on the set. The Huskers caught the game as Stanford hit the ball in the last two rallies.
After a pause, the Cardinal returned to his staples: solid defense and good passes. In the last two sets Stanford led 9: 8, in the third 8: 2 and in the fourth with 10: 1 to take control.
but sometimes we let go of a number of points, "said Nicklin Hames, sophomore from Nebraska. "Overall, we have to be much more consistent with our serve and pass, with everything we do."
Stanford's defense kept the Husker attack in check most of the last half of the match. Morgan Hentz led the cardinal with 22 digs and apparently took away every Nebraska tip attack.
The Huskers posted 19 kills on 72 swings in the last two sets. They also ended with more mistakes than killings in the third. In the meantime, Stanford hit .294 for the match.
Lexi Sun, Jazz Sweet and Stivrins each had nine kills. Sophomore Megan Miller, whom Cook said provided a spark in the second set, had both Nebraska aces and 13 digs.
Hames, who added 16 digs with team strength, said the huskers could learn from the loss and learn to play more consistently at a higher level when playing Big Ten.
"I'm glad we played them in the preseason because they'll be the best team," said Hames. "Knowing that we've eradicated them and can compete at this level is really great. I'm proud of how hard we've been fighting and I know we can reach that level consistently. "
Stanford (6-1) ………….. 25 22 25 25
In Nebraska (7-1) … …… 21 25 17 16
Stanford (Kills Aces Blocks): Gray 4-0-0, Plummer 19-4-0, Campbell 6-0-0, Fitzmorris 8-0 -0, Gates 10-0-1, Hentz 0-1-0, Kipp 11-0-0, Formico 0-2-0. Total 58-7-23.
NU: Hames 3-0-0, Cub 10-0-0, Sun 9-0-1, Sweet 9-0-0, Schwarzenbach 1-0-1, Stivrins 9-0-0, Miller 0 2: 0, Davis 3: 0: 0. Totals 48-2-12.
Set consists of Stanford 56 (Gray 50, Hentz 4, Formico 2), Nebraska 46 (Hames 40, Knuckles 3, Cubic 1, Stivrins 1, Drewnick 1).