The fifth-ranked Nebraska volleyball team will try to rebound from its loss against Minnesota over the weekend when it takes on Indiana on Wednesday at the Devaney Center.
The Hoosiers come to Lincoln with a record of 11-6 (2-4 Big Ten) and will look to snap a three-match losing streak. Indiana lost its most recent contest against the No.16 Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor, Michigan, although the Wolverines needed all five sets to put the Hoosiers away. Indiana also went five sets with No. 8 Illinois on Sept. 23.
Nebraska head coach John Cook said the Huskers cannot overlook the Hoosiers, even with a road match against No. 9 Penn State coming this Saturday.
“They’re on a rejuvenation kick right now,” Cook said. “It’ll be another tough match Wednesday night.”
Indiana will be without one of its star players for the match against the Huskers. Redshirt junior outside hitter Kendall Beerman injured her knee when the Hoosiers played No. 6 Minnesota on Sept. 29, and was ruled out for the season. Beerman led the team with 3.38 kills per set and averaged a .235 hitting percentage before her injury.
The Hoosiers have seen a big increase in production from freshman outside hitter Breana Edwards in Beerman's absence. She has 210 kills this season and is the only Hoosier besides Beerman averaging above three kills per set. She has also contributed 94 digs and 36 blocks, including 15 solo stuffs. Against Michigan, she earned her third double-double of the season with 22 kills and 10 digs.
Hoosier middle blocker Deyshia Lofton is another impact player for Indiana. The junior has 162 kills this season and has reached double-digit kills in each of Indiana’s last two matches. Her .375 hitting percentage is the best on the team and ranks seventh in the Big Ten. She also leads the team and ranks 10th in the conference, with 80 blocks this season.
To counteract Beerman and Lofton, Nebraska will depend on its defense, which ranks among the best in both the Big Ten and the nation. The Huskers are allowing opponents to hit just .124 against them, which ranks first in both the conference and country. Nebraska also leads the Big Ten in fewest kills per set allowed (10.31) and fewest assists per set allowed (9.60).
Freshman middle blocker Callie Schwarzenbach is also amongst the best in the country when it comes to blocking. She leads the Big Ten with 1.59 blocks per set. As a team, the Huskers are averaging 2.84 blocks per set, good enough for fourth-best in the conference.
First serve on Wednesday from the Bob Devaney Sports Center is set for 7 p.m. The match will air on the Big Ten Network.