Madi Kubik hits against Stanford

Nebraska's Madi Kubik hits the ball during a game against Stanford at The Bob Devaney Center on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The Nebraska volleyball team will look to rebound from its first loss of the year with a Saturday match against the Wichita State Shockers.

Both the Nebraska offense and defense were outclassed by Stanford on Wednesday in the Huskers’ four-set loss.

The Nebraska attack mustered only a .150 hitting percentage against the Cardinal front row, including a -.036 mark in the third set. Nebraska’s highest success rate came in the second set, which Nebraska won 25-22. In that set, Nebraska had 15 kills on 36 chances with only five errors, good for a hitting percentage of .278.

However, the Huskers failed to hit even .200 in sets one, three and four as errors slowed the attack. Nebraska had six errors in set one, eight in set three and seven in set four. In total, Nebraska committed 26 errors while Stanford only committed 13, which showed in the final hitting percentages. Stanford finished with an attack percentage of .294 on the match, while Nebraska hit only .150.

The Husker offense will see a reprieve on Saturday as Wichita State’s defense has proven porous thus far. Currently, the Shockers rank 289th out of 332 teams in opponent hitting percentage, allowing their foes to convert on 26.6% of their chances. Nebraska has made good on 25.9% of its swings through eight games, 67th-best nationally.

Freshman Madi Kubik and juniors Lexi Sun, Lauren Stivrins and Jazz Sweet took the majority of Nebraska’s swings against Stanford, and few were easy. Kubik led the way for Nebraska with a career-best 14 kills, but she also recorded 10 errors on 46 swings. Sun, Stivrins, and Sweet all tallied nine kills, but took 74 swings and committed 13 errors between all of them.

The Nebraska defense also struggled against Stanford, allowing the Cardinal to hit .294, which is more than double Nebraska’s season-long opponent attack percentage of .138, which ranks fourth in the nation. Stanford came into the match hitting .298 as a team, the 15th-best mark in the country.

Two-time national player of the year Kathryn Plummer converted on 19-49 attempts with only five errors on Wednesday, while Madeleine Gates scored on 10-26 swings with only one error.

The Shockers are 3-6 so far this season and have played a number of top-15 teams this year, including Penn State, BYU and Texas, but the offense has only performed well enough to win one set out of all those matches.

Against Texas, Wichita State was outscored 75-37, including a second set in which the Shockers recorded only nine points. Penn State held Wichita State to 14 points in the first two sets of its match before allowing only seven in the third.

Outside hitter Megan Taflinger has taken the most swings for Wichita State and has recorded 88 kills so far this season, hitting .205. She is the only player to have played in either eight or nine of the Shockers’ matches with a hitting percentage north of .200 this year.

Secondary options for the Shockers include outside hitters Sinalauli'i Uluave, who has recorded 73 kills, and Nicole Anderson, who has 70. That duo has also combined for 56 errors through nine games.

The game against Wichita State will be Nebraska’s last non-conference game of the regular season. The first serve is set for 3 p.m. from the Devaney Center and will be televised on NET.

sports@dailynebraskan.com