The last full week of September saw many freshman athletes continue to build upon their performances thus far in the fall.
This week’s recipient of the Daily Nebraskan’s Freshman Athlete of the Week not only built off their performances so far in the year, but also bounced back after a rocky skid the week prior.
For the third time this year, the winner is volleyball outside hitter Lindsay Krause.
The No. 12 Nebraska volleyball team competed in two matches this week to start off Big Ten play. After losing three straight matches, the team was coming into its first week of conference action looking for a pair of wins. The Huskers were successful in their attempt, taking down Northwestern 3-1 on Wednesday night then sweeping Iowa 3-0 on Saturday.
Entering the week, Krause was coming off a bit of a slump from her previous two matches. In the team’s 3-1 loss to No. 14 Stanford, Krause finished with 10 kills but a hitting percentage of .088. Then in the team’s 3-0 defeat to No. 5 Louisville, Krause ended the match with just three kills and a hitting percentage of .077.
After this week of play, the Papillion, Nebraska native looks like she turned things around. In the Wednesday match against Northwestern, Krause contributed to the 3-1 win with 15 kills and a hitting percentage of .500. This performance not only tied Krause’s season best in kills but marked a new season high for single-game hitting percentage.
Krause then followed this up with an equally impressive showcase on Saturday. In the win over Iowa, Krause finished the match with 12 kills and a hitting percentage of .500. Last week marked Krause’s best week of the season thus far. Through 11 matches, she has a total of 87 kills and a hitting percentage of .233.
First honorable mention: Women’s golfer Miu Takahashi
The women’s golf team competed at the Marilynn Smith/Sunflower Invitational in Manhattan, Kansas on Sept. 20 and 21. After finishing 14th as a team last week at the Wolverine Invitational, the Huskers were looking for improvement heading into their second competition of the fall season.
For the invitational, the Huskers divided themselves into two teams, A and B. Out of 10 teams, the B team finished first in the invite, while the A team finished sixth.
Golfer Miu Takahashi was entering this invitational coming off a so-so performance in the team’s first competition. At the Wolverine Invitational, Takahashi tied for 77th with a score of 238 across three rounds. The Nasu-machi, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan native quickly topped her first competition at last week’s event.
Takahashi finished the invite tied for fifth with a score of 222 across three rounds. Although she wasn’t Nebraska’s top finisher, she did have the best round so far for the Huskers. In the second round of the invitational, Takahashi finished with a 68, her best round so far on the season.
Second honorable mention: Football wide receiver Zavier Betts
The Nebraska football team went on the road for a Big Ten conference showdown with No. 20 Michigan State on Saturday. Nebraska looked great in stretches and had multiple opportunities to emerge from a hostile environment victorious, but the Huskers faltered down the stretch, suffering a heartbreaking 23-20 defeat in overtime.
Entering Saturday, Betts was coming off his best game of the season in terms of receptions and yardage. In Nebraska’s 23-16 loss to then-No. 3 Oklahoma, Betts had three catches for 61 yards.
In the Michigan State game, Betts wrapped up the night with five catches for 62 yards. Betts 62 yards receiving is now his career-high at Nebraska and his five catches tie his career-high. On the season, Betts has 11 receptions for 174 yards, making his average just under 16 yards-per-catch.