Neither Stanford nor Nebraska have seen a fifth set this season. On Tuesday, the chance of a forced deciding set is a real possibility.
Though the Huskers have remained unscathed this season, they’ve been unchallenged at large; Nebraska’s most formidable opponent so far has been No. 16 Creighton, the only team to win a set against John Cook’s squad. Front-line defense sets this Nebraska team apart, which currently ranks 11th in the nation in blocks per set (5 BS and 104 BA in 19 sets for 3.00 B/S). Andi Jackson and Bekka Allick have formed a wall at the net, combining for 47 blocks on the season.
Stanford’s early schedule couldn’t be more different; the Cardinal fended off three ranked opponents — including reigning champion Texas — but suffered an early shutout loss to Florida. The set-attack combination of Kami Miner and Kendall Kipp is dangerous for any team on the opposite side of the net, as Miner is averaging 11.88 assists per set and Kipp is adding 3.95 K/S. Kipp also dominated in the Cardinal’s 2022 match against the Huskers, leading both programs with 15 kills, seven digs, four blocks and an ace.
This dual wouldn’t be correctly summarized without mentioning the libero battle between Stanford’s Elena Oglivie and Nebraska’s Lexi Rodriguez. As two of the best defensive specialists in the nation, Oglivie and Rodriguez have both notched season-highs of 15 digs and average a respective 28 and 27 assists per set.
Tuesday’s match will come down to which team will out-rally the other. Their 2022 meeting was nothing short of a dogfight; Stanford finally emerged as victor after 34 tie scores, nine lead changes and two sets pushed above 25. Will the Cardinal extend its win streak against the Huskers to six games? Will Nebraska defend itself against its first top-10 opponent? Tune in at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN to find out.