During the first two weeks of the college volleyball season, opposing teams may not have known a great deal about Nebraska freshman middle blocker Meghan Haggerty.
That’s not the case anymore. The Huskers’ match against UCLA, when Haggerty had 17 kills, was nationally televised. Coaches now have current game film to scout and stats to study.
For one more match it didn’t matter that Haggerty is getting the attention she deserves — sometimes in the form of double blockers. She was still nearly perfect.
Haggerty had nine kills on 11 attempts as top-ranked Nebraska soundly beat unranked Oklahoma 25-14, 25-11, 25-16 at the sold-out NU Coliseum.
Haggerty had zero hitting errors, and her .818 hitting percentage is the best this season for any of the Huskers’ primary attackers.
Because of the lopsided result, Haggerty did not get to rotate into the match as much as usual. She needed one more kill to reach the minimum of 10 kills to be eligible for the all-time chart listing the best hitting percentage in a match in program history. With one more kill she may have had a top-15 all-time performance.
Many words were being used to describe Haggerty’s offensive efficiency, but the one used by senior Hannah Werth was as good as any: phenomenal.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever played with someone who hit .818 on one night,” Werth said. “That’s just phenomenal. Props to her.”
The connection between setter Lauren Cook and Haggerty improves with each practice, Haggerty said, and she was glad to see that carry over to a match.
“I don’t know if I’ve hit that high (of percentage),” Haggerty said. “When I go out there to play I just try to better the ball, so seeing that number was kind of a surprise.”
Nebraska coach John Cook was equally impressed with Haggerty’s match-high five blocks. Her most dominate stretch came in the second set, when in six rallies Haggerty had two blocks and two kills. The second kill came one on a slide play down the line to put the Huskers up 13-5.
Haggerty showed some variety with her attacks on Thursday, including on set point in the first set when she tipped the ball from high above the net.
“The good thing about Meghan is she moves it around, so she’s hard to defend,” John Cook said. “She has a lot of different shots.”
Werth had kills on six of her first seven attempts and finished with a match-high 14 kills and season-best .542 hitting percentage.
Morgan Broekhuis and Hayley Thramer had seven kills apiece for the Huskers. Gina Mancuso had three of the Huskers’ six ace serves.
In the first set, Oklahoma served tough and led 10-8 before the Huskers took control by claiming 17 of the final 21 rallies for a 25-14 win.
The 13 points for Oklahoma in the second set were the fewest for an NU opponent this season, and the Sooners (6-3) hit only .068 for the match.
“I thought our blocking defense was exceptional,” John Cook said. “I think Oklahoma just felt like they couldn’t get a ball down anywhere on our side of the court.”
In the first match of the three-day Ameritas Players Challenge, No. 19 Kentucky rolled past Duquesne in three sets, 25-14, 25-13, 25-18.
Nebraska plays Duquesne on Friday at 4 p.m. Much like during last week’s match against Colgate, John Cook plans to mix up his lineup Friday and may play several of the younger players.
NEBRASKA 3, OKLAHOMA 0
Oklahoma (kills, blocks, aces)--Doyle 0-1-1, Holst 1-0-1, Reynolds 6-0-0, Dunn 5-0-0, McLaurin 5-0-0, Rodriguez 6-0-0, Fernanda 0-0-0, Gowen 0-0-0, Williams 0-0-1, Drawe 0-0-0, Ward 1-0-0. 24-6-3
Nebraska (kills, blocks, aces)--Cook 0-0-1, Mancuso 6-0-3, Broekhuis 7-0-1, Thramer 7-0-0, Haggerty 9-1-1, Werth 14-0-0, Dykstra 0-0-0, Zarda 0-0-0, Hubl 0-0-0, Ostrander 1-0-0, McNeal 0-0-0. 44-10-6
Assists--Oklahoma 22 (Doyle 20, Fernanda 1, Rodriguez 1), Nebraska 43 (Cook 36, Broekhuis 6, Mancuso 1). Dig leaders---Oklahoma 30, Nebraska 41 (Werth 13). Hitting percentage--- Oklahoma .068, Nebraska .383. T-- 1:20. A--4,023.