“This means I’ve been doing it a long time. I don’t care about any of that.”
That’s what Nebraska volleyball coach John Cook said during pregame on what an 800th career win would mean. Less than two hours later and 10 matches into his 30th season as a head coach, he had it via a 25-15, 19, 23 sweep of Michigan State.
Cook’s tune had also changed slightly when, instead of the traditional volleyball, he was presented with a commemorative belt buckle by Nebraska athletic director Trev Alberts.
“It’s one of the most memorable meaningful things that’s happened to me,” Cook said. “I was mad how we played, but when Trev came and I saw (the buckle), I got warm and fuzzy. That was really cool.”
You don’t get to 800 wins as fast as Cook has without expecting perfection, something No. 3 Nebraska (9-1, 1-0 Big Ten) was far from tonight.
The visitors hit .184 for the match as they kept each successive set closer than the last. The Spartans managed to fool the Huskers with five setter dumps. They also out-blocked NU 9-6.
Nebraska wasn’t inept, though. Six Huskers notched at least five kills, with Bekka Allick, Kaitlyn Hord, Lindsay Krause and Maggie Mendelson all finishing with six apiece.
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Madi Kubik had a match-high 14 kills.
Still without Nicklin Hames, Anni Evans led the team with 18 assists while Kennedy Orr dished out 14.
The next match will be significantly more difficult for the Big Red.
Now. 7 Ohio State (5-4, 1-0 Big Ten) comes to town Saturday. The Buckeyes have a pair of losses to now No. 1 Texas on top of ranked losses to San Diego and Pitt, while ranked victories include Louisville, BYU and Georgia Tech.