On October 8th the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and the University of Wisconsin-Platteville (UWP) battled it out at the Cornhusker Clash in a double header. UNL was able to come out on top on both matches with finals scores of 7-1 and 4-3.
The following questions were asked of the captains of each team about the event this weekend.
Erik Zander– What surprised you the most about your opponent that you were not expecting.
UWP Captains– UNL was relentless in their cross throws, but what was unexpecting was how fearless they were to turn their backs in front of us to get that throw in.
Tre Sumrall (UNL)-We think UWP did a great job not backing down in the second game after a big loss of 7-1 in the first game. They came out swinging and took a lead into half time 2-1.
EZ– What did your team do well and what do they need to work on?
UWP Captains-What UWP did well was adjust in that 2nd game. It’s not easy to take a 7-1 loss and bounce back and only lose 4-3. What we need to do better at is positioning our blockers and blocking for ourselves.
TS– I think our team did a crazy good job at catching and killing on the rush. I’m not sure the exact number but we had roughly 20+ kills on the rush, which is crazy. As for what we need to work on, it is mostly communication in all forms. Things like team throws, when to throw, and how many is something that we still need to work on, but we are slowly getting better at it.
EZ– Who stood out to you at this tournament?
UWP Captains-Who stood out was Annie Larson. She is getting more confident in her ability to catch and be on the court. As for UNL, it was their entire team. they have 12 players that all play at the same level, even their bench players played at the same level as their starters.
TS– As for who stood out at our tournament, the first person I want to give props to is Wyatt Sewell. He was crazy clutch in the games, and at one point had 3 back to back to back catches while being the only person in. Outside of that, Caleb Fowler is another name I wanted to point out because he is essentially turning into a second Colby on our team. His throws are insanely strong and accurate, and he can catch really well too. Overall, all of our rookies played really well and I am super proud of their progress.
Game Recaps– The first game was all UNL. They picked up where they left off at nationals and came out strong. They played fast and UWP came out slow and with not as much energy as they needed to. UNL was able to get cross-throws in and get several foot shots to control the pace of the game. They were also catching extremely well, which kept UWP’s top throwers in the outline.
The second game was a scrimmage game that had a a mix of b-team players and alumni. It was a great way to give the rookies an opportunity to play and try things out and not worry about the results. Both sides learned a lot and got a great experience out of it while having fun. I always look forward to watching these games as it is a great opportunity to see young players grow and become more comfortable with the game. I also see improvements and it is fun to watch them progress in this sport!
The last game of the day was much better for UWP. It was as if they forgot the first match even happened and came out strong with a fierce determination to win. They were blocking better, reduced the number of catches, and maintained better ball control. Game two had to be quite the surprise for the Cornhuskers after having such a dominate first game against the Pioneers. In the end, Platteville did all that they could but were unable to get the win and UNL took the game by one point.
Last Words– After the Cornhusker Clash, UNL has proven that they are the top team of the Central Region and that UWP has some work to do to take that from them. From top to bottom, UNL has solid players that all play as a unit and can catch effectively. They are a top team in the league and teams will have a tough time playing against them.
For UWP, the losses were good for them. They will learn a lot more from these losses than if they had won. They know what they really need to work on and will improve in those areas. UWP was able to have short term memory loss after the first game to play much improved in the second game. The Pioneers made adjustments and that is something that they were not able to do last year. Above all, for the first 2 away tournaments they have managed to bring full rosters to both events, which will pay dividends in the long run as their chemistry is getting better and their talent is increasing. The next time that we will see these two teams in action will be at the Pioneer Classic on November 12th and we are looking forward to it as it will be another good match!