Rutgers Hosts Iowa & Nebraska To Begin Big Ten Play

  0 volleymob | September 21st, 2017 | Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, News

Press Release courtesy of Rutgers Athletics.

The Scarlet Knights launch the 2017 Big Ten schedule at home in the College Ave. Gym against Iowa and No. 14 Nebraska on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22-23 at 7 p.m. on each night.

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Friday, Sept. 22 | 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 | 7 p.m.
Iowa (11-2) No. 14 Nebraska (7-3)
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  • Iowa’s 11-2 start is the program’s best since 2006 when the Hawkeyes also started with an 11-2 record.
  • Iowa finished the 2016 season with a 19-13 overall record and 9-11 mark in Big Ten play. The overall record marks the first winning season for the program since 2000 when Iowa went 15-13 overall. The nine conference wins mark the most since 2000, when the Hawkeyes were 11-9 in league action.
  • Nineteen wins is the most for the program since 1994 (24-9; 14-6 B1G). That season, Iowa amassed a 24-9 overall mark with a 14-6 record in league play.
  • With a win on Friday, the Hawkeyes’ 12-2 record will be the best start since the 1994 season. With two wins this weekend, the 13-2 start will be the program’s best start since 1986.
  • Outside hitter Taylor Louis has been dominant in Black and Gold with nine double-digit kill matches, including a career-high 19 kills against Coastal Carolina on Sept. 2. Louis leads the team with 151 kills and .328 attack percentage. Louis also has 21 blocks this season.
  • Freshman Brie Orr has taken charge of the Hawkeye offense, amassing 38 assists in her debut and eclipsing that mark with 55 assists against Coastal Carolina. She has 515 assists this season.


  • Nebraska finished non-conference play with a 7-3 record after a 2-1 weekend at the Omaha Challenge hosted by UNO at Baxter Arena. The Huskers swept Kansas State and Omaha but were upset by Northern Iowa, 3-1, which snapped the Big Red’s six-match win streak.
  • Nebraska ranks 13th nationally in opponent hitting percentage after holding foes to .137 through non-conference play. The Huskers rank third in the Big Ten in that category. As a team, the Huskers are 4th in the B1G with 16.50 digs per set.
  • Mikaela Foecke leads the Huskers with 3.29 kills per set and is averaging 2.71 digs per set. The junior has four double-doubles this season. Jazz Sweet adds 2.74 kills per set and is hitting a team-high .354. The freshman right-side hitter has at least five kills in every match this season.
  • Annika Albrecht was named the co-MVP of the Omaha Challenge last weekend. The senior outside hitter is averaging 2.68 kills and 2.97 digs per set. Albrecht has 114 career service aces, which ranks 10th in NU career history. With three more aces, she will move into a tie for ninth.
  • Senior setter Kelly Hunter is putting up 10.04 assists per set and 2.48 digs per set. The only NCAA Division I setter who has set her team to both a national and conference championship, Hunter is the eighth Husker in school history to surpass 3,000 career assists. She now has 3,132 in her career and ranks seventh in school history. With 67 more assists she will pass Lauren Cook for sixth in NU history.


  • Rutgers is 0-5 against Iowa in the all-time series dating back to 1997. Since RU joined the Big Ten, the Hawkeyes are 4-0. Last season, Iowa won in straight sets in October at the College Ave. Gym before claiming a four-set victory in Iowa in November. Rutgers took the fourth set in that match, 25-23. Rutgers’ middle blocker Jasmine Stackhouse posted eight kills and seven blocks.
  • Since joining the Big Ten in 2014, Rutgers is winless in three tries against Nebraska. Last season, the Cornhuskers were ranked No. 1 in the nation when they came into College Ave. Gym for a straight-set victory on Nov. 5.


Rutgers (5-7) concluded the 2017 tournament schedule with its second invitational crown this season at the Robert Morris Invitational. The Scarlet Knights earned the title thanks to a 2-0 record on Friday with a pair of four-set wins over Penn and Middle Tennessee State before dropping the finale in four sets to the host Colonials.

The win over Penn was powered by a season-high 59 kills and three Scarlet Knights in double-figures for kills, including freshman opposite hitter Kamila Cieslik’s 20, sophomore opposite hitter Jillian Duffin’s career-high 13 and freshman outside hitter Yana Kamshilina’s 11. The MTSU victory saw the Scarlet Knights hit a season-best .307, paced by Kamshilina’s 11 kills and .667 attack percentage. Sophomore setter Megan Sharkey was the conductor with a total of 86 assists on Friday.

The Scarlet Knights opened the 2017 season with a tournament championship at the East Carolina Invitational. Following a loss to Georgia State, Rutgers rebounded with the first two victories of the season over William & Mary and the host Pirates.


Kamila Cieslik has made an immediate impact and currently ranks near the top of all Big Ten players in hitting. The Rutgers rookie is ranked 10th this week in the B1G with 3.40 kills/set. Cieslik was named to three All-Tournament Teams this preseason, including an MVP performance at the ECU Invitational. She made the Seton Hall Classic All-Tourrnament Team with 3.67 kills/set on a .424 hitting percentage, four service aces, 14 digs and eight blocks. She was also named to the Kangaroo Klassic All-Tournament Team with 21 kills, seven blocks and 18 digs. She served up at least one ace per match over that stretch with four total.


Rutgers ranks 38th in the NCAA and fourth in the Big Ten with 1.64 service aces per set. Kamila Cieslik leads the way with 19 aces as her 0.44 per set mark ranks 50th nationally and fourth in the conference. Stasa Miljevic and Megan Sharkey also have double-digit figures in the ace department with 14 apiece. When Rutgers out-aces an opponent, they are 5-1 this season.


The second set has proved to be the most important in all of the Scarlet Knights’ 12 matches this season. RU is 5-0 when winning the second set, and 0-7 when dropping it.


With Big Ten play beginning, a gauntlet of nationally ranked talent awaits. The preseason American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 rankings included eight programs from the Big Ten, including four in the Top 10.

Currently ranked programs include No. 1 Minnesota, No. 2 Penn State, No. 5 Wisconsin, No. 13 Purdue, No. 14 Nebraska and No. 20 Michigan. Rutgers will host Nebraska, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue and Penn State – all of which were ranked in the Preseason Top 25 – this season in the College Ave. Gym.

Follow Rutgers Volleyball on Twitter and Instagram (@RUvball) for all of the latest news and updates. The team is also on Facebook ( For all Rutgers Athletics news follow us on Twitter(@RUAthletics), Instagram (@RUAthletics), Snapchat (@RUAthletics) and Facebook (

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