LINCOLN — Kadie Rolfzen waited four years from the time she committed to play volleyball at Nebraska to when she first slipped on a Husker jersey. So imagine her annoyance at having her college debut delayed by a shoulder injury.
And imagine Husker fans' relief that the former Papillion-La Vista South star didn't waste much time on the attack once she finally took the court.
Rolfzen's 14 kills led No. 13 Nebraska to a sweep of previously unbeaten Georgia 25-21, 25-23, 25-14 in front of 8,265 at the Devaney Center on Saturday afternoon.
The freshman outside hitter, who played as an attacker in only one spring exhibition match and missed the Huskers' first three matches this fall because of shoulder soreness, has led NU in kills in each of her first two college matches this weekend. Rolfzen began taking full swings in practices only last week, but quickly has developed an on-court chemistry with junior setter Mary Pollmiller.
“I think we just have a good feel for where each other is,” Rolfzen said. “Like, if she's off, I know where she's going to put it. Just the vibe we have with each other has clicked so far.”
Saturday's match provided plenty of the big swings that Rolfzen displayed at Papio South, but included a variety of roll shots and measured attacks to show she has added some tricks since arriving at Nebraska in January.
“College is more advanced than high school,” Rolfzen said. “I guess you can say in high school I just hit over the block. But here, you have to work your feet. We get great sets. Mary is doing an excellent job putting it wherever I want the ball.”
Rolfzen hit .323 on 31 swings Saturday, showing no fatigue from taking 29 attempts Friday night against Villanova. Still, Nebraska coach John Cook said he will monitor Rolfzen's progress, careful not to overuse a newcomer who adds another dangerous weapon to the Nebraska offense.
“We've got to see how her shoulder feels tomorrow,” Cook said. “It felt good today, so that's why we let her play, but this is going to be a process bringing her back. She took 31 swings today. She's taking good swings for her. In other words, she's doing a good job of having good mechanics, which will help her arm.”
Kelsey Robinson added nine kills for Nebraska (4-1), and sophomore middle blocker Meghan Haggerty had her best match of the young season with eight kills and one error on 14 swings. The Huskers previously had been slow to get Haggerty attempts, but NU passed well enough Saturday to execute Haggerty's specialty, the slide play, which Cook said was a big part of the game plan against Georgia (4-1).
“It was a goal to start getting the slide going because we've had trouble connecting in the past few games,” Haggerty said. “I had a feeling we were getting more confidence today, so that's good to see.”
The Bulldogs came into Saturday's match having not lost a game this year, and seemed poised to take the opener after racking up six blocks in Game 1. Georgia led 19-14 before Nebraska stepped up its defense to reel off an 11-2 run to end the game.
Amber Rolfzen teamed with Cecilia Hall for a pair of blocks during the run, and Robinson added a solo stuff to help NU win the last seven rallies on the serve of freshman defensive specialist Brenna Lyles.
Nebraska hit just .111 in Game 1 but rebounded to notch a .391 attack percentage over the last two games.
Maggie Baumert of Elkhorn, a sophomore setter for Georgia, handed out 14 assists for the Bulldogs.
The Huskers finished with eight blocks — six from Hall — and held the Bulldogs to .181 attacking. Georgia entered the match with a .333 hitting percentage.
The Bulldogs' hitting prowess was just one reason Cook admitted to losing sleep Friday night — the other being the emotional weight of coaching against his former assistant Lizzy Stemke. Cook also coached Stemke and Georgia assistant Colleen Bayer at Wisconsin in the late 1990s.
“It's hard to coach against former coaches and players,” he said. “It always creates another stress level for the old guys. For them, it's a win-win. For the old guys, it's stressful.”
Georgia (4-1) .................................... 21 23 14
At Nebraska (4-1) ............................ 25 25 25
UGA (kills-aces-blocks): Teknipp 10-0-0, Northcutt 9-0-1, Le'au 7-0-4, Perri 5-0-2, Eatmon 3-0-3, Smith 2-0-2, Kehoe 1-1-0, Spencer 1-0-0, Baumert 1-0-0.
NU: K. Rolfzen 14-0-0, Robinson 9-1-3, Haggerty 8-0-1, A. Rolfzen 6-2-3, Pollmiller 3-0-1, Hall 2-0-6, Broekhuis 1-0-0, Wong-Orantes 1-0-0, Ethridge 0-1-0, Lyles 0-1-0.
Set assists: UGA 38 (Kehoe 20, Baumert 14, Summers 3, Buckendahl 1), NU 42 (Pollmiller 31, Hunter 5, Robinson 2, Wong-Orantes 2, Ethridge 1, A. Rolfzen 1).