There were a few of those big boomers that Nebraska volleyball player Mikaela Foecke hits when we had a film session with Husker coach John Cook to watch some of Foecke’s biggest and best kills this season, including one where Cook actually said "boom."
"She just blows this setter up. Boom," Cook said. "That is a scary sight right there. I admire that Michigan setter for hanging in there. But that’s when you see people get hit in the face. That’s a hard hit right there."
What everybody loves about Foecke is those big kills, and they account for a good chunk of the 1,608 kills she’s had at Nebraska, the fourth-most in program history.
But what you’ll learn by watching more closely is that Foecke has a lot more to her game. She can hit shots that hit off the blocker’s hands and off the court into the area where Cook always tells the players there are no diggers.
And just when the defense is bracing for a big kill, she mixes in a tip, which may be even more deflating to the opponent than a big kill.
"I tell Mikaela all the time, you’re the best tipper in college volleyball because you’re one of the hardest hitters, so everybody thinks you’re going to hit it hard," Cook said.
Foecke is having the best season of her career with 438 kills and an extremely good .317 hitting percentage. Her power helps her limit her hitting errors because she doesn’t have to try and finesse a shot around the block as much, but it’s also the mindset she takes to the court.
"She’s like old Nebraska football," Cook said. "We’re going to run the option; stop us. I’m bringing it; stop me. And if you dig her, she’s going hit it harder on the next one."