Pavan leads Huskers in Red/White Scrimmage

If you wanted to know how good true freshman, Sarah Pavan was going to be, Husker fans didn't have to wait long to find out. Pavan paced the red team for Nebraska as they swept the whites, Pavan helping a solid all-around effort as the reds dominate during the 2004 Red/White game.

Freshman Sarah Pavan's match-high 21 kills led three players in double figures as the Red team swept the White squad, 30-20, 30-24, 30-21, Saturday evening in a volleyball scrimmage front of a crowd of 2,808 at the NU Coliseum.

Pavan, a 6-foot-5 freshman from Kitchener, Ontario, made an impressive Husker debut, hitting .375 on 40 swings while also adding 11 digs for a double-double.  She also contributed three of the Red squad's eight service aces in the three-game sweep.

All-American middle blocker Melissa Elmer and sophomore outside hitter Christina Houghtelling also finished with 11 kills apiece for the victorious Red squad.  Sophomore Dani Busboom added 49 assists, as the Red team hit well over .300 in the first and third games and finished at .258 for the evening.

Senior outside hitter Ally Rebholz led the White squad with nine kills and 14 digs, while sophomore outside hitter Kelsey Fautsch added seven kills in a losing effort.

In game one, the White squad stayed within striking distance and was within 21-18 until a Pavan kill sparked a decisive 5-0 run. The freshman outside hitter served five straight points and was helped by a pair of kills by Elmer, who had four kills and hit .429 in game one.

Houghtelling spotted the Red team a quick 8-2 lead in game two with three kills during a 6-0 run. The White team, which also included assistant coach Charlene Tagaloa and manager Bill Egbert, fought back, taking a 13-12 lead on a Fautsch kill. The game stayed tight throughout, as a combined block by Fautsch and Egbert put the Whites within 20-19. The Reds put the game away with a 7-1 run, leading 27-20 lead after a kill by freshman Meghan Smith, who led all players with six block assists.

Amanda McCormick's strong serving staked the Reds to a lead they would not relinquish in the finale. The sophomore libero served six early points, helping the Reds to a 16-10 lead. The Whites pulled to within 23-19, but would get no closer, as service aces by junior outside hitter Jennifer Saleaumua and Pavan sparked a 7-2 closing spurt.

Along with the Red/White scrimmage, the fans were treated to a three-game match by the Husker alumni, as nearly 40 players from the program's history were on hand. In addition, former All-American Janet Kruse became the fifth Husker to have her jersey retired during in-match ceremonies. Kruse, who played at NU from 1988 to 1991, was a three-time All-American and three-time academic All-American who helped the Huskers to a pair of Final Four appearances during her career.

The Huskers open the season this Friday, Sept. 3, when they travel to South Bend, Ind., for the first of a pair of matches against Notre Dame. First serve is set for 7 p.m., and will be carried on the Pinnacle Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln, and video-streamed live on the Internet at HuskersNside.

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