Florida A&M Stuns No. 2 Nebraska, 3-1

Tereza Arellano had 16 kills, while Florida A&M capitalized on Nebraska miscues to pull off a stunning 30-25, 16-30, 30-28, 30-28 upset over the second-ranked Huskers in front of a sellout crowd of 4,151 at the NU Coliseum Friday evening.

The Lady Rattlers not only surprised the Huskers in their home opener, but became the first unranked non-conference team to win in the Coliseum since Nebraska-Omaha won a five-game match over the Huskers in 1986. It was also Nebraska's first loss to an unranked non-conference foe since 1996.

The Huskers out-hit the Lady Rattlers, .210-.168, but committed 15 service errors, compared to only eight for the visitors. NU out-blocked FAMU, 11-2, including six by freshman Tracy Stalls and five by Melissa Elmer , was held to under .200 in three of the four games.

The Huskers received career-high performances from freshman Sarah Pavan, who totaled her first career double-double with a match-high 24 kills on .354 hitting and 15 digs, and sophomore Dani Mancuso, who matched her career best with a 16-kill effort and added 11 digs.

Andreina Ruiz and Adriana Kostadinova also totaled double-figure kill efforts for the victors with 15 and 14, respectively, as Florida A&M improved to 2-2 on the season.

The Huskers led Florida A&M in nearly every category in game one, but were doomed at the service line, committing eight service errors in a 30-25 loss. FAMU opened game one with a 9-2 spurt and never trailed. The Huskers closed to within 11-9 after a block by Elmer and Mancuso, but could not get any closer, as Florida A&M scored seven of the next eight points. Ruiz did most of the damage in game one with five kills and a .625 hitting percentage.

In the second game, Nebraska evened the match with an impressive 30-16 win. Elmer's strong serving sparked the key Husker run, as Nebraska rattled off eight consecutive points to turn a 7-7 deadlock into a commanding 15-7 lead. Pavan had six kills on 10 swings, while Stalls added four kills on .500 hitting and three blocks to knot the match.

In game three, Mancuso, who had seven kills on .538 hitting in the game, helping the Huskers build a 21-16 lead, but they could not hold on, as the Rattlers came back for a 30-28 win. Trailing 25-21, Arellano carried FAMU back during a decisive 9-3 run with four of her seven kills in the game.

The finale swung back and fourth, as the teams traded the lead. NU, which trailed by as many as three points on three occasions, rallied to take the lead at 26-25 on an attack error, but could not send the match to a fifth game. The Rattlers scored the next three points to take a two-point lead and closed the match moments later on Kostadinova's 14th kill of the evening.

In the first match of the evening, Sarah Treadwell had 18 kills, while Jennifer DeWalt added 17 kills and hit .467 to lead Maryland to a 30-28, 25-30, 30-25, 31-29 win over Ball State The Terrapins placed four played with 10 or more kills and outhit the Cardinals, 253-123 for their first win of the year. Sarah Obras led Ball State with a match-high 24 kills, while Rachel Refenes added 16 as the Cardinals dipped to 3-2 on the year.

The First National Bank/Arby's Classic continues Saturday afternoon with Florida A&M taking on Maryland at 4 p.m. before Nebraska takes on Ball State at 6 p.m.


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