Sarah Pavan's match-high 13 kills led a balanced attack, as second-ranked Nebraska rebounded from Friday's upset to Florida A&M with a 30-19, 30-21, 30-20, win over Ball State in front of a sellout crowd of 4,142 at the NU Coliseum Saturday evening.

">

Sarah Pavan's match-high 13 kills led a balanced attack, as second-ranked Nebraska rebounded from Friday's upset to Florida A&M with a 30-19, 30-21, 30-20, win over Ball State in front of a sellout crowd of 4,142 at the NU Coliseum Saturday evening.

">

Huskers Show Balance in Sweep of Ball State

<P><FONT size="1"><P><FONT face="Times New Roman" size="2">Sarah Pavan's match-high 13 kills led a balanced attack, as second-ranked Nebraska rebounded from Friday's upset to Florida A&amp;M with a 30-19, 30-21, 30-20, win over Ball State in front of a sellout crowd of 4,142 at the NU Coliseum Saturday evening.</FONT></P>

The Huskers, who improved to 4-1 on the season, had four players total at least nine kills in the sweep of the Cardinals. In addition to Pavan, who hit .370 on 27 swings, Jennifer Saleaumua had 12 kills and added 13 digs, while sophomore Christina Houghtelling made the most of her second start of the year with a nine-kill effort.

Freshman middle blocker Tracy Stalls rounded out the quartet with nine kills on .571 hitting and a match-high five blocks, as Nebraska out-hit the Cardinals, .303- (-.018) behind a 39-assist effort from Dani Busboom.

While the Huskers committed 14 service errors, Nebraska Coach John Cook thought the Huskers played more consistently than in Friday's loss.

"Besides our missed serves, I thought we played much better tonight and we started getting into a rhythm, and getting the first one out of the way really helped us out a lot," Cook said. "We also needed a wake-up call.  I think we started believing that we were better than what they were. We got a long ways to go but we took a step tonight."

The Huskers' outside hitting trio of Pavan, Houghtelling and Saleaumua got NU going quickly in game one, combining for 15 Nebraska's 18 kills in a 30-19 win. Pavan had seven kills in 12 swings, as the Huskers hit .438. The Huskers led 19-15 before using a 7-1 run to take a commanding lead. Busboom served five straight points, while Pavan and Houghtelling added two kills apiece in the spurt.

Stalls was the Huskers' big performer in game two, as she made major contributions all over the court in NU's 30-21 win. Leading 14-11, the Huskers took control of the game with a 7-0 spurt with Stalls running of six straight points behind the service line. The 6-3 freshman from Arvada, Colo., had three kills on five swings in game two, while helping to hold Ball State to -.077 hitting.

In the finale, Ball State came back from an early deficit to tie the score at 11 before Nebraska put the match out of reach. Stalls, who had four kills and four blocks in game three, helped NU regain the lead at 12-11, starting a decisive 8-0 run. With Houghtelling delivering strong serves, the Huskers pushed their advantage to 19-11, as Saleaumua added a pair of kills to lead the way. Saleaumua had six kills on .545 hitting in the finale on her way to her third double-double of the year.

Kirby Gibson and Rachel Refenes paced Ball State (3-3) with six kills apiece, while Sarah Obras was held to just four kills, marking the first time in 40 matches that she failed to reach double figures. 

In the opener, Florida A&M improved to 2-0 in tournament play with a 30-26, 30-20, 30-18 victory over Maryland. Adriana Kostadinova paced the Lady Rattlers (3-2) with 16 kills, as Florida A&M out-hit Maryland, .341-.123. Andreina Ruiz added 12 kills for the winners, while Sarah Treadwell paced Marylnad (1-4) with 14 kills on .233 hitting.

The tournament concludes Sunday as Ball State will face Florida A&M at Noon, while the Huskers will take on Maryland at 2 p.m. NU's match will be carried live on the Pinnacle Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln. The match will also be video streamed live on the Internet on HuskersNside.


Big Red Report Top Stories