The 15 blocks matched a season-high set at Notre Dame on Sept. 4, as the Huskers (5-1) held the Terrapins to -.016 hitting, the second straight match that Nebraska has held an opponent in negative numbers. It was also the first time that the Huskers held consecutive opponents in negative numbers since November of 2002.
All-American Melissa Elmer accounted for eight of the blocks while adding nine kills in the win, while Tracy Stalls and Dani Busboom added seven and five blocks, respectively for Nebraska, which opens Big 12 play against Missouri on Wednesday.
"I thought we played better and our confidence grew each match this weekend," Nebraska Coach John Cook said. "I think we have confidence and momentum heading into heading into Wednesday. The key for us is if we can continue to get better every week. I'm excited that we have the potential to get a lot better as the year goes along."
The Huskers shut down outside Sarah Treadwell, who was leading Maryland in kills, to just two kills on 26 swings, as she committed nine errors and hit -.269 on the day. Treadwell, who had 32 kills in Maryland's first two tournament matches, was the Terrapins' representative to the all-tournament team.
The Husker win spoiled the return of Maryland Coach Janice Kruger, who played at Nebraska and later coached at Nebraska-Omaha before taking over the Terrapin program.
"It was a privilege coming back to Nebraska and a challenge playing the No. 2 team in the nation," Kruger said. "It was a great experience playing here, but a bit overwhelming. We just couldn't find our offense. NU has an intimidating block, and we couldn't get our kids to relax."
The Huskers used a balanced effort, as freshman Sarah Pavan paced NU with 11 kills while four other players had at least six kills in the win. Sophomore Kelsey Fautsch came off the bench to deliver a season-high six kills while hitting .463, as all 13 players on the Husker roster saw action.
Pavan, who averaged 4.80 kills and hit .354 over the weekend, and libero Amanda McCormick, who averaged 5.20 digs per game, were NU's representatives to the all-tournament team. McCormick tied Jennifer Saleaumua for team-high honors with 16 digs in Sunday's win.
Maria DiLivio led Maryland with nine kills, as the Terrapins dipped to 1-5 with their third loss to a top-15 team this season.
In the afternoon's first match, Florida A&M clinched the tournament title with a 25-30, 30-23, 30-25, 30-16 win over Ball State. Adriana Kostadinova turned in one of the finest performances in NU Coliseum history, recording a match-high 34 kills on .378 hitting in four games, as her total one shy of the four-game record set by former Nebraska Olympian Allison Weston in 1993.
Kostadinova was selected as tournament MVP, and was joined by Andreina Ruiz and Mariela Portacarrero, as Florida A&M went 3-0 on the weekend to improve to 4-2 on the season. Sarah Obras led Ball State (3-4) with 22 kills and was the Cardinals' representative on the all-tournament squad.
Nebraska begins conference play Wednesday evening, Sept. 15,
when they host Maryland at the NU Coliseum. First serve is set for 7 p.m. and
the match will be carried on the Pinnacle Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in
Lincoln, and shown state-wide on NETV.
First National Bank/Arby's Classic All-Tournament Team
Andriana Kostadinova, FAMU (Most Valuable Player)
Andreina Ruiz, FAMU
Mariela Portacarrero, FAMU
Sarah Pavan, Nebraska
Amanda McCormick, Nebraska
Sarah Treadwell, Maryland
Sarah Obras, Ball State