No. 8 Huskers Pounce on Tigers in Big 12 Opener

Jennifer Saleaumua and Melissa Elmer had 13 kills apiece, as the eighth-ranked Nebraska volleyball team opened Big 12 play with a 30-27, 30-24, 31-29 win over Missouri in front of a sellout crowd of 4,127 at the NU Coliseum Wednesday evening. The veterans of the Huskers lineup, Saleaumua and Elmer combined to hit .438 on 48 swings, as the Huskers hit .331 as a team - its second-highest total of the year - en route to winning its fifth straight Big 12 opener.

Nebraska Head Coach John Cook said the Huskers showed the intensity needed to be successful in conference play.

 "It was the most intense match of the year," Cook said. "Missouri competed well the whole time, and we knew it was going to be a tough fight all the way through."

Saleaumua had 13 kills and hit .463 while adding eight digs, while Elmer hit .455 on 22 swings as Nebraska improved to 6-1 on the season. In all, four Huskers had at least 10 kills, including sophomore Christina Houghtelling, who matched a career high with 10 kills and hit .346. Sarah Pavan rounded out the Husker quartet with 12 kills and a season-high seven blocks. Dani Busboom added her fourth double-double of the year with 50 assists and 13 digs, while adding four key kills in the win.

Cook said that Missouri's effort forced the Huskers to be sharp throughout the contest.

 "It was a great opening Big 12 match," Cook said. "Missouri competed well and forced us to take the next step with our level of play. We had to play at a high level the whole match and played very well for long periods of time."

Jessica Vender Kooi led Missouri (4-3, 0-1 Big 12) with 14 kills, while Shen Danru and Lisa Boyd added 11 each in the loss.

In game one, Elmer and Saleaumua combined for 12 kills and hit a combined .380 in a 30-27 win. NU got off to a quick start, scoring the first four points and eventually building a quick 10-4 advantage. The Huskers led by as many as eight points and had a 27-20 lead before the Tigers came roaring back. Missouri closed to within 28-27 behind the play of Danru, who had six kills in game one, but kills by Houghtelling and Elmer sealed the game one win for Nebraska.

The teams traded the lead throughout game two before Nebraska's late surge pulled out a 30-24 win. Nebraska trailed 15-12 before tying the match with three straight points, including two kills by Houghtelling. NU took the lead for good at 22-21 on a block by Elmer and Saleaumua before a Busboom kill gave NU a two-point cushion. Leading 26-24, Busboom added her second kill of the game to begin a game-closing 4-0 run, as she ran off the final three points from the service line.

In the finale, the Huskers seized control midway though and had to withstand a late Tiger rally for a 31-29 win. Nebraska had leads of 28-22 and 29-25 before the Tigers scored four straight points to tie the match. Elmer, who had four kills on five swings in game three, gave NU a 30-29 lead on a kill before an error by Danru completed the Husker sweep.

Nebraska returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 18, as they travel to Texas Tech to take on the Red Raiders. First serve is at 7 p.m. and will be carried on the Pinnacle Sports Network, while video streaming is available on HuskersNside.

               MU vs #8 Nebraska (Sep 15, 2004 at Lincoln, Neb.)

   MU                     |     ATTACK      |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF|  BLOCK |GEN
## Name                 GP|  K   E  TA   PCT|  A| SA  SE| RE|DIG|BS BA BE|BHE
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2  Hunter, Lindsey.....  3|  1   4   8 -.375| 39|  3   1|  0| 10| 0  2  2|  0
3  Vander Kooi, Jessica  3| 14   8  38  .158|  2|  0   0|  1| 11| 1  0  2|  0
6  Danru, Shen.........  3| 11   5  37  .162|  0|  0   1|  2|  9| 0  4  0|  1
8  Boyd, Lisa..........  3| 11   1  27  .370|  0|  0   0|  0|  3| 1  2  1|  0
10 Yang, Na............  3|  0   3  10 -.300|  2|  1   0|  0|  4| 1  0  0|  0
13 Wilson, Nicole......  3|  9   1  17  .471|  0|  3   1|  0|  3| 0  4  0|  0
9  Ailes, Tatum........  3|  0   0   1  .000|  0|  1   0|  0| 12| 0  0  0|  0
12 Noll, Lindsey.......  3|  0   2   4 -.500|  0|  0   0|  0|  0| 0  0  0|  0
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Totals..............  3| 46  24 142  .155| 43|  8   3|  3| 52| 3 12  5|  1

 TEAM ATTACK PER GAME                               TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 9.0
 Game  K  E  TA   Pct
   1  16  6  47  .213   GAME SCORES               1  2  3  TEAM RECORDS
   2  14  7  44  .159   MU.................. (0) 27 24 29  4-3
   3  16 11  51  .098   Nebraska............ (3) 30 30 31  6-1

   Nebraska               |     ATTACK      |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF|  BLOCK |GEN
## Name                 GP|  K   E  TA   PCT|  A| SA  SE| RE|DIG|BS BA BE|BHE
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
3  Houghtelling, Chris.  3| 10   1  26  .346|  0|  0   1|  2|  5| 0  0  0|  0
8  Elmer, Melissa......  3| 13   3  22  .455|  0|  0   1|  0|  2| 0  3  0|  0
9  Pavan, Sarah........  3| 12   6  34  .176|  2|  1   1|  0|  4| 1  6  0|  0
11 Stalls, Tracy.......  3|  7   3  15  .267|  0|  1   2|  0|  4| 1  5  1|  0
18 Busboom, Dani.......  3|  4   0   8  .500| 50|  1   2|  0| 13| 0  0  0|  1
26 Saleaumua, Jennifer.  3| 13   2  26  .423|  1|  0   1|  1|  8| 0  2  0|  0
1  McCormick, Amanda...  3|  0   0   2  .000|  3|  0   0|  5| 19| 0  0  0|  0
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Totals..............  3| 59  15 133  .331| 56|  3   9|  8| 55| 2 16  1|  1

 TEAM ATTACK PER GAME                               TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 10.0
 Game  K  E  TA   Pct
   1  22  8  51  .275   Site: Lincoln, Neb. (NU Coliseum)
   2  21  4  41  .415   Date: Sep 15, 2004   Attend: 4127   Time: 1:35
   3  16  3  41  .317   Referees: Rick Welch, Daryl Korinek


 


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