No. 3 Huskers Sweep No. 18 Kansas State

Jennifer Saleaumua and Dani Busboom both recorded double-doubles, leading third-ranked Nebraska to a 30-27, 30-24, 30-13 win over No. 18 Kansas State in front of a sellout crowd of 4,154 at the NU Coliseum Saturday evening.

The Huskers shined on the defensive end of the court, out-digging the Wildcats (15-9, 9-5 Big 12) 57-41 and holding Kansas State to a season-low .089 hitting, as Nebraska has now held five of its last six opponents to under .150 hitting.

 "I was very pleased and thought we gave a nice effort," Nebraska Coach John Cook said.  "Game one was a little shaky, but K-State is so different from Texas Tech, and it took us a little while to adjust to them.  After game one, I thought we played well and our blocking defense was outstanding."

"They made a great effort out there," Kansas State Coach Suzie Fritz said. "We took big swings, and they would turn it around on us."

Saleaumua had 15 kills on .444 hitting and a match-high 14 digs, while Busboom recorded her team-best 12th double-double of the year with 50 assists and 11 digs to help Nebraska (21-1, 15-0 Big 12) to their 18th straight win. The win also improved NU to a perfect 8-0 against ranked teams this season.

 "Jen showed tonight why she's one of the premier players in the conference." Cook said after Saleaumua's eighth double-double of the year.  "She knows where the openings are and she has a great feel for the game.  She gives teams fits because they think she's covered, but she puts the ball where they aren't."

Freshman Sarah Pavan joined Saleaumua in double figures with a match-high 16 kills on .367 hitting, as the Huskers hit .291, including .517 in the finale.

Game one went back and forth as the teams traded the lead seven times before the Huskers used a 4-1 spurt to take the opener. With the score tied at 19, kills by Saleaumua and Pavan put the Huskers up 21-19 before the Huskers pushed the margin to 23-20 after a Wildcat hitting error. Kansas State kept clawing back, closing to within 28-27 on a kill by Vali Hejjas, but could not take the lead as kills by Busboom and Tracy Stalls closed NU's 30-27 win.

Agata Rezende had seven of her team-high nine kills in the opener for Kansas State, while Pavan and Saleaumua had five kills each for Nebraska,

Saleaumua continued her strong play in game two with six kills on .545 hitting and five digs, as the Huskers also received a strong effort from Dani Mancuso in the 30-24 win. Mancuso, who had a career-high 22 kills in the first match-up, had four of her eight kills and added five digs in game two alone to provide a spark off the bench. The Huskers, who trailed for much of the early stages, used a decisive 7-1 spurt to turn a 19-all tie into a 26-21 Husker advantage after a pair of kills by Saleaumua and a kill from Pavan. KSU got to within 29-24, but Mancuso ended the Wildcats' upset hops with a kill moments later.

The Huskers turned in one of the best games of the season, hitting .517 and holding KSU to -.065 hitting in a 30-13 dismantling. The Wildcats were within 8-6 when Tracy Stalls took over the match for an 8-0 Husker run. The freshman middle blocker started the spurt with a kill before serving seven consecutive points, as NU took a 16-6 lead. Moments later, Busboom's tough serving triggered a 7-0 spurt as NU built a 22-7 lead after two straight aces by the sophomore setter and cruised to the sweep.

The Huskers return to action tomorrow afternoon, as they take on ninth-ranked Colorado State in a match that will be shown live nationally on College Sports Television and locally on Nebraska Educational Television. First serve from the NU Coliseum is set for 5 p.m. and the match can be heard on the Pinnacle Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln.

-- Huskers --


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