No. 1 Nebraska Tames Tigers 3-0

All-American Jennifer Saleaumua's nine kills and 11 digs led No. 1 Nebraska to a 30-13, 30-14, 30-17 victory over Pacific in front of a crowd of 7,317 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center Saturday afternoon.

Jennifer Saleaumua's performance led a sparkling Husker defensive effort, as Nebraska (7-0) held the Tigers to -.073 hitting, the third-lowest total by a Husker opponent in the John Cook era. NU dominated at the net, out-blocking the Tigers, 17-4.5, as All-Americans Melissa Elmer and Sarah Pavan posted eight and seven blocks, respectively, in the win.

Saleaumua led a balanced offensive, as five Huskers had at least six kills in hitting .348 as a team, as Nebraska did not commit an attack error until midway through the second game.

"Yesterday we did not play a very clean, crisp match," Nebraska Coach John Cook said. "Normally in the Devaney (Center) it seems like we've always struggled and played sloppy, but today they did a great job."

Saturday's victory sets up a match with fourth-ranked Penn State Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. The match will be carried live state-wide on NET-2 and tape-delayed nationally in College Sports Television.

"Penn State is the big one because they're just so good," Cook said. "I think it's going to be a great match and really help our team set up for the Big 12 and help our team set up to where we have to go for a National Championship."

The Huskers got an early spark in game one with the return of Tracy Stalls in the 30-14 victory. Stalls, who missed NU's first six matches, recorded a block on her first play and finished with four blocks and a pair of kills in game one. Nebraska, which hit .464 on 28 swings in the opener, seized control with a 14-2 spurt, turning a 5-3 lead until a commanding 14-point lead and were never threatened.

The key was, we wanted to get her in while she was warm, instead of standing around for two games and then going in," Cook said. "We started her, she did great that first game and she got a lot of confidence."

Nebraska wasted little time in game two, using the serving of Christina Houghtelling and the all-around effort of Elmer to take a 15-2 lead and roll to a 16-point win. Houghtelling ran off 11 straight points from the service line in a 12-0 Husker run, while Elmer totaled four kills and four blocks.

In the finale, Nebraska trailed 2-0, but ran off a 9-1 run behind the serving of freshman Jordan Larson, who also had eight kills and 11 digs in the match. NU eventually built a 28-13 lead and cruised to the 13-point win to close out its fifth sweep of the season.

The InfoUSA/Arby's Players Challenge wraps up on Sunday afternoon, as Nebraska takes on Penn State at 3 p.m. The match will also be carried on the Pinnacle Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln. Pacific and Pepperdine will play Sunday's first match at 1 p.m.

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