Huskers Sweep Colorado, 3-0

All-American Sarah Pavan had 13 kills on .579 hitting, as top-ranked Nebraska opened defense of its Big 12 title with a 30-22, 30-20, 30-23 sweep of Colorado in front of a partisan Nebraska crowd at the Coors Event Center Saturday evening.

The Huskers (9-0, 1-0) made an emphatic statement with the sweep, hitting .394 as a team, while holding the potent Buffalo attack to just .153 hitting in posting their 15th straight win over Colorado. The win also extended NU's Big 12 winning streak to 24 matches dating back to the 2003 season.

Pavan, whose .579 hitting performance was the second-best of her career, was one of four Husker attackers to hit .450 in the win. Christina Houghtelling had 12 killls on .500 hitting, while middle blockers Melissa Elmer and Tracy Stalls hit .462 and .455 respectively, as they combined for 13 kills. Elmer also had a match-high six blocks, as NU enjoyed a 12-4 advantage in blocking.

It marked the second straight match where NU had at least three hitters above .450, as the duo of Dani Busboom and Maggie Griffin combined for 39 assists in the sweep.

The Huskers raced out of the gates, jumping to a quick 6-1 lead and never looking back in a 30-22 victory in the opener. The Huskers out-hit CU, .290-026, as while also recording four blocks, including three by Elmer. The senior All-American keyed NU's quick start with two kills and a block during the opening spurt. After CU closed to within 14-10, Elmer combined with Jordan Larson on a block, triggering a 6-2 run that put the game out of reach.

In game two, the Huskers blistered the Buffaloes, hitting .483 as a team, en route to a 30-20 victory. Pavan ripped seven kills on nine swings and added a pair of blocks in the game, as Nebraska overcame an early deficit. The Huskers led 10-8 before Pavan took over, recording consecutive blocks and back-to-back kills in a 5-2 run to help NU take a 15-10 lead. The Huskers continued to extend the lead, extending the margin to 23-15 after a Pavan kill. CU then closed to within 23-17, but could not get closer, as kills by Elmer and Jennifer Saleaumua quickly pushed NU's advantage to eight points.

In the finale, the Huskers took command early in the finale, using a 6-1 run to turn a one-point lead into a 13-7 advantage. Houghtelling keyed the Huskers in game three, drilling home seven kills, as NU led by as much as 11 points before cruising to the 30-23 victory.

Allie Griffin led Colorado (4-3, 0-2 Big 12) with 16 kills, as the Buffaloes, who were fourth in the Big 12 in hitting, finished by hitting just .153 in the loss.

Nebraska returns to action this Wednesday, Sept. 21, as it hosts No. 15 Texas A&M. First serve between the Huskers and Aggies is set for 7p.m. and the match will be carried on the Pinnacle Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln. In addition, the match will also be carried on Nebraska Edcuational Television and College Sports Television.


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