Elmer's Near Perfect in Win over Creighton

All-American Melissa Elmer was nearly flawless, as Nebraska improved to 16-0 on the season with a 30-11, 30-24, 30-18 victory over in-state rival Creighton on Tuesday night.

Melissa Elmer, the senior middle blocker from Fort Wayne, Ind., totaled 11 kills on 12 swings, hitting a career-best .917 while adding eight blocks. Elmer, who was making a bid to become only the 21st player in NCAA history to record a perfect hitting evening with at least 10 kills, was successful on her first 11 attempts before her final shot of the night was dug by Korie Lebeda with the Huskers leading 20-13 in game three.

Her .917 is the highest since Megan Korver went a perfect 10-of-10 against Iowa State in 1998 and is the highest hitting percentage in the Big 12 this season.

"Melissa is a senior and is getting very comfortable with (junior setter) Maggie (Griffin)," Cook said about Elmer, who leads the Big 12 with a .454 hitting percentage. "She has become a very experienced player so she just knows what to do. She used to just blast everything, and now, when she gets a low set or a tight set, she does something with it."

In addition to Elmer's effort, All-American Sarah Pavan also turned in a double-double with 12 kills and a season-high 12 digs while hitting a career-best .632. Christina Houghtelling was the third Husker in double figures, totaling 11 kills, as Nebraska hit .393 and held Creighton to .000 hitting.

"We're trying to cut down our errors," Cook said. "Tonight Meghan (Smith) struggled a little bit, but you take out her errors, and 10 errors in three games is pretty good."

In the opener, the Huskers used a pair of 9-0 runs to roll to a 30-11 victory. The Huskers hit .370 as a team with Pavan and Jennifer Saleaumua recording four and three kills, respectively. Nebraska took command early on, using a 9-0 run, as Griffin ran off eight straight points at the service line. Creighton eventually closed to within 20-11, but Elmer, who leads the nation in blocking, took over, recording three blocks as the Huskers closed the game by scoring the final nine points. Elmer had two kills and four blocks, as NU held the Bluejays to -.170 hitting in game one.

Elmer continued her outstanding play in game two, totaling seven kills on seven swings, as the Huskers sweated out a 30-24 victory. The Huskers used a 6-2 run to turn an 11-9 lead into a six-point cushion, but Creighton rallied back. The Bluejays scored eight unanswered points, taking an 18-17 lead on a Leah Retzlaff kill before a Husker error gave Creighton a two-point lead and hushed the sellout NU Coliseum crown. Trailing 21-18, the Huskers responded with an 8-1 run behind Pavan, who had two kills and a block in a three-point span to help NU regain the lead before Elmer capped the run with a kill of an overpass to make it 27-22. CU closed to within 29-24, but Elmer's ninth kill of the night sent NU to the locker room with a 2-0 lead.

The Huskers continued to heat up in the finale, hitting .425 in a 30-18 victory. Nebraska set the tone early, jumping out to an 11-3 lead, as NU took advantage of several Bluejay hitting errors. Leading 13-7, the Houghtelling's two kills sparked a 5-2 run that effectively any chance for the visitors to avoid their eighth sweep in as many meetings to the Huskers.

Leah Ratzlaff led Creighton with 11 kills, while Kelly Goc added eight kills on .368 hitting as the Bluejays fell to 8-10 on the year.

The Huskers continue the three-match homestand on Wednesday, Oct. 12, as they host Texas Tech. First serve is set for 7 p.m. and the match will be carried by Time Warner Cable (Ch. 102), Cox Cable (Ch. 802) and Pinpoint Communications in selected cities.


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