Larson Leads Huskers Past Texas Tech

Jordan Larson's double-double led three Huskers in double figures, as the No. 1 ranked Huskers improved to 17-0 with a 30-16, 30-18, 30-22 victory or Texas Tech in front of a sellout crowd of 4,091 at the Nebraska Coliseum Wednesday.

Larson totaled her fourth double-double of the season with a match-high 14 kills on .440 hitting, 12 digs and a career-best four aces. It marked the seventh time Larson, a 6-foot-2 freshman from Hooper, Neb., has led the Huskers in kills, as the Huskers remained unbeaten in the Big 12 at 8-0 heading into Saturday's showdown with No. 18 Texas.

"She's still a freshman in regards to how she fits in with the team, but obviously the setters have a lot of confidence in her," Cook said. "The bigger the game, the better she plays. She loves this stuff. She was born to be a Husker volleyball player."

All-American Sarah Pavan and Christina Houghtelling also reached double figures in kills, totaling 13 and 11 respectively, as the Huskers out-hit Texas Tech .310-.089. Pavan hit .368 and had five blocks and eight digs, while Houghtelling hit .550 and had four blocks, including a pair of solo stuffs. All-American Melissa Elmer led NU's efforts at the net, as she totaled 10 blocks, including six in the opening game, to reach double figures for the fifth time this year.

The Huskers, playing for the second straight night, came out blocking in the opener, totaling eight of their 16 blocks a 30-16 victory. Elmer had four of blocks during a 9-1 spurt to open the match, as the Huskers held Texas Tech to -.083 hitting in game one.

Cook said he was pleased that Nebraska was focused on playing well early, and that set the tone for the match.

"I wanted to see what the focus would be on our second night," Cook said. " When Texas Tech really got beat by Iowa State (last week) I was worried they would come in and think we could just beat Texas Tech, but they really came out focused tonight.

While Nebraska's blocking keyed game one, the Husker offense got untracked in game two, hitting .410 in a 30-18 victory. Houghtelling had five kills on 10 swings, while Larson added six kills on .556 hitting and five digs. The first half of the game saw nine ties before Elmer keyed a 4-0 run with a kill and a block, turning a 10-all tie into a 14-10 lead. The Red Raiders were within 17-13, but Houghtelling's three kills ignited a 9-3 run that gave NU a comfortable 26-16 advantage and sent NU with a 2-0 lead heading to the locker room.

In the finale, the Huskers from Elmer, who had just two kills through the first two games, and Larson in a 30-22 win. The duo combined on 10 kills on 18 swings, as the Huskers pulled away late. The Red Raiders were within 19-17 before the Huskers ran off five straight points, including two kills by Larson, and took a 24-17 lead on a Tracy Stalls kill, ending the visitors best opportunity of the match.

Philister Sang led Texas Tech with 12 kills as no other Red Raider recorded more than five in dropping to 9-8 overall and 3-5 in the league.

The Huskers conclude the three-match homestand on Saturday, Oct. 15, as they host Texas. First serve is set for 7 p.m. and the match will be carried on Nebraska Educational Television (Ch. 12) and on NET-HD (Ch. 112) throughout the state of Nebraska.

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