No. 1 Nebraska to Host No. 12 Missouri

Nebraska returns home for one of the most anticipated matches of the season this Sunday, Nov. 13, as the Huskers host No. 12 Missouri at the NU Coliseum. First serve for the televised matchup is set for 5 p.m. as it will be shown live statewide (NET-1 and NET-HD) and to a national audience (CSTV). The match will also be carried on selected Pinnacle Sports Network stations, including B107.3 FM in

Match: #25:   NU (24-0, 15-0 Big 12) vs. No. 12 Missouri (19-3, 13-3)  
Sunday, Nov. 13 • 5 p.m. • NU Coliseum (sold out)

Television: Live on Nebraska Educational Television (Ch. 12) and NET-HD (Ch. 112), and CSTV (Ch. 610 on DirecTV, Ch. 152 on Dish Network and Ch. 305 in Lincoln)
Radio:  Pinnacle Sports Network (B107.3 FM in Lincoln and Omaha)
Live Stats/Audio:
Live Internet Video:  HuskersNside (free viewing on Sunday)
All-Time Series: Nebraska leads, 60-3-1 and has won the last four meetings
Last Meeting: Nebraska won, 3-1 (30-26,22-30,30-23,30-27 in Columbia on Oct. 5)

No. 1 Huskers Host No. 12 Missouri
Nebraska returns home for one of the most anticipated matches of the season this Sunday, Nov. 13, as the Huskers host No. 12 Missouri at the NU Coliseum. First serve for the televised matchup is set for 5 p.m. as it will be shown live statewide (NET-1 and NET-HD) and to a national audience (CSTV). The match will also be carried on selected Pinnacle Sports Network stations, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and on the Internet at HuskersNside subscribers can also watch Saturday's match live, as nearly every regular-season match will be available on the site.

The Huskers (24-0, 15-0 Big 12) have been nothing short of dominant in recent weeks, posting nine straight sweeps, including a 3-0 victory at Texas A&M on Wednesday. In that match, the Huskers hit .382 - the 12th time that NU hit above .350 this season - and out-blocked the Aggies, 13.5-2.

Missouri (19-3, 13-3 Big 12) has been on a roll in recent weeks, winning six of its last seven matches, including a three-game sweep of Baylor on Wednesday. The Tigers hit .486 against Baylor and had five players with at least 10 kills. In league action, Nebraska and Missouri rank first and second in nearly every category, including kills, assists and hitting percentage.

Did You Know?
• NU is spending its 51st week at No. 1 this week, tying UCLA for most weeks in first place of the AVCA Poll.
• With 1,143 career kills Jennifer Saleaumua is five kills away from 10th place on NU's all-time kills list. 
Tracy Stalls is averaging 1.94 blocks per game over NU's last six matches.
• NU held its last 10 opponents to under .150 hitting, as the Huskers are holding foes to a league-low .117 hitting percentage. The percentage is the best of any team in this week's CSTV/AVCA Top 25.
• Nebraska has hit .350 or better in 12 matches, including four matches above .400.

Worth Noting
Christina Houghtelling is hitting .385 over NU's last nine matches, averaging 3.58 kills, 2.42 digs and 1.23 blocks per game.
• One of the major areas of improvement in recent weeks has been Nebraska's serving. After averaging 1.13 aces through the first 19 matches, the Huskers have averaged 1.73 aces per game over the last five contests.
• 50 percent of the combined rosters from the two teams are from Nebraska, as both squads have seven players from the Cornhusker state.
• Nebraska owns a 26-match home winning streak dating back to Sept. 11, 2004. In that stretch, NU has dropped only one game (against Pepperdine on Sept. 9). The Huskers are also 6-0 against ranked foes - all coming by sweep - during the streak.
• Sunday's match will be the 67th consecutive sellout at the NU Coliseum. Nebraska is 61-5 at home during its Coliseum sellout streak.
• The Huskers have won their last 38 matches in Big 12 play, dating back to Nov. 19, 2003.
• Nebraska has won its last 48 regular-season matches dating back to Sept. 11, 2004.

Husker Probable Starters
MB - #8 Melissa Elmer: 6-2, Sr., Fort Wayne, Ind. - Elmer is a two-time All-American and arguably the country's top middle blocker. She was chosen as the mid-season National Player of the Year by, and ranks in the top-five in both blocks and hitting percentage. She leads the nation with 2.27 blocks per game, including 10 or more blocks six times, and is second in the Big 12 with a .423 hitting percentage (fifth nationally), as she averages 2.76 kills per game. She also leads the Big 12 in blocks (2.17) and is second in hitting percentage (.430) in conference matches. Elmer has 694 career blocks and is 34 away from tying Amber Holmquist's school mark of 728 (1999-02). Elmer had a match-high seven stuffs in Wednesday's win at Texas A&M. She has two double-doubles on the year (vs. Pepperdine; at Kansas) and recorded a season-best 17 kills on .546 hitting at No. 7 Missouri on Oct. 5. Elmer tied a Big 12 record with 16 blocks at Kansas on Oct. 8. She has been named MVP of the (Sports Imports Classic and InfoUSA/Arby's Players Challenge.

MB - #11 Tracy Stalls: 6-3, So., Arvada, Colo. - Stalls has played in 17 matches, averaging 1.63 blocks and 1.37 kills per game. She would rank third in the Big 12 in blocking, but is one game shy of minimum requirement. Stalls has been playing her best volleyball in recent weeks, averaging 1.72 kills on .354 hitting and 1.94 blocks in NU's last six matches. Stalls had a season-high nine kills on.500 hitting at Iowa State on Nov. 5 and had seven kills on .429 hitting and five blocks in a sweep of Texas A&M on Nov. 9. She matched her career high with nine blocks at Texas Tech on Oct. 29, one of three straight matches with at least seven blocks. Stalls, who is fifth in blocks in conference play, also had eight kills and eight blocks at Oklahoma on Sept. 28. Stalls ranked 11th nationally in blocking as a freshman at 1.65 blocks per game. Before enrolling at NU, Stalls served a two-year stint in the U.S. National Developmental Program and was on the U.S. National Team.

OPP - #9 Sarah Pavan: 6-5, So., Kitchener, Ontario - The 2004 AVCA National Freshman of the Year and first-team All-American, Pavan is averaging 3.76 kills, 1.71 digs, 1.29 blocks and 0.29 service aces per game, ranking among the league leaders in hitting percentage (.366, seventh), kills (seventh), blocks (seventh), aces (15th) and points per game (4.74, fifth). Over NU's last nine matches, Pavan is hitting .435 and averaging 4.07 kills per game. She comes off a 12-kill effort on just 21 swings with no errors at Texas A&M on Wednesday, as she hit above .450 for the eighth time this season. Pavan, who earned first-team academic all-district honors on Thursday, was dominant at Kansas State on Oct. 19 with 18 kills, six blocks and six digs. She posted her second double-double of the year with 12 kills and 12 digs against Creighton on Oct. 11. Pavan had 11 kills and nine blocks at Kansas on Oct. 8 and had a season-high 18 kills and 11 digs at Missouri on Oct. 5. Against Pepperdine on Sept. 9, Pavan recorded her first career triple-double with 11 kills, 11 blocks and 10 digs, becoming the first Husker outside hitter since Nancy Metcalf in 1999 to accomplish the feat. Pavan, who carries a 4.0 GPA in biochemistry, was a member of the Canadian National Team at age 16.

OH - #3 Christina Houghtelling: 6-2, Jr., Cambridge, Neb. - Houghtelling has emerged as an All-American and academic All-American candidate in 2005, ranking among the Big 12 leaders in kills (3.59, 11th) and hitting percentage (.353, eighth). She has reached double figures in kills 18 times, including a team-high 13 kills on .409 hitting at Texas A&M on Nov.9. Over her last three matches, she is hitting .429 and averaging 4.00 kills per game, as she has hit .400 or better in 12 matches this season. She had 14 kills on .462 hitting at No. 23 Kansas State on Oct. 19. Houghtelling picked up her third double-double of 2005 at Kansas on Oct. 8 with 14 kills on .454 hitting and 10 digs. Houghtelling starred in NU's win at OU on Sept. 28, delivering a career-high 20 kills and hitting .404. Houghtelling has earned all-tournament honors two times, including MVP honors of the AVCA/NACWAA College Volleyball Showcase, where she averaged 4.83 kills on .404 hitting, 2.33 digs and 1.67 blocks per game in wins over No. 4 Hawaii and No. 3 Stanford. Houghtelling spent the summer in the USA Volleyball training program, competing with the A-2 National team in Switzerland.

OH - #26 Jennifer Saleaumua (Sal-ee-ah-MOO-uh): 5-11, Sr., National City, Calif. - A returning AVCA All-American and three-time All-Big 12 performer, Saleaumua's all-around abilities key the NU attack. She is fifth in the Big 12 with 3.82 digs per game and has recorded double figures in digs 17 times, including a career-high 27 at Minnesota on Sept. 5 and 22 at No. 23 Kansas State on Oct. 19. Saleaumua's 22 digs against KSU equaled the highest dig total in a three-game match in the Big 12 in 2005.  She is averaging 2.20 kills on .347 hitting, 4.27 digs and 1.13 blocks over her last five matches. At Texas Tech on Oct. 29, Saleaumua had seven kills, six blocks and a match-high nine digs. She had seven kills on .375 hitting, 10 digs and four blocks in a sweep of Kansas on Oct. 26. Saleaumua shined against No. 20 Texas A&M on Sept. 21 with 10 kills, 13 digs and seven blocks. She totaled 12 kills on 16 swings, while adding 14 digs in the sweep of No. 4 Hawaii on Aug. 26. Saleaumua already holds NU's record in digs (1,422) and has 36 career double-doubles. The Big 12 co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2004, she was in the USA Volleyball Program last summer.

OH - #10 Jordan Larson: 6-2, Fr., Hooper, Neb. - One of two newcomers in the Huskers' starting lineup, Larson is one of the Big 12's top freshman performers. She averages 3.15 kills on .307 hitting and 2.86 digs per game, topping all Big 12 rookies in kills, digs and hitting percentage and ranking second in service aces (0.37). Larson has four double-doubles, including three against top-10 teams. She has led NU in kills a team-best eight times, including a 14-kill effort on .420 hitting against No. 18 Texas on Oct. 15 and a 13-kill, 14-dig, four-ace effort on Oct. 12 against Texas Tech. Larson also had a match-high 14 kills on .480 hitting against No. 4 Penn State on Sept. 11 and 14 kills against No. 20 Texas A&M on Sept. 21. The Big 12 Preseason Newcomer of the Year, Larson was a three-time Super-State selection who was rated the No. 2 player in the country by Larson set a Class C-1 state record with 501 kills on .490 hitting while establishing an all-class record with 179 service aces in 2004. She also spent two years on the U.S. Junior National Team.

S - #18 Dani Busboom: 5-11, Jr., Cortland, Neb. - Busboom is in her third season as Nebraska's starting setter and splits time with Maggie Griffin in the Huskers' 6-2 offense. Busboom averages 6.45 assists and 1.94 digs per game, helping the Huskers rank fourth nationally in team hitting and seventh in assists. Busboom became the eighth Husker to reach 2,500 career assists against Kansas on Oct. 26. She had her second double-double of the year with 17 assists and 10 digs against No. 18 Texas on Oct. 15. Busboom recorded her first double-double of the year with 31 assists and 11 digs in a five-game win over No. 5 Minnesota and had 26 assists and nine digs at No. 7 Missouri on Oct. 5. She split time with Michelle Lynch in NU's 6-2 offense in 2003 before taking over the full-time role last season. She averaged 13.10 assists per game in 2004, the highest total by a Husker in seven years, to earn honorable-mention AVCA All-Midwest Region honors.

S - #1 Maggie Griffin: 6-0, So., St. Charles, Ill. - A transfer from Michigan State, Maggie Griffin is in her first season at Nebraska. She splits time with Dani Busboom in running NU's 6-2 offense, averaging a team-high 7.51 assists and 1.58 digs per game. Griffin, who has helped NU rank fourth nationally in hitting, had 36 assists, three service aces and six digs in a win at No. 5 Minnesota on Sept. 5. Griffin has two double-doubles, setting season bests in assists (37) and digs (15) in a victory at No. 7 Missouri on Oct. 5. Griffin spent her freshman year at MSU, ranking sixth in the Big Ten with 12.98 assists per game to earn All-Freshman honors. She had eight double-doubles and 50 or more assists 12 times. Griffin was a Fab 50 selection at Rosary (Ill.) High School.

Last Time Out: NU 3, Texas A&M 0
College Station, Texas – Christina Houghtelling and Sarah Pavan combined for 25 kills and six blocks, as No. 1 Nebraska remained perfect with a 30-19, 30-24, 30-21 victory over Texas A&M Wednesday evening at the G. Rollie White Coliseum.
Houghtelling led a balanced attack with 12 kills on .409 hitting and three blocks, while Pavan added 12 kills on .571 hitting and three blocks, as Nebraska (24-0, 15-0 Big 12) became the first team to sweep Texas A&M in College Station this season.
In all, five Huskers had at least seven kills, as Nebraska hit .382, the 12th time that Nebraska has hit above .350 this season.  Jennifer Saleaumua had nine kills and eight digs while Jordan Larson added eight kills, 10 digs and a pair of aces. NU's middle blockers also shined as Tracy Stalls had seven kills on .429 hitting and five blocks, while Melissa Elmer added a team-high seven blocks, as NU out-blocked the Aggies, 13.5-2.0.

Scouting Missouri
Under first-year head coach Wayne Kreklow, Missouri is enjoying its finest season in school history. The Tigers are 19-3 overall and are third in the Big 12 with an 13-3 record. MU, which was picked second in the Big 12 and 21st in the preseason poll, has been as high as No. 7 in the national polls, while all three losses are to teams currently in the top 25.
The Tigers, who returned six starters from a team that won 20 matches and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament, feature one of the most balanced attacks in the league.

MU has five players averaging over 2.80 kills per game, including Na Yang, who is seventh in the league with 3.77 kills per game, and Nicole Wilson, who is averaging 3.26 kills per game and hitting a league-high .432. Senior All-American Lindsey Hunter spearheads the Tiger offense, ranking fifth nationally with 14.79 assists, while also chipping in 2.51 digs and 0.52 blocks per game.

Nebraska holds a commanding 60-3-1 lead in the all-time series, winning each of the last four meetings. MU snapped a 44-match losing streak against NU with a five-game win in Lincoln during the 2003 season.

First Matchup: No. 1 NU 3, No. 7 MU 1
Columbia, Mo. – Melissa Elmer had 17 kills on .548 hitting, as No. 1 Nebraska took sole possession of first place in the Big 12 with a 30-26, 22-30, 30-23, 30-27 victory over No. 7 Missouri in front of a record crowd of 7,298 at the Hearnes Center on Oct 5.

Elmer was one of four Huskers to record double- figure kills, as Nebraska (14-0, 5-0 Big 12) handed the Tigers (12-1, 5-1 Big 12) their first loss of the season. Elmer's 17 kills without an error marked only the second time in school history that a player had at least 17 kills and no hitting errors, matching the feat accomplished by Christina Houghtelling at Missouri last season. Elmer's 17 kills was her highest total since an 18-kill effort at Oklahoma last November.

Sarah Pavan had a match-high and season-high 18 kills and 11 digs. Freshman Jordan Larson added her third double-double of the year with 14 kills and 11 digs, as the huskers hit .266 and held Missouri to a season-low .230.

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