No. 1 Huskers Tame No. 16 Tigers, 3-0

Sarah Pavan's 18 kills on .424 hitting led an explosive attack, as No. 1 Nebraska blitzed No. 16 Missouri, 30-27, 30-23, 30-16 in front of a sellout crowd of 4,139 Wednesday evening at the NU Coliseum and a national television audience.

The Huskers (19-0, 11-0 Big 12) put together one of their best offensive performances of the year, hitting .429 as a team, while four NU attackers - Pavan, Kori Cooper, Dani Mancuso and Jordan Larson - all hit over .400 in the sweep.  It was NU's best offensive performance since hitting .487 against Saint Mary's in early September, and the Huskers' best hitting night against a ranked foe since the 2005 national semifinals against Santa Clara, a match NU hit .449. 

Cook said the key to NU's success was the strong performance in the transition game, as Rachel Holloway was able to spread the Huskers' attack all over the court. Holloway recorded her seventh double-double of the season with 48 assists and 12 digs, as the NU hit .400 or better in each of the first two games.

"Rachel (Holloway) did a great job tonight of running our offense," Cook said. "Our transition game took a great jump tonight. Once we were able to dig the ball, we were getting great swings, especially from Jordan (Larson), Dani (Mancuso) and Sarah (Pavan). Our out-of-system plays and transition game were very good tonight."

While Pavan had a match-high 18 kills, she was one of four Huskers to record at least eight kills. Larson totaled 15 kills on .458 hitting, but saw her streak of consecutive double-doubles end at 10 matches. Mancuso also enjoyed another strong performance, hitting a season-high .438 with eight kills, while Tracy Stalls also chipped in eight kills. Cooper rounded out the Huskers' attack, posting six kills on just 10 swings while also tying Pavan and Stalls with a team-high three blocks.

Missouri Coach Wayne Kreklow said Huskers' balance was the difference tonight, while MU had just two players finish with more than four kills.

 "I think we were trying to contain people," Kreklow said. "It's the toughest job because they've got hitters everywhere. When you've got hitters like (Nebraska) in all positions, you've got a lot of options. Obviously, you look at the hitting numbers, and we've got people in negatives, it's hard to beat a team like that."

The Huskers got rolling early offensively, hitting .429 in the opener in posting a 30-27 victory. Larson had six kills, while Pavan and Cooper combined for nine kills on just 13 swings, including four kills on five swings for Cooper. The game featured 13 ties and eight changes before a Mancuso kill sparked a 4-0 spurt, turning a 17-all deadlock into a 21-17 lead after a Pavan kill. The Tigers, who received inspired efforts from Nicole Wilson and Jessica Vander Kooi, ran off three straight points to get within 21-20 on a Vander Kooi kill. Leading 25-25, NU finally got some breaking room as the Tigers committed two straight hitting errors to push the margin to three points. The Tigers fought to within 29-27 on a Vander Kooi kill, but Larson closed out game one with a beautiful roll shot to give NU a three-point win.

While Nebraska's balance keyed game one, Pavan took over for the Huskers in a 30-23 victory in game two, recording eight kills on 12 swings, as the Huskers hit a blistering .529 as a team. Leading 12-11, the Huskers used a 7-3 spurt to extend the lead to 19-14 after a block by Cooper and Holloway on Vander Kooi. The Tigers made one last spurt after NU pushed the lead to 25-18, running off three straight points to get within 25-21 on a Lei Wang kill. That would be as close as Missouri got, as the Huskers scored five of the final seven points to take a 2-0 lead into the locker room.

Nebraska, which has won its last 48 home matches, took all the drama out of the finale early on, racing to a 15-3 lead and never looking back in a 14-point win. Pavan and Larson combined for 10 kills, while the Husker defense recorded four blocks and held MU to -.020 hitting. The Huskers ran off six unanswered points, turning a 3-2 lead into a seven-point cushion after consecutive blocks by Pavan and Stalls. From there, NU kept the pressure on, building a 17-4 lead and cruising to its 15th sweep of the season.

Vander Kooi led led Missouri (14-7, 8-4 Big 12) with 14 kills, while Nicole Wilson chipped in 13 kills on a team-high .414 hitting in the loss.

The Huskers return to action on Saturday night, as they travel to Manhattan, Kan., to take on Kansas State. First serve from Ahearn Fieldhouse is set for 7 p.m. and the match will be carried live on B107.3 FM in Lincoln and Omaha and on Huskers.com.


           #16 Missouri vs #1 Nebraska (Oct 25, 2006 at Lincoln, NE)

   Missouri               |     ATTACK      |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF|  BLOCK |GEN
## Name                 GP|  K   E  TA   PCT|  A| SA  SE| RE|DIG|BS BA BE|BHE
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
1  Wang, Lei...........  3|  1   2   6 -.167| 38|  0   0|  0|  6| 0  1  0|  0
3  Vander Kooi, Jessica  3| 14   4  38  .263|  0|  1   0|  0| 11| 0  0  1|  1
4  Hantouli, Amanda....  3|  4   2  13  .154|  0|  0   0|  0|  0| 0  2  1|  0
5  Booth, Abbie........  3|  0   0   0  .000|  1|  0   0|  0|  5| 0  0  0|  1
10 Yang, Na............  3|  4   4  19  .000|  0|  0   2|  0|  1| 2  1  0|  0
13 Wilson, Nicole......  3| 13   1  29  .414|  0|  0   1|  0|  0| 0  0  0|  0
6  Klein, Julianna.....  3|  3   4  14 -.071|  0|  1   2|  0|  0| 0  0  0|  0
9  Ailes, Tatum........  3|  0   0   0  .000|  0|  0   0|  0|  7| 0  0  0|  0
11 Wilson, Megan.......  3|  4   5  12 -.083|  0|  0   0|  0|  0| 1  0  0|  0
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Totals..............  3| 43  22 131  .160| 39|  2   5|  0| 30| 3  4  2|  2

 TEAM ATTACK PER GAME                               TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 5.0
 Game  K  E  TA   Pct
   1  16  7  40  .225   GAME SCORES               1  2  3  TEAM RECORDS
   2  18  5  42  .310   Missouri............ (0) 27 23 16  14-7, 8-4 Big 12
   3   9 10  49 -.020   Nebraska............ (3) 30 30 30  19-0, 11-0 Big 12

   Nebraska               |     ATTACK      |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF|  BLOCK |GEN
## Name                 GP|  K   E  TA   PCT|  A| SA  SE| RE|DIG|BS BA BE|BHE
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
5  Schwartz, Rachel....  3|  0   0   0  .000|  0|  0   0|  1|  7| 0  0  0|  0
9  Pavan, Sarah........  3| 18   4  33  .424|  1|  0   3|  1|  6| 0  3  0|  0
10 Larson, Jordan......  3| 15   4  24  .458|  3|  0   1|  0|  6| 0  1  0|  0
11 Stalls, Tracy.......  3|  8   4  15  .267|  0|  0   1|  0|  4| 0  3  0|  0
12 Holloway, Rachel....  3|  3   1   7  .286| 48|  0   0|  0| 12| 0  2  0|  1
15 Cooper, Kori........  3|  6   0  10  .600|  0|  0   0|  0|  0| 1  2  0|  0
1  Griffin, Maggie.....  2|  0   0   0  .000|  0|  0   0|  0|  0| 0  0  0|  0
7  Mancuso, Dani.......  3|  8   1  16  .438|  0|  0   0|  0|  1| 1  0  1|  0
17 Gates, Amanda.......  1|  1   0   1 1.000|  0|  0   0|  0|  0| 0  1  0|  0
18 Busboom, Dani.......  3|  0   0   0  .000|  5|  0   0|  0| 14| 0  0  0|  1
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Totals..............  3| 59  14 106  .425| 57|  0   5|  2| 50| 2 12  1|  2

 TEAM ATTACK PER GAME                               TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 8.0
 Game  K  E  TA   Pct
   1  20  5  35  .429   Site: Lincoln, NE (NU Coliseum)
   2  22  4  34  .529   Date: Oct 25, 2006   Attend: 4139   Time: 1:30
   3  17  5  37  .324   Referees: Glenn Sapp, Mary Ferragher


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