Huskers Clinch Share of Big 12 Crown

Behind a match-high 23 kills and four aces from All-American Sarah Pavan, No. 1 Nebraska clinched a share of the Big 12 title with a 30-17, 30-20, 30-22 sweep of Baylor in front of a sellout crowd of 4,096 at the NU Coliseum Saturday afternoon.

With the win, the Huskers improved to 25-1 and 17-1 in the Big 12 and can clinch the outright title Wednesday evening at Kansas. It is NU's 28th conference title in school history and ninth in 11 seasons of Big 12 competition.

Pavan led the offensive barrage, reaching 20 kills for the seventh time this season, as she hit .528 on 36 swings and matched her career best with four service aces – including three in a row at one stretch in the opener. Pavan averaged 7.67 kills on .557 hitting in two matches this week, and also totaled eight digs and a pair of blocks against Baylor on Saturday.

Behind a Pavan's offensive efficiency, the Huskers were like clockwork on Saturday, committing a season-low eight errors en route to hitting .450 in the match, including .500 in each of the first two games. The Huskers limited Baylor, which was third in the Big 12 in blocks, to just three blocks and out-dug BU 55-40.

"That's two matches in a row that we've hit over .400, and two matches in a row that we've had more aces than errors, so I think this team is really turning in a positive direction," Cook said.

Redshirt freshman Rachel Holloway picked up her 10th double-double of the year with 37 assists, 10 digs and chipped in a pair of solo blocks, while piloting a Husker attack that saw three players finish in double figures in kills. Jordan Larson totaled 11 kills on .393 hitting and a career-high seven assists, while Dani Mancuso chipped in 10 more on .381 hitting. In all, NU's three outside attackers combined for 44 kills on a blistering .447 hitting.

The Huskers' serving and offense was too much in the opener, as the Huskers rolled to a 30-17 victory. NU totaled six aces in game one, including four by Pavan, who matched her career high for aces in the process. In addition to her four aces, Pavan also slammed home nine kills on 14 swings, as the Huskers hit .500 on 30 swings. Leading 8-5, Pavan keyed a 4-0 run with three consecutive aces to give the Huskers a seven-point cushion. The Bears pulled to within 15-11 before Pavan's kill sparked a 9-1 run for the Big Red, as the junior had four kills in the run and combined with Stalls on a block that pushed the lead to 24-12. NU led by as many as 15 points before cruising to a 13-point win.

Pavan said that the Huskers' tough serving in the opener allowed NU to gather the momentum early on.

"In the first game we had six aces, and it was a good serving night for everyone on the team," Pavan said. "It definitely helps with momentum. When you get a team down because of serving, it really helps because you know where the ball is going. In the first game you could definitely tell that our serving made a huge impact."

Nebraska torrid offense performance continued in game two, as the Huskers posted a 30-20 win to take a 2-0 lead into the locker room. The Huskers hit .500 as a team with the outside hitting trio of Pavan, Larson and Dani Mancuso combing for 14 kills without an error. The Bears took the lead early, taking an 11-8 lead on an Nicole Leblanc ace and were ahead 14-12 before the Huskers seized the momentum with strong serving from Tracy Stalls. Holloway's kill pulled NU within a point before Stalls ran off seven straight points as the Huskers took a 20-14 lead after a Larson kill. Baylor fought back to within 21-15, but NU quickly ran off three straight points to take a 24-15 after a Pavan kill and cruised to a 10-point win.

In the finale, the Huskers got ahead early and fought off a Bear rally to earn a 30-22 victory, as Pavan delivered nine kills and added five digs for the Huskers. Leading 7-6, Tracy Stalls' kill triggered a 4-1 spurt for NU which pushed the lead to 11-7. The Bears stayed within striking distances until Mancuso took over midway through the game after BU got within 16-13. The senior from Omaha delivered two straight kills as part of a run of four straight points to give the Huskers a 20-13 lead. Baylor made one last run, pulling to within 26-22 but two straight kills by Pavan gave NU breathing room before Mancuso and Dani Busboom, the two seniors on the 2006 squad, delivered consecutive kills to close out the match and earn a share of the Big 12 crown.

The Huskers return to action on Wednesday, as they travel to Kansas for match with the Jayhawks. First serve is set for 7 p.m. and the match will be carried across the state on the Husker Sports Radio Network and on Huskers.com.



                               Nebraska Volleyball
              Baylor vs #1 Nebraska (Nov 18, 2006 at Lincoln, NE)

   Baylor                 |     ATTACK      |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF|  BLOCK |GEN
## Name                 GP|  K   E  TA   PCT|  A| SA  SE| RE|DIG|BS BA BE|BHE|POINTS
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9  Barnes, Taylor......  3|  6   2  13  .308| 29|  1   2|  1|  5| 0  1  0|  0|   7.5
11 Smith, Kelsey.......  3|  3   3  17  .000|  1|  1   0|  3|  6| 0  0  0|  1|   4.0
14 Breyfogle, Anna.....  3|  9   3  22  .273|  0|  3   3|  0|  0| 0  0  0|  0|  12.0
21 LeBlanc, Nicole.....  3| 11   0  22  .500|  1|  1   1|  1|  7| 0  0  0|  0|  12.0
22 Sanders, Katie......  3|  3   6  23 -.130|  0|  0   0|  0|  2| 0  2  0|  0|   4.0
49 Guilliard-Young, Des  3|  4   1  15  .200|  1|  0   0|  0|  2| 0  3  0|  0|   5.5
4  Renz, Amanda........  3|  0   0   0  .000|  2|  0   1|  0|  1| 0  0  0|  0|   0.0
5  Keeton, Lauren......  3|  3   2   6  .167|  0|  0   0|  0|  1| 0  0  0|  0|   3.0
6  Sweeney, Deja.......  3|  0   0   0  .000|  1|  0   1|  1|  5| 0  0  0|  0|   0.0
18 Schramek, Kristen...  3|  0   0   0  .000|  4|  1   0|  0| 11| 0  0  0|  0|   1.0
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Totals..............  3| 39  17 118  .186| 39|  7   8|  6| 40| 0  6  0|  1|  49.0

 TEAM ATTACK PER GAME                               TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 3.0
 Game  K  E  TA   Pct
   1  10  4  30  .200   GAME SCORES               1  2  3  TEAM RECORDS
   2  14  6  42  .190   Baylor.............. (0) 17 20 22  18-13, 6-12 Big 12
   3  15  7  46  .174   Nebraska............ (3) 30 30 30  25-1, 17-1 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|POINTS
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
5  Schwartz, Rachel....  3|  0   0   0  .000|  1|  0   0|  1| 11| 0  0  0|  0|   0.0
9  Pavan, Sarah........  3| 23   4  36  .528|  0|  4   2|  0|  8| 0  2  0|  0|  28.0
10 Larson, Jordan......  3| 11   0  28  .393|  7|  2   1|  1|  4| 0  0  0|  0|  13.0
11 Stalls, Tracy.......  3|  5   0   8  .625|  2|  0   0|  0|  3| 0  2  0|  0|   6.0
12 Holloway, Rachel....  3|  2   0   5  .400| 37|  0   0|  0| 10| 2  0  1|  2|   4.0
15 Cooper, Kori........  3|  4   2   8  .250|  1|  0   0|  0|  1| 0  0  0|  0|   4.0
7  Mancuso, Dani.......  3| 10   2  21  .381|  1|  0   0|  1|  2| 0  0  0|  0|  10.0
17 Gates, Amanda.......  1|  1   0   2  .500|  1|  0   0|  1|  0| 0  0  0|  0|   1.0
18 Busboom, Dani.......  3|  1   0   1 1.000|  1|  0   0|  3| 16| 0  0  0|  0|   1.0
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Totals..............  3| 57   8 109  .450| 51|  6   3|  7| 55| 2  4  1|  2|  67.0

 TEAM ATTACK PER GAME                               TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 4.0
 Game  K  E  TA   Pct
   1  18  3  30  .500   Site: Lincoln, NE (NU Coliseum)
   2  21  1  40  .500   Date: Nov 18, 2006   Attend: 4096   Time: 1:21
   3  18  4  39  .359   Referees: Daryl Korinek, Dave aSpencer
                        Yellow Card given to Baylor Coach in Game 3, score
                        was 6-3.


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