Huskers move on to Sweet Sixteen

Jordan Larson's 16 kills led three Huskers in double figures, as No. 1 Nebraska moved into the NCAA Sweet 16 with a 3-0 sweep (30-16, 30-16, 30-14) of Northern Iowa Saturday afternoon in front of a sold out NU Coliseum crowd.

The Huskers, who improved to 29-1 on the season, advanced to the Sweet 16 for the 13th consecutive year, where they will take on San Diego, a 3-2 winner over Duke, next Friday at 3:30 p.m. (central). Northern Iowa, which took an 11-match win streak into Saturday's match, finished the year with a 28-8 record.

Larson, who topped NU in kills for the 10th time this season, led a balanced attack with 16 kills on .464 hitting, three aces and three blocks, as the Huskers hit .423 in the match. NU had six attackers hit over .300, as the Huskers' .423 hitting marked the fourth time in the last six matches that NU hit .400 or better.

Rachel Holloway guided a potent attack, finishing with 39 assists and five kills, as NU hit .400 or better in all three games for the first time this season.

Sarah Pavan and Tracy Stalls joined Larson in double figures in kills, totaling 11 and 10 kills, respectively, as Stalls hit .467 and totaled a match-high four blocks, while Pavan hit .375 on 26 swings, including seven kills in the opener.

The Huskers, who improved to 19-0 at home this season, were equally stout on defense, holding the Panthers to just .092 hitting and out-blocking UNI, 9-5. Dani Busboom led NU with 17 digs and became the first Husker to go over 500 digs in a season, while Rachel Schwartz totaled 10 digs, as NU out-dug the Panthers, 47-28.

Nebraska came out firing in the opener, hitting a blistering .409 clip in posting a 30-16 victory. Pavan led the charge with seven kills on 14 swings, while five Huskers totaled at least three kills. Leading 11-8, Holloway and fellow freshman Kori Cooper sparked a 7-0 run for NU, as Holloway served six straight points and Cooper recorded a solo block and a kill that forced a Panther timeout as NU built a commanding 18-8 lead. From there, the Huskers were able coast to the win.

While Pavan carried NU in game one, Larson took over in the second game, leading the Huskers to another 30-16 win. The sophomore totaled eight kills on 11 swing, two blocks and an ace, as NU out-hit UNI, .464-.038. Leading 14-11, the Huskers took control of the game with a run of five unanswered points off the serve of Busboom, pushing the margin to 19-11. UNI got to within seven points, at 20-13, but could get no closer, as the Huskers ran off four of the next five points to push the lead into double digits. Larson closed out the game with three straight points from the service line, as NU took a 2-0 lead into the locker room.

The Huskers took all of the suspense out of the finale early on, scoring 10 of the first 11 points to cruise to a 16-point win. Nebraska's strong serving was key, as the Huskers totaled four aces, including two by Rachel Schwartz. NU raced out to a 19-4 lead after a Schwartz service ace and was never threatened in recording their 23rd sweep of the year.

Shannon Achoff led UNI with 12 kills on .367 hitting, while no other Panther finished with more than six kills.

           Northern Iowa vs #1 Nebraska (Dec 02, 2006 at Lincoln, NE)


   Northern Iowa          |     ATTACK      |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF|  BLOCK |GEN
## Name                 GP|  K   E  TA   PCT|  A| SA  SE| RE|DIG|BS BA BE|BHE|POINTS
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3  Belzung, Kristin....  3|  0   1   3 -.333| 22|  0   1|  2|  3| 1  0  0|  2|   1.0
4  Stelken, Ashten.....  3|  2   4  14 -.143|  0|  0   0|  0|  0| 0  1  2|  0|   2.5
8  Rowen, Laura........  3|  6   4  27  .074|  0|  0   2|  4|  5| 0  2  0|  0|   7.0
13 Humpal, Trista......  3|  4   4  10  .000|  0|  0   1|  0|  2| 1  2  0|  0|   6.0
14 Aschoff, Shannon....  3| 12   1  30  .367|  0|  0   0|  0|  1| 0  0  0|  0|  12.0
18 Brazda, Danielle....  2|  3   4   9 -.111|  0|  0   0|  0|  0| 0  1  0|  0|   3.5
1  May, Stephanie......  3|  0   0   0  .000|  2|  0   1|  1|  9| 0  0  0|  0|   0.0
6  Bakker, Brittany....  3|  0   0   0  .000|  1|  0   0|  0|  3| 0  0  0|  0|   0.0
10 Dietz, Patricia.....  3|  0   0   0  .000|  1|  0   0|  0|  4| 0  0  0|  0|   0.0
11 Sampson, Amy........  1|  1   1   5  .000|  0|  0   0|  0|  1| 0  0  0|  0|   1.0
19 Schmitz, Melissa....  1|  0   0   0  .000|  0|  0   0|  0|  0| 0  0  0|  0|   0.0
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Totals..............  3| 28  19  98  .092| 26|  0   5|  7| 28| 2  6  2|  2|  33.0

 TEAM ATTACK PER GAME                                           TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 5.0
 Game  K  E  TA   Pct Sideout Pct
   1   9  4  36  .139  13-30  43%   GAME SCORES               1  2  3  TEAM RECORDS
   2   9  8  26  .038  13-29  44%   Northern Iowa....... (0) 16 16 14  28-8
   3  10  7  36  .083   9-30  30%   Nebraska............ (3) 30 30 30  29-1

   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   1  .000|  2|  2   0|  0| 10| 0  0  0|  0|   2.0
9  Pavan, Sarah........  3| 11   2  24  .375|  2|  0   3|  0|  2| 0  1  0|  0|  11.5
10 Larson, Jordan......  3| 16   3  28  .464|  2|  3   1|  0|  9| 2  1  2|  0|  21.5
11 Stalls, Tracy.......  3| 10   3  15  .467|  0|  0   0|  0|  1| 0  4  0|  0|  12.0
12 Holloway, Rachel....  3|  5   1   7  .571| 39|  1   1|  0|  4| 0  0  1|  0|   6.0
15 Cooper, Kori........  3|  6   2  12  .333|  2|  0   0|  0|  1| 1  2  0|  0|   8.0
4  Bartek, Brooke......  1|  0   0   0  .000|  0|  0   0|  0|  0| 0  0  0|  0|   0.0
7  Mancuso, Dani.......  3|  8   2  16  .375|  0|  0   0|  0|  3| 0  4  0|  0|  10.0
17 Gates, Amanda.......  1|  1   0   1 1.000|  0|  0   0|  0|  0| 0  0  1|  0|   1.0
18 Busboom, Dani.......  3|  0   0   0  .000|  4|  1   0|  0| 17| 0  0  0|  0|   1.0
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Totals..............  3| 57  13 104  .423| 51|  7   5|  0| 47| 3 12  4|  0|  73.0

 TEAM ATTACK PER GAME                                           TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 9.0
 Game  K  E  TA   Pct Sideout Pct
   1  23  5  44  .409  13-16  81%   Site: Lincoln, NE (NU Coliseum)
   2  18  5  28  .464  14-17  82%   Date: Dec 02, 2006   Attend: 4094   Time: 1:15
   3  16  3  32  .406   9-14  64%   Referees: Mary Feragher, Daryl Korinek
                                    ID-517026

                                         1   2   3 Total
                        Tie scores       1   0   0     1
                        Lead changes     0   0   0     0


Nebraska Head Coach John Cook
On how Nebraska improved from Friday's match
"The first thing was our passing. We really got into a rhythm offensively today. The second thing was our defense. They got very few balls down without us touching them first. Our communication was better and we were just in a much better flow."

On improving statistically
"Last night was a very uncomfortable feeling because when we looked at our stats after the game, they were the most miserable stats I have seen in years. I knew we would respond tonight, but I didn't expect us to respond at this level. The credit goes to our leadership in making that adjustment."

On preparing for the NCAA Regional in Florida
"We've been preparing for a year. That's why we went to China, for this Regional. They knew that they can play well on the road because they have proven it. It's going to be tough, but they can get it done."

Libero Dani Busboom
On setting the single-season dig record this weekend
"I'm proud and happy that I could do it, but I really think of it as every dig that I make contributes to the team. My focus for the team is to be a difference-maker and that's why I'm happy that I could make those digs."

On playing her last game in the Coliseum
"It's sad to know that that was my last game here. One of the main reasons I came here was because of the fans and the Coliseum. The Coliseum is the best place to play in the nation and I'm going to miss it."

Right Side Hitter Sarah Pavan
On Nebraska's confidence heading into Regionals
"We're confident. We should be. At the end of Big 12 play we were doing unbelievably well. We took a dip yesterday, but we bounced back today. We should be confidence because we're very difficult to stop if we play the way we did tonight."

Northern Iowa Head coach Bobbi Petersen
On the game
"We saw tonight why Nebraska is ranked No. 1. We're disappointed, but I'm proud of our kids. We fought hard tonight and we had an awesome season. I wish the best of luck to the Huskers."

On the Panthers' strategy going into the match
"We had to get them out of their system. We couldn't let them get free balls over the net and we tried to stop big plays. We made some decisions with our blocking that left some of the court open for hitting, and their setter did a great job of getting them in position."

On Nebraska's play
"We knew that they were a great serving team. Our passing has been strong at times this year, but it has also been inconsistent. That was the difference in the match today. They have a great defense as well. We had some awesome plays that Nebraska just stopped."

Setter Kristin Belzung
On Nebraska's play
"Nebraska is a very athletic team. They do everything well. Like Coach said yesterday, they don't have any one spot that you could call a weak spot. We gave them our best shot today, but they're a great team."

On Nebraska's offense
"They are not afraid to go up and put some power on their hits. I thought we did a pretty good job at stopping them at times, but it's obvious that they swing as hard as they can every time they go up."

Outside Hitter Shannon Aschoff
On the upcoming seasons
"Our team is looking forward to the future. We have a lot of people coming back next year. The biggest thing for me is all the support from my teammates. They're the ones that keep me going."



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