Huskers Hold on to beat Kansas State

Behind a season-high 31 kills from Sarah Pavan, No. 2 Nebraska overcame a 2-0 deficit to rally for a 3-2 victory against No. 12 Kansas State, 24-30, 27-30, 30-25, 30-19, 15-8 Saturday night at Ahearn Field House.

Sarah Pavan blistered the Wildcats for a Big 12-high 31 kills on .375 hitting – the second-highest performance of her career - and added 10 digs, as the Huskers improved to 21-1 on the season and moved into a tie with Texas for the Big 12 lead with an 11-1 conference mark.

Pavan's effort led the comeback, as the Huskers hit over .300 in each of the final three contests, including .579 in the finale, as NU played error-free ball. Tracy Stalls totaled 15 kills on .480 hitting and a season-high nine blocks, while Jordan Larson chipped in 12 kills and four blocks, as NU out-blocked the Wildcats, 15.5-13.5.

Rachel Holloway established career highs in assists (72) and blocks (six) while adding 13 digs to help NU out-hit KSU, .266-187. Outside hitter Christina Houghtelling also turned in another career high with 26 digs and added seven kills and four blocks. 

Natalya Korobkova led Kansas State (18-7, 10-5 Big 12) with 22 kills, while Angie Lastra totaled 32 digs for the Wildcats in a losing effort. 

Kansas State came out swinging in the opener, hitting .341 as a team en route to a 30-24 victory. Natalya Korobkova led the Wildcats with seven kills on .412 hitting, while Pavan and Stalls totaled five kills apiece, accounting for most of the Huskers' attack.  Kansas State was successful on six of its first seven attempts in building an early 9-4 advantage and forcing a Husker timeout. The Huskers eventually fell behind 13-8 before a Wildcat hitting error and a block from Stalls and Houghtelling pulled NU within three and forced a KSU timeout. The Huskers continued to pull closer, getting to within one point twice, as a Tracy Stalls kill that made it 15-14. Rita Liliom's kill began a 3-0 Wildcat run that gave the hosts some breathing room at 18-14. NU fought back to within 22-20, but three straight Wildcat points made it 25-20 after a Jenny Jantsch ace and NU was unable to slice in to the KSU lead the rest of the way.

In game two, the Huskers jumped out to an early lead, only to see Kansas State roar back and record a 30-27 victory to take a 2-0 lead into the locker room. NU was held .094 hitting, as the Wildcats totaled 26 digs and took advantage of 10 NU miscues. The Huskers led by as much as four points, at 12-8, but could not sustain the early momentum. KSU ran off seven of the next nine points behind Korobkova, who totaled three kills in the run, and took its first lead at 15-14 on a Jantsch ace. Nebraska continued to fight and eventually regained the lead at 17-16 on a block by Stalls and Houghtelling before a decisive three-point swing turned the game into KSU's favor. With the game tied at 18-all, a kill from Liliom, a block by Megan Farr and a Husker attack error put KSU up by three points and forced NU to take its final timeout. The Huskers were within 24-22 when Stacey Spiegelberg blocked Stalls to spark another 3-0 KSU run that made it 27-22 after a Husker hitting error. Trailing 29-24, NU staved off a pair of match points on kills from Pavan and Gates, but Megan Farr and Korobkova combined on a block to end the Huskers' comeback hopes.

The Huskers finally got untracked offensively behind Pavan, who totaled nine kills on just 13 swings in a 30-25 Husker win. NU out-hit the Wildcats, .340-.255 and overcame an early deficit to win.  KSU used strong blocking early to jump out to a 9-5 lead, only to see the Huskers regroup. Nebraska ran off six of the next seven points and took an 11-10 lead on a Pavan kill. The Wildcats were within 15-13 before a Stalls kill and a ace by Houghtelling made it 17-13 lead and forced a Wildcat timeout.  KSU quickly seized the momentum, winning four of the next five rallies to get within 18-17 after a Liliom kill, but could not regain the lead. Larson and Pavan then delivered kills to open a 6-1 NU run, putting the Huskers ahead 24-18 after two straight Wildcat miscues. KSU fought back and got within 27-24 after a Liliom kill, but Stalls and Larson brought the Huskers' traveling contingent to their feet with consecutive kills to get NU to game point. Moments later, Pavan pounded her ninth kill of the game to get NU a much-needed game three. 

The story of game four was the Huskers' block, as they totaled 6.5 stuffs and held Kansas State to .091 hitting in a 30-19 victory.  Trailing 9-7, NU's blocking came alive, as Larson combined with Cooper on one block before recording a solo stuff to tie the score at nine. NU eventually took the lead at 10-9 and led 13-12 before running off three straight points, capped by a Houghtelling solo stuff that made it 16-12. Leading 16-13, Nebraska ran off four straight points, taking a 20-13 lead on a Larson kill. The Wildcats eventually got to within 24-18, but NU ran off five straight points, including four unanswered on Holloway's serve, to take a 29-18 lead.

In the finale, the Huskers used the strong serving of Larson to take an early, lead as the junior ran off six straight points at the service line as part of a 7-0 Husker run. Larson started the spurt with a kill before stepping to the line, where her ace made it 6-1 b before a Houghtelling slam gave NU a six-point lead. NU led 8-2 before KSU made their final run, scoring three of the next four points to pull to within 9-5. That would be as close as KSU would get, as a kill from Houghtelling and a block from Stalls and Holloway quickly gave NU a six-point lead their would not relinquish the rest of the evening.

The Huskers are back in action on Wednesday, Nov. 7, when they host the Colorado Buffaloes. First serve from the NU Coliseum is set for 7 p.m 

                              Volleyball Box Score
                            The Automated ScoreBook
        #2 Nebraska vs #12 Kansas State (Nov 3, 2007 at Manhattan, Kan.)



   Nebraska               |     ATTACK      |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF|  BLOCK |GEN
## Name                 GP|  K   E  TA   PCT|  A| SA  SE| RE|DIG|BS BA BE|BHE|POINTS
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3  Houghtelling, Chris.  5|  7   3  27  .148|  1|  1   2|  0| 26| 1  3  1|  0|  10.5
9  Pavan, Sarah........  5| 31   7  64  .375|  0|  1   6|  0| 10| 0  2  0|  0|  33.0
10 Larson, Jordan......  5| 12   4  33  .242|  0|  1   3|  0|  7| 1  3  0|  0|  15.5
11 Stalls, Tracy.......  5| 15   3  25  .480|  0|  0   0|  1|  1| 1  8  0|  0|  20.0
12 Holloway, Rachel....  5|  3   2  17  .059| 72|  2   1|  0| 13| 1  5  1|  0|   8.5
15 Cooper, Kori........  5|  6   2  14  .286|  2|  0   0|  0|  1| 0  2  0|  0|   7.0
1  Griffin, Maggie.....  1|  0   0   0  .000|  0|  0   0|  0|  0| 0  0  0|  0|   0.0
2  Banwarth, Kayla.....  5|  0   0   0  .000|  0|  1   0|  0|  4| 0  0  0|  0|   1.0
4  Licht, Lindsey......  1|  0   1   1-1.000|  0|  0   0|  0|  0| 0  0  0|  0|   0.0
5  Schwartz, Rachel....  5|  0   0   0  .000|  0|  2   0|  1| 16| 0  0  0|  0|   2.0
17 Gates, Amanda.......  1|  2   0   6  .333|  0|  0   0|  0|  2| 0  0  1|  0|   2.0
19 Mueller, Tara.......  1|  0   3   5 -.600|  0|  0   0|  1|  4| 0  0  0|  0|   0.0
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Totals..............  5| 76  25 192  .266| 75|  8  12|  3| 84| 4 23  3|  0|  99.5

 TEAM ATTACK PER GAME                                           TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 15.5
 Game  K  E  TA   Pct Sideout Pct
   1  14  6  37  .216  18-29  62%   GAME SCORES               1  2  3  4  5  TEAM RECORDS
   2  15 10  53  .094  18-30  60%   Nebraska............ (3) 24 27 30 30 15  21-1; 13-1 Big 12
   3  21  5  47  .340  17-25  68%   Kansas State........ (2) 30 30 25 19  8  18-7; 10-5 Big 12
   4  15  4  36  .306  14-20  69%
   5  11  0  19  .579   7-8   87%

   Kansas State           |     ATTACK      |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF|  BLOCK |GEN
## Name                 GP|  K   E  TA   PCT|  A| SA  SE| RE|DIG|BS BA BE|BHE|POINTS
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1  Farr, Megan.........  5| 10   3  26  .269|  0|  0   0|  0|  2| 0  6  0|  0|  13.0
9  Korobkova, Natalya..  5| 22  12  62  .161|  0|  1   2|  0|  9| 0  5  0|  0|  25.5
10 Jantsch, Jenny......  5|  7   9  39 -.051|  1|  2   2|  0|  6| 0  6  1|  0|  12.0
11 Rosenthal, Lauren...  5|  0   0   0  .000|  2|  0   0|  5|  6| 0  0  0|  0|   0.0
14 Chipman, Kelsey.....  5| 12   1  23  .478|  0|  0   0|  0|  5| 0  6  0|  0|  15.0
15 Spiegelberg, Stacey.  5|  5   2  10  .300| 61|  0   0|  0| 10| 0  3  0|  0|   6.5
2  Mathewson, Lauren...  5|  0   0   0  .000|  1|  0   0|  2|  6| 0  0  0|  0|   0.0
3  Liliom, Rita........  5| 14   5  43  .209|  0|  0   1|  0|  4| 0  1  0|  0|  14.5
4  Townsend, Leslie....  1|  0   0   0  .000|  0|  0   0|  0|  0| 0  0  0|  0|   0.0
5  Lastra, Angie.......  5|  0   0   0  .000|  3|  0   2|  1| 32| 0  0  0|  0|   0.0
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Totals..............  5| 70  32 203  .187| 68|  3   7|  8| 80| 0 27  1|  0|  86.5

 TEAM ATTACK PER GAME                                           TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 13.5
 Game  K  E  TA   Pct Sideout Pct
   1  20  6  41  .341  19-25  75%   Site: Manhattan, Kan. (Ahearn Field House)
   2  14  8  49  .122  18-27  66%   Date: Nov 3, 2007    Attend: 3254   Time: 2:36
   3  16  4  47  .255  17-30  56%   Referees: Marty Prochko, Mary Faragher
   4  15 11  44  .091  13-29  44%
   5   5  3  22  .091   7-15  46%

                                         1   2   3   4   5 Total
                        Tie scores       0   6   2   3   1    12
                        Lead changes     0   3   1   1   1     6


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