Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Champaign, Ill.
Arena: Huff Hall
Live Stats: FightingIllini.com
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network,Huskers.com
TV: ESPN2, WatchESPN
The No. 4 Nebraska volleyball team will travel to Champaign, Ill., to face the No. 25 Fighting Illini on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 2 p.m.
Nebraska leads the all-time series with Illinois, 16-5-1. The Huskers beat the Fighting Illini 3-1 in their lone match-up in 2011 in Lincoln. Nebraska's visit to Huff Hall will be the first time the Huskers are traveling there since 1994.
Nebraska's match with Illinois can be seen on ESPN2 and WatchESPN. Sam Gore and Karch Kiraly will have the call.
Fans can also listen to all of the action with John Baylor and Lindsay Peterson on the 25-station Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and The Wolf 93.3 FM in Omaha. Fans outside the state will also be able to catch the live audio feed for free on Huskers.com.
Last time out- Nebraska at Iowa, 10/17/12
The No. 4 Nebraska volleyball team (16-2, 8-1) made quick work of Iowa on Wednesday night, sweeping the Hawkeyes 3-0 (25-22, 25-14, 25-9) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. After grinding out a first-set win, the Huskers won the final two sets by more than 10 points with the help of a season-high seven service aces.
Gina Mancuso led the Huskers on the night with 12 kills and .300 hitting percentage, as Morgan Broekhuis recorded 10 kills, behind a .375 hitting percentage and added five block assists. Lauren Cook notched 35 assists and Hannah Werth led the Huskers defensively with 16 digs, while Lara Dykstra had 14. Hayley Thramer led the Nebraska block with six total, along with six kills on the night.
The Huskers hit .316 in the match, while Iowa was held to a .094 hitting percentage. Nebraska out-blocked the Hawkeyes 10-5 and out-dug Iowa 50-40.
Minnesota at Nebraska, 10/14/12
The No. 3 Nebraska volleyball team (15-2, 7-1) posted a 3-1 (18-25, 27-25, 25-23, 25-16) win over the No. 10 Minnesota Gophers in front of 4,163 fans at the NU Coliseum.
Gina Mancuso led the Husker offense on the day with 14 kills and a .343 hitting percentage, along with two aces and nine digs. She has at least 10 kills in all of the Huskers' matches against ranked teams this year. Hannah Werth had 11 kills, nine digs and five blocks, while Hayley Thramer notched 10 kills, a .421 hitting percentage and seven blocks. Lauren Cook recorded a career-high eight kills, while also recording 44 assists, 11 digs and two blocks for NU. Lara Dykstra notched a team-high 13 digs.
Nebraska hit .326 in the match, while the Gophers notched a .284 hitting percentage. Nebraska out-blocked Minnesota 11-7.5, but was out-dug 57-49.
Scouting the Illinois Fighting Illini
- Illinois is 10-9 on the season and has a 4-5 Big Ten record. The Illini are coming off of their second-consecutive five-set match on Wednesday night, defeating Northwestern 3-2.
- Against Northwestern, three freshman registered double-doubles, led by setter Alexis Viliunas with 49 assists, 14 digs, four blocks and two aces. Liz McMahon notched a .324 hitting percentage with 18 kills and five block assists, while Jocelynn Birks put up a career-high three aces with 14 kills and 10 digs.
- Viliunas has taken over the setter position after a four-match losing streak for the Illini. She led Illinois to a five-set win over Michigan State in her debut, registering 49 assists and 14 digs.
- Jennifer Beltran has recorded the top two single-season digs performances in school history. She currently ranks second on the Illinois career digs list with 1,514 digs. She is the active Big Ten leader in career digs and sits 21st all time in the conference.
- Erin Johnson became one of Illinois' best blockers in school history, tabbing 24 solo blocks and 394 assists for a total of 418 blocks. She currently ranks eighth all-time in block assists and ninth in total blocks.
- Kevin Hambly is in his fourth year at the helm of the Illini.
Noting the Nebraska Cornhuskers
- Nebraska enters this Saturday's match with a 16-2 record and No. 4 national ranking. The Huskers are 8-1 in Big Ten play.
- The Huskers return first-team AVCA All-American Gina Mancuso and AVCA Honorable Mention All-Americans Lauren Cook, Hannah Werth and Morgan Broekhuis to the 2012 roster.
- Nebraska is the second-winningest program in Division I history with 1,155 wins and trails only UCLA (1,172) on the all-time list.
- The defending Big Ten Champion Huskers were picked as the favorite to win the Big Ten title in 2012, while Lauren Cook, Hannah Werth and Gina Mancuso were picked as All-Big Ten selections.
- Nebraska currently has 173 consecutive sellouts at the NU Coliseum, the longest sellout streak across all NCAA women's athletics. The Huskers averaged 4,522 fans per home contest last season.
- Nebraska has 10 players on its 2012 roster who were Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 selections, representing the top-50 players in that year's recruiting class. Five of the Huskers' last seven recruiting classes have ranked in the top five nationally, including the 2009 class that was ranked second by Prepvolleyball.com
- Nebraska continued its string of All-America success in 2011, as Gina Mancuso was named an AVCA All-American. Mancuso upped Nebraska's NCAA-leading totals to 35 players and 71 certificates. Nebraska has had at least one All-American every season since 1983, a total of 30 straight seasons, including 36 All-America awards in Cook's 12 years at Nebraska.
AVCA All-America Certificates
No. School Awards
1. Nebraska 71
2. Stanford 65
3. Penn State 54
4. Hawaii 52
5. UCLA 42
- Head Coach John Cook returns a loaded team in 2012 that lost only one starter from 2011 and returns eight letterwinners. His team finished 25-5 last season, while Cook has won over 91 percent (375-35) of his matches in 12 seasons as the Huskers' leader.
The Last Time Nebraska...
- Won a match 3-0: at Iowa, Oct. 17, 2012
- Won a match 3-1: vs. Minnesota, Oct. 14, 2012
- Won a match 3-2: at Indiana, Oct. 6, 2012
- Lost a match 0-3: at Purdue, Nov. 12, 2011
- Lost a match 1-3: at Penn State, Sept. 19, 2012
- Lost a match 2-3: vs. Kansas State, Dec. 2, 2011
- Had 100 kills in a match: vs. Texas Tech, Oct. 26, 1996
- Had 200 attacks in a match: vs. Iowa State (200), Oct. 21, 2009
- Had .500-or-more hitting pct.: vs. Kansas (.523), Oct. 10, 2001
- Had 10-or-more service aces: at Texas A&M (11), Nov. 5, 2008
- Had 40-or-more total blocks: vs. UCLA (41), Sept. 14, 1991
- Had 100-or-more digs: vs. USC (109), Dec. 11, 2004
The Last Time a Husker...
- Had 30-or-more kills: Sarah Pavan (31) at Kansas State, Nov. 3, 2007
- Had 10-or-more blocks: Brooke Delano (10) at Oklahoma, Sept. 29, 2010
- Had 25-or-more digs: Lara Dykstra (28) vs. New Mexico State, Aug. 26, 2011
- Had two players with 20-or-more kills: Tara Mueller (24) and Jordan Larson (21) at Washington, Dec. 13, 2008
- Had a triple-double: Greichaly Cepero (10 kills, 38 assists, 12 digs) vs. Texas Tech, Sept. 25, 2002
- Is 344-69 (.833) when winning a first set under John Cook and 43-26 (.623) when it loses the opening set
- Has spent 401 weeks in the top 10 and were ranked in the top 10 for 115 consecutive weeks (2004-Sept. 5, 2011)
- Nebraska has currently been ranked in the top 10 for 20 consecutive weeks (Sept. 12, 2011-present)
- Is 208-0 under John Cook when hitting .300 or better
Huskers Earn Big Ten Weekly Honors
Nebraska senior Lauren Cook and freshman Meghan Haggerty have both been honored by the Big Ten Conference with weekly Big Ten Awards. Cook was named the Big Ten Co-Player and Setter of the Week three times, while Haggerty has earned two Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors.
Cook guided the Husker attack to wins over Saint Louis (3-0), No. 1 UCLA (3-2) and Notre Dame (3-0) during the first weekend of play. She notched double-doubles in all three matches, including 56 assists and 22 digs against the Bruins. Cook averaged 10.7 assists, 4.4 digs and 0.4 blocks per set. She also tabbed 27 assists against Saint Louis and 35 against Notre Dame, helping Nebraska hit .365 against the Fighting Irish.
She earned Setter of the Week honors again after averaging 11.30 assists and 2.1 digs per set in road wins over No. 12 Purdue (3-0) and Indiana (3-2). She led the Huskers to a .348 hitting percentage on the weekend, including a .361 clip against the Boilermakers.
Cook tallied the honor for the second consecutive week after averaging 11.6 assists and 2.3 digs per set in wins over No. 10 Minnesota (3-1) and Wisconsin (3-0) over the weekend. She led the third-ranked Huskers to a .361 hitting percentage for the weekend, including a .396 clip against the Badgers, where she dished out 37 assists.
Haggerty earned Big Ten honors after she hit .545 against UC Irvine, recording seven kills on 11 swings to go along with four blocks to help Nebraska to a 3-0 victory. She also averaged 2.3 kills and 1.3 blocks per set.
She earned the award for the second consecutive week after helping Nebraska to the 2012 Ameritas Players Challenge team title. She hit .600 for the week as the Huskers beat Oklahoma (3-0) and No. 19 Kentucky (3-1). She recorded an .818 hitting percentage against the Sooners, posting nine kills on 11 swings. She also averaged 2.4 kills and 1.6 blocks per set.
Haggerty's Impressive Debut
Nebraska freshman Meghan Haggerty became just the eighth true freshman to start a season opener during Coach John Cook's career at Nebraska. She posted a team-high 17 kills against UCLA, notching a .600 hitting percentage (17-2-25). Her 17 kills were the most by a Nebraska middle blocker since Tracy Stalls tallied 17 (17-2-26) against UCLA during the 2006 National Semifinal match.
She has not let up after her opening-weekend dominance. Haggerty posted nine kills on 11 swings for a .818 hitting percentage against Oklahoma on Sept. 6. With just one more kill she would have ranked 10th all-time on Nebraska's single-match individual hitting percentage list. She has been named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week twice in 2012 and ranks fifth in the Big Ten and 20th in the NCAA in hitting percentage on the season (.395).
She posted 11 kills on 25 swings against Penn State, notching five total blocks. In addition, she recorded six blocks against Ohio State. Haggerty recorded a stellar .700 hitting percentage against Michigan State, tabbbing eight kills on 10 swings.
Haggerty Leading the Huskers in Hitting Efficiency
With Haggerty's .401 hitting percentage on the season and 227 total attacks, she currently ranks first on the Nebraska freshman single-season records for hitting percentage. The next closest mark is Karen Dahlgren's hitting percentage of .388 in 1983. She is the first freshman to lead a Nebraska team in hitting percentage since Amber Holmquist in 1999.
With a match against No. 25 Illinois on Sunday, Nebraska is taking on its ninth top-25 teams this season.
The Huskers hold a 6-2 record against top-25 teams, losing to No. 4 Penn State and then-No. 25 Iowa State, but topping No. 1 UCLA and No. 19 Kentucky at the Coliseum, No. 24 Ohio State, No. 24 Michigan State, No. 12 Purdue and No. 10 Minnesota.
Werth Notches 1,000 Kills and Digs, Climbs Nebraska Records
Nebraska senior outside hitter Hannah Werth tallied 17 digs against the UCLA Bruins, surpassing the 1,000 career dig mark, becoming just the 11th Husker to reach that milestone. She has a total of 1,174 career digs, and ranks fifth all-time on the Nebraska career digs list.
Werth surpassed the 1,000 career kill mark in 2012; she has 1,121 career kills and is tied for 16th on Nebraska's all-time list. She is also one of four Huskers, joining Jennifer Saleaumua, Jordan Larson and Eileen Shannon, to record 1,000 career digs and kills.
Mancuso Hot Against Top Competition
Gina Mancuso posted 14 kills against the Minnesota Gophers last Sunday. With that mark, she has at least 10 kills in all of the Huskers' matches against ranked teams this year.
Saying Goodbye to the Coliseum
The 2011 season marks the Huskers' final season in the NU Coliseum before the team will move to the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The Coliseum has been the home for Nebraska volleyball since 1975 and provides a unique home-court advantage for NU.
Winning at Home
The Huskers currently hold a 39-match regular-season home winning streak at the NU Coliseum. The last time the Huskers lost a regular-season match at home was on Oct. 21, 2009, when the Iowa State Cyclones won 3-2.
Nebraska Too Much for Iowa
After grinding out a first-set win against Iowa last Wednesday, the Huskers won the final two sets by more than 10 points. NU held Iowa to nine points in the final set, tying for the lowest point total by a Big Ten opponent, as Northwestern totaled nine points in the second set in 2011.
Huskers Limit Dukes
The Huskers held the Duquesne Dukes to 39 total points in their match on Sept. 7. Duquesne was out-scored 25-7, 25-12, 25-20 in the match. The fewest points allowed by the Huskers in a three-set match during the rally scoring era was 37 to Alabama A&M in 2005.
Huskers Named to Ameritas Players Challenge All-Tournament Team
Three Huskers earned a spot on the 2012 Ameritas Players Challenge All-Tournament Team including Gina Mancuso, Lauren Cook and MVP Hannah Werth.
Cook Reaches 400th Match
The Huskers' match against the UC Irvine Anteaters was Head Coach John Cook's 400th match at Nebraska, he holds a 373-35 record at Nebraska.
Nebraska has hit better than .300 in 11 out of 18 matches in 2012, including a .383 hitting percentage against Oklahoma, a .391 hitting percentage against No. 24 Michigan State and a .396 hitting percentage against Wisconsin.
Hot in September and November
Historically, the Huskers' two best months are September (303-28) and November (220-20), as they have all-time winning percentages of .915 and .917, respectively. NU has lost only seven matches in September since 2004, including none from 2005-08. After eight wins in September, the Huskers are 126-10 in the month under Head Coach John Cook.
How the Huskers Rank
As of Oct.17, Nebraska ranked third in the Big Ten in hitting percentage (.309) and third in assists (13.58). NU is also second in blocks (2.87), third in opponent hitting percentage (.182), seventh in digs (14.28) and third in kills (14.41). Individually, Meghan Haggerty is fourth in the conference in hitting percentage (.401), while Hayley Thramer is sixth in blocks (1.17), Gina Mancuso is 10th in kills (3.44) and fifth in aces (0.36) and Lauren Cook is third in the conference in assists (11.28).
As of Oct. 15, the Huskers rank 21st nationally in assists per set (13.38) and are fifth in hitting percentage (.309), 19th in blocks per set (2.84) and 15th in kills per set (14.43). Individually, Cook ranks 27th in assists per set (11.26), while Haggerty is 20th nationally in hitting percentage (.395).
Solid Senior Class
Senior Hannah Werth will be looked to by the Husker defense in her fourth year. The 2010 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, Werth earned AVCA honorable mention All-America accolades in 2011 and was one of four sophomores nationally to be named an AVCA All-American in 2010 with her second-team selection. She also received first-team All-Big Ten accolades after recording 10 double-doubles on the year. She recorded at least 10 digs 19 times during her junior campaign, with a streak of eight matches where she posted at least 10 digs.
Werth has a recorded a double-double in every match but two this season, including reaching over 1,000 career digs in the Huskers' match with UCLA. She led Nebraska in kills against Saint Louis, recorded 12 kills against UCLA, notched 11 against Notre Dame and posted 14 against Oklahoma. She also led Nebraska in digs against Colgate (12), UC Irvine (12) and Oklahoma (13). Werth led Nebraska defensively against Penn State, recording a team-high 16 digs. She posted 10 digs and five blocks against Ohio State. She tabbed nine kills on 15 swings for a .467 hitting percentage against Michigan State. She recorded a team-leading 16 digs against the Wolverines on Sept. 30. Werth notched a double-double against Indiana with 12 kills and 10 digs and recorded hitting percentages of .396 and .308 against Wisconsin and Minnesota. She led Nebraska in digs against Iowa, totaling 16 in the match.
Gina Mancuso will look to guide the Huskers offensively after earning first-team AVCA All-America honors as a junior. She had a breakout year as a starter at outside hitter as a junior and elevated her play, leading the Huskers in kills and points, averaging 3.60 kills per set, 2.66 digs per set and 0.54 blocks per set. Her efforts kept her ranked in the top 10 in the Big Ten Conference for total kills during the entire season. She notched at least 10 kills in 27 matches in 2011.
She led Nebraska in kills against Notre Dame, recorded 15 against UCLA, along with 16 digs, and notched 10 kills against Saint Louis. Mancuso tallied a .412 hitting percentage against Colgate, recording seven kills on 17 swings and also posting six digs. She came on strong for the Huskers against Duquesne and Kentucky with a team-high 15 kills against the Dukes and a team-high 17 kills against the Wildcats. She posted hitting percentages of .375 and .400, respectively. Mancuso led the Husker offense against Iowa State with 18 kills on 47 swings. She also posted 16 digs and three blocks. She led Nebraska against Penn State, recording 12 kills and 11 digs. She recorded 10 kills on 23 swings (.304) and nine digs against Ohio State. She led Nebraska against Michigan State with 12 kills on 25 swings for a .400 hitting percentage. Mancuso posted 12 kills and 16 digs against the Wolverines on Sept. 30. She led NU last weekend with 14 kills and 10 digs against both Purdue and Indiana. Mancuso notched three aces and eight kills against Wisconsin, while she led the Husker offense against Minnesota, posting 14 kills (.343) and recording two service aces. She notched 12 kills and a .300 hitting percentage against Iowa.
After running a 6-2 system as a sophomore, Lauren Cook excelled in her role as pilot of the Husker offense in 2011. She was named a 2011 AVCA honorable mention All-American and earned first-team All-Big Ten accolades. Cook helped the Huskers hit. 300 or better in 10 matches in 2011, including two matches over .400 and a season-high .438 against Jackson State. She led NU with 18 double-doubles (assists-digs) on the year, giving her 37 career double-doubles at Nebraska. Cook averaged 11.03 assists per set and topped the 40-assist mark 13 times during the season, including a career-high 62 assists against Kansas State.
Cook was stellar against UCLA, posting 56 assists and 22 digs. She also notched three kills against the Bruins. Cook tabbed 43 assists in helping Nebraska beat No. 19 Kentucky. She has 10 double-doubles on the season. Cook finished with 44 assists and 10 digs against Penn State and 35 assists and 10 digs against Ohio State. She notched 39 assists and 11 digs against Michigan State. She paced the Husker offense with 48 assists against Michigan on Sept. 30, also recording 16 digs. Cook narrowly missed notching a triple-double against Minnesota, posting eight kills, 44 assists and 11 digs for the Huskers. She recorded 35 assists and two aces for the Huskers against the Hawkeyes last Wednesday.
Paige Hubl joins Cook and Werth as one of three captains on the 2012 squad after being a key defensive contributor and serving specialist for the Huskers in 2011. She played in all 30 matches as a junior and posted 12 digs against Kansas State.
Hubl notched two digs against Colgate, and posted an impressive performance against Duquesne on Sept. 7, recording a career-high 15 digs.
Allison McNeal is a talented middle blocker returning for the Huskers in 2012 after missing the 2011 season due to an injury. She started 17 matches in 2010, averaging 1.33 kills and 0.88 blocks per set.
McNeal exploded offensively for Nebraska against Colgate, recording 10 kills on 14 swings for a .571 hitting percentage. She also notched four total blocks in the match. McNeal posted eight blocks against Duquesne on Sept. 7.
Huskers Find Even More Talent for 2012
Head Coach John Cook's 2012 Huskers include four talented additions. NU welcomes in true freshmen Kelsey Fien, Meghan Haggerty, Alexa Strange and Sheridan Zarda.
All four Huskers have seen valuable playing time this fall. Along with Haggerty's accomplishments, Zarda has been an asset for the Huskers defensively. Strange came on strong for NU against Indiana, totaling seven kills on nine swings (.778). Four of her kills came in the fifth set against the Hoosiers, as she helped the Huskers to the win.
Broekhuis, Thramer Excel for Huskers
Nebraska juniors Morgan Broekhuis and Hayley Thramer excelled in their roles as sophomores, setting the stage for what is expected to be solid junior campaigns for both.
Broekhuis put herself in position to earn a starting spot at right side hitter as a sophomore and went on to earn first-team All-Big Ten and AVCA honorable-mention All-America honors. She averaged 3.04 kills, 1.58 digs, 0.69 assists and 0.86 blocks per set. She notched at least 10 kills on 19 occasions as a sophomore.
Broekhuis proved key for the Huskers in their win over defending NCAA Champion UCLA, notching 15 kills against the Bruins and the final two kills of the fifth set to seal the victory. She also recorded four service aces against Notre Dame. She was solid for the Huskers against UC Irvine, recording 16 kills on 29 swings for a .517 hitting percentage. Broekhuis finished with 15 kills on 36 swings (.306) against Kentucky, also chipping in two service aces and three block assists. Broekhuis excelled for the Huskers against Ohio State, notching a team-high 12 kills on 27 swings (.370). She led the Huskers against Michigan, recording a team-leading 16 kills on 38 swings (.395) and eight blocks for the Huskers. Broekhuis led the Husker offense against Wisconsin as she had 12 kills on 27 swings (.370). She powered Nebraska with 10 kills and a .375 hitting percentage along with two aces and five block assists against Iowa last Wednesday.
Thramer made solid strides in 2011, making her first career start at New Mexico on Aug. 27, where she totaled six kills and three blocks. She averaged 1.04 kills, 0.28 digs and 1.08 blocks per set. She finished with a career high 10 blocks against Illinois and ranked second on the team in blocks (100).
Thramer recorded a career-high 24 attacks against UCLA on Aug. 25. She also recorded seven kills and six total blocks against the Bruins and a hitting percentage of .467 the following day against Notre Dame. Thramer notched seven kills against Oklahoma and went on to record five blocks against Kentucky. She recorded a season-high nine kills against Iowa State, notching 22 swings for a .318 hitting percentage. She posted 10 kills against Penn State on Sept. 19, also totaling eight blocks. Thramer continued her impressive weekend with seven kills on 10 swings (.700) and three blocks against Ohio State. Thramer was errorless against the Spartans, as she recorded four kills on 10 swings and also notched four total blocks. She notched 12 kills on 20 attacks (.450) as she went on to record seven block assists in the match against the Wolverines on Sept. 30. She posted 10 kills and five blocks against Indiana on Oct. 6. Thramer's stellar work continued over the weekend as she had 11 kills on 20 swings for a .500 hitting percentage against Wisconsin, also posting six total blocks. She went on to record 10 kills on 19 swings (.421) against Minnesota, contributing seven blocks. Thramer notched six kills on 12 attacks and six blocks against Iowa on Wednesday.
Dykstra Sets Freshman Record, Leads in 2012
In her first season with the Huskers, Lara Dykstra took over the role of libero after all-time Nebraska digs leader Kayla Banwarth graduated in 2010. She set the NU freshman single-season digs record with 399 and finished second on the freshman single-season digs per set list with 3.59. Dykstra also recorded 15 or more digs eight times in 2011. Dykstra recorded 20 digs against UCLA on Aug. 25.
She led Nebraska defensively against Iowa State, posting a season-high 22 digs for the Huskers. She notched 15 digs for the Huskers against Wolverines on Sept. 30. Dykstra posted a team-high 13 digs against Minnesota. She currently has 577 career digs.
Huskers Elect Team Captains
Nebraska seniors Lauren Cook, Paige Hubl and Hannah Werth were selected as the 2012 team captains for the Huskers.
Busboom-Kelly Returns to Nebraska
Dani Busboom-Kelly joined Head Coach John Cook's staff in July of 2012 after spending the previous season at Louisville. After successful coaching stints at Louisville and Tennessee, Busboom-Kelly returned to Nebraska where she was a standout libero and setter for the Huskers.
As a captain at Nebraska, Busboom-Kelly moved from setter to libero in 2006 to help Nebraska's defense and finished her career as one of only two players to rank among NU's all-time leaders in both digs (1,281, second) and assists (2,873, eighth). She was a four-year starter for Cook, guiding NU to a 124-10 record, the best four-year mark in school history, three Big 12 titles, two NCAA finals appearances and a national title in 2006.