The No. 10 Huskers host No. 5 Penn State on Wednesday, Sept. 21.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Host Penn State in Big Ten Opener

By NU Athletic Communications
No. 10 Nebraska vs. No. 5 Penn State • Wednesday, Sept. 21 • NU Coliseum • 7 p.m.

TV: Big Ten Network

Radio: Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and KTWI 93.3 FM in Omaha, and on

Web Video: BTN2Go

Live Stats:

The No. 10 Nebraska volleyball team welcomes the No. 5 Penn State Nittany Lions to the NU Coliseum on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m., in a match that will be carried live on BTN and can also be seen on BTN2Go.

Nebraska (7-1) is fresh off a 3-0 sweep of Iowa State at the Devaney Center on Saturday, Sept. 17. Penn State is coming off of three wins at home over the weekend, improving its record to 7-3. The Nittany Lions come to Nebraska as the Huskers' first Big Ten Conference opponent.

Penn State is the highest ranked team to come to the NU Coliseum since No. 2 Texas on Sept. 26, 2009. Nebraska lost that match, 3-1.

Penn State and Nebraska have met 17 times, with Nebraska leading the series 11-6. The last time the two schools met was on Dec. 18, 2008 in the NCAA Semifinals at the Qwest Center in Omaha. Penn State won the match 3-2 (25-17, 25-18, 25-15, 25-22, 15-11).

Fans can listen to all of the action with John Baylor and Diane Mendenhall on the 25-station Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and Twister 93.3 FM in Omaha. Fans outside the state will also be able to catch the live audio feed for free on

Getting to Know the Nittany Lions

Location: University Park, Pa.

Enrollment: 44,112

Nickname: Nittany Lions

Colors: Blue and White

Head Coach: Russ Rose (George Williams, '75)

Record at School: 1,033-164 (32 years)

Overall Record: same

Asst. Coaches: Dennis Hohenshelt, Kaleena Davidson

2010 Record: 32-5

2010 Big Ten Record: 16-4

2010 Postseason: NCAA Champion

2010 Final Ranking: 1st

Letterwinners R/L: 10/6

Starters R/L: 5/4

Series Record: Nebraska leads, 11-6

Last Meeting: NU lost, 3-2 (12/18/08)

Last NU Win: 9/2/07

Last NU Loss: 12/18/08

Longest NU Winning Streak: 6

Current NU Winning Streak: 0

Two sets: 0-1

Three sets: 5-1

Four sets: 3-3

Five sets: 3-1

All-Time Nebraska/Penn State Series (NU Leads 11-6)

Oct. 2, 1981      L, 2-15, 8-15

Nov. 4, 1982     W, 15-13, 15-5, 15-13

Dec. 7, 1985     W, 15-8, 15-7, 15-12

Dec. 12, 1986    W, 7-15, 15-4, 16-14, 16-18, 15-9

Sept. 12, 1987   W, 15-12, 15-12, 15-17, 15-7

Dec. 8, 1990     W, 15-12, 16-14, 10-15, 15-5

Sept. 4, 1993    W, 15-11, 9-15, 15-4, 15-17, 15-10

Dec. 10, 1994    L, 15-12, 11-15, 9-15, 8-15

Aug. 25, 1995    W, 15-4, 15-3, 15-6

Dec. 8, 1995     W, 15-7, 15-6, 14-16, 15-2

Dec. 14, 1996    W, 15-12, 8-15, 15-13, 9-15, 20-18

Sept. 19, 1997   L, 14-16, 12-15, 14-16

Dec. 17, 1998    L, 11-15, 8-15, 15-8, 11-15

Aug. 28, 1999    L, 15-11, 12-15, 8-15, 14-16

Sept. 11, 2005   W, 30-14, 30-27, 30-23

Sept. 2, 2007    W, 30-20, 30-21, 30-27

Dec. 18, 2008    L, 17-25, 18-25, 25-15, 25-22, 11-15

Scouting the Penn State Nittany Lions

  • The Nittany Lions are 7-3 on the season after winning three matches over the weekend in the Hampton Inn Classic. Penn State beat LIU 3-0, Florida Gulf Coast 3-1 and Rutgers 3-0.
  • Penn State is led by sophomore outside hitter Deja McClendon who has 137 kills so far in 2011 and is averaging 3.70 kills per set.
  • The Nittany Lions are averaging a .283 hitting percentage, while holding opponents to an average hitting percentage of .149.
  • Sophomore middle hitter Katie Slay was named the Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week on Monday. Slay recorded 1.9 blocks per set in three matches at the Hampton Inn Classic. She matched a career high with 10 total blocks against Florida Gulf Coast and was named the Hampton Inn Classic Most Valuable Player. It was the second defensive player-of-the-week award of her career.
  • Freshman setter Micha Hancock has 334 assists for the Nittany Lions in 2011. She is averaging 9.28 assists per set.
  • Penn State is a four-time defending national champion. In 2010 the Nittany Lions became the first team in Division I women's volleyball to win four consecutive national championships.
  • Penn State has met four top-20 teams in 2011, including No. 2 Stanford, No. 8 Texas, No. 12 Southern California and No. 15 Oregon. PSU holds a 1-3 record against those schools, beating USC 3-2 on Aug. 27.
  • Penn State head coach Russ Rose entered his 32nd season with the Nittany Lions as the NCAA's winningest coach with a 1,033-1694 record. He is just the third active Division I coach to reach 1,000 career wins. Rose earned his master's degree at Nebraska, while he was the defensive coach for NU in 1978.

The Last Time Nebraska and Penn State Met (Dec. 18, 2008)

Omaha, Neb. - Top-ranked Penn State saw one of its impressive NCAA records come to an end at the 2008 NCAA Semifinals, but the Nittany Lions' ultimate goals of an unbeaten season and a second straight national title remained firmly intact, as they held off a furious rally by No. 4 Nebraska in a 3-2 victory over the Huskers in front of an NCAA-record crowd of 17,430 inside the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb.

The Nittany Lions, who hadn't been pushed passed a third set all season, proved they could handle the pressure and fatigue factors of a fifth set. Trying to complete an improbable comeback, Nebraska led 10-8 in the final set before a poised Penn State team emerged from a timeout and strung together six consecutive points to essentially seal the match and the Nittany Lions' 64th straight victory.

With the win, the 37-0 Nittany Lions kept their perfect season alive and moved within one victory of becoming only the sixth women's volleyball program in NCAA Division I history to repeat as national champions. Penn State eventually won the national title the following evening against Stanford.

Scouting the Huskers

  • Nebraska is 7-1 in 2011 and enters Wednesday night's match ranked No. 10 in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll.
  • The Huskers are 7-0 this season when holding opponents below .200 hitting. Nebraska is 0-1 when opposing teams hit above .200.
  • Nebraska has totaled double-digit blocks in four matches this season, including a season-high 16.5 blocks against New Mexico State.
  • The Huskers tallied a season-low six errors against Albany on Sept. 3. The last time NU had six errors or less in a match was against Sacred Heart on Dec. 2, 2010.
  • Nebraska ranks first in the Big Ten in opponent hitting percentage at .102. The Huskers are seventh in hitting percentage (.274), eighth in assists (12.63), third in blocks (2.82), ninth in kills (13.50), 12th in service aces (0.90) and seventh in digs (14.23).
  • Hayley Thramer is first in the Big Ten in blocks (1.65), while Jordan Wilberger is third (1.50) and Morgan Broekhuis is ninth (1.23). Brooke Delano ranks eighth in hitting percentage (.379), and Gina Mancuso is ninth in points (4.28) and eighth in kills (3.87). Lauren Cook is seventh in assists with 10.97, and Lara Dykstra is ninth in digs (3.73).
  • Gina Mancuso has 116 kills so far in 2011, averaging 3.87 per set.
  • Morgan Broekhuis is also averaging more than three kills per set (3.10), as she has a total of 93 kills in her sophomore season.
  • Lara Dykstra has 112 digs so far in her freshman campaign, averaging 3.73 per set.
  • Lauren Cook has totaled 329 assists in 2011, averaging 10.97 per set. Her efforts have led NU to a .274 hitting percentage on the season.
  • Under Head Coach John Cook, the Huskers improved to 309-9 when winning the first set of the match after their sweep of Iowa State on Sept. 17.
  • Three Huskers have combined for six double-doubles in 2011, with Mancuso tallying four and Werth and Broekhuis each notching one of their own.

Gina Mancuso  |  2011 (4)  |  NU Career (4), All (4)

Opponent (Date)                       K          A          D          B

New Mexico State (Aug. 26)       16         0          14         2

Creighton (Sept. 8)                    12         0          10         1

Saint Mary's (Sept. 9)                15         1          11         3

Iowa State (Sept. 17)                 14         0          11         1

Hannah Werth |  2011 (1)  |  NU Career (23), All (23)

Opponent (Date)                       K          A          D          B

Colorado State (Sept. 2)            12         0          15         1

Morgan Broekhuis |  2011 (1)  |  NU Career (1), All (1)

Opponent (Date)           K          A          D          B

Iowa State (Sept. 17)     11         2          10         4

  • Three Huskers average more than a block a set, including Broekhuis (1.23), Wilberger (1.50) and Thramer (1.65).

Tough Tests

With the visit by Penn State this week, Nebraska will be taking on its third top-25 team this season.

The Huskers hold a 1-1 record against top-25 teams, losing to then-No. 15 Colorado State on Sept. 2 in five sets in Fort Collins, Colo., but sweeping then-No. 12 Iowa State last Saturday.

Hot in September

Historically, the Huskers' two best months are September (292-26) and November (214-18), as they have all-time winning percentages of .918 and .922, respectively. NU has lost only five matches in September since 2004, including none from 2005-08.

After five wins so far in September, the Huskers are 115-8  in the month under Head Coach John Cook. 

Cook Reaches 500

With the Huskers' win over Albany on Sept. 3, Head Coach John Cook tallied his 500th win as a head coach.

No Place Like Nebraska

Nebraska celebrated a streak of 150 consecutive sellouts at the NU Coliseum on Sept. 8. It is the longest sellout streak across all NCAA women's athletics. The Huskers averaged 4,632 fans per home contest last season. As of Sept. 12, Nebraska ranks third in current home win streaks with 25.

Small Membership

Lara Dykstra became just the seventh true freshman to start a season opener during Head Coach John Cook's era at Nebraska. Sophomore Morgan Broekhuis was the last Husker to do so in 2010.

Dykstra Digging

Through the first seven matches of her collegiate career, freshman Lara Dykstra has totaled 112 digs and has averaged 3.73 digs per set. Her 28 digs against New Mexico State ranked ninth in Nebraska volleyball single-match performances and were the highest total by a Husker since 2009.

Thramer Makes Impact

Sophomore Hayley Thramer made her first career start at New Mexico on Aug. 27. She tabbed eight blocks against New Mexico State and three against New Mexico. She currently ranks first in the Big Ten in blocks, averaging 1.65 per set.

Volleyball Blackshirts

Nebraska kept Albany at a .038 hitting percentage for the match, including a .075 percentage in set two and -.079 in set three. The Huskers held Creighton to a .053 hitting percentage on Sept. 8,Weber State to a .071 hitting percentage on Sept. 10 and Iowa State to a .087 hitting percentage on Sept. 17. Nebraska leads the Big Ten with a .102 opponent hitting percentage on the season.

Holding Their Own

The Huskers rank seventh in the Big Ten in hitting percentage (.274), eighth in assists (12.63), third in blocks (2.82), seventh in digs (14.23), first in opponent hitting percentage (.102), ninth in kills (13.50) and 12th in aces (0.90).

Broekhuis Breakout

Morgan Broekhuis recorded the first double-double of her career against Iowa State on Sept. 17, with 11 kills and 10 digs. She has 93 kills for the Huskers in 2011, with a hitting percentage of .255.

Mancuso Paving Her Way

Gina Mancuso has notched four double-doubles so far in 2011, most recently against Iowa State on Sept. 17. She tallied 14 kills and 11 digs to lead NU in sweeping the Cyclones. Mancuso leads all Nebraska hitters with 116 kills in 2011.

Map to Success

Nebraska has eight players on its 2011 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

Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 Members

Year     Players

2008     Allison McNeal

2009     Gina Mancuso, Hannah Werth, Hayley Thramer, Lauren Cook

2010     Morgan Broekhuis

2011     Lara Dykstra, Taylor Simpson

The Home for All-Americans

Nebraska continued its string of All-America success in 2010, as Brooke Delano, Lindsey Licht and Hannah Werth were named AVCA All-Americans. The trio upped Nebraska's NCAA-leading totals to 34 players and 70 certificates. Nebraska has had at least one All-American every season since 1983, a total of 29 straight seasons, including 35 All-America awards in Cook's 11 years at Nebraska.

AVCA All-America Certificates

No.       School              Awards

1.         Nebraska          70

2.         Stanford           65

3.         Penn State        51

4.         Hawaii               50

5.         UCLA                41

Pre-Season All-Conference Picks

The Huskers were picked to finish in a tie for second in the Big Ten preseason coaches' poll. The Huskers also had three players picked to the preseason All-Big Ten list. Unanimous selection senior Brooke Delano was joined by juniors Lauren Cook and Hannah Werth.


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