No. 5 Nebraska (25-2, 17-1) vs. Baylor (15-14, 8-10)
Wednesday, Nov. 24 • NU Coliseum • 7 p.m.
Radio: Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and KTWI 93.3 FM in Omaha, and on Huskers.com
Web Video: Huskers.com (Premium Subscription Required)
Live Stats: Huskers.com
The No. 5 Nebraska volleyball team (25-2, 17-1 Big 12) hosts the Baylor Bears (15-14, 8-10 Big 12) on Wednesday night at the NU Coliseum. The Huskers will honor seniors Sydney Anderson, Kayla Banwarth, Lindsey Licht and Tara Mueller as it will be their last regular-season match at the NU Coliseum.
The Huskers sit atop the Big 12 Conference with two matches remaining, while the Bears rank sixth. The NU Coliseum has been a tough on opposing teams as ever this season as Nebraska is 12-0 at home and has swept its last six opponents at home dating back to a sweep of Missouri on Oct. 2.
Nebraska enters the night on a six-match winning streak after its loss at Texas on Oct. 27, including sweeps in all six matches.
Baylor is coming off a 0-3 loss at home to Missouri and has a 3-3 record in the month of November. The Bears have played better away from Waco this season with a 7-5 road record, but just a 6-7 record at the Ferrell Center.
There will be no TV coverage of the match, but a live stream will be available on Huskers.com with a premium subscription. Fans can also listen to all of the action with John Baylor and Dianne Mendenhall on the 25-station Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and Twister 93.3 FM in Omaha. Fans outside the network will also be able to catch the live audio feed for free on Huskers.com.
Scouting the Baylor Bears
- The Bears enter Wednesday night's match with a 15-14 overall record and a 8-10 mark in the Big 12 Conference.
- Baylor has played better away from home this season as they have a winning record of 7-5 on the road, but are one-match below .500 at 6-7 at the Ferrell Center.
- The Bears have won their past two road matches with a pair of 3-1 wins over Kansas State and Kansas.
- Senior libero Caitlyn Trice leads the Big 12 with 5.24 digs per set. As a team the Bears lead the Big 12 in digs with 18.95 per set and have been even better in conference play with 19.21 per set.
- During Big 12 play the Bears have held opponents to a .176 hitting percentage, which ranks second behind Nebraska, who is holding the opposition to .153 hitting.
- Elizabeth Graham is the only Bear to average over 1.00 blocks per set with 1.34 per set, the second-best mark in the Big 12.
- Three Bears average at least 2.00 kills per set, including Ashlie Christensen (2.85), Elizabeth Graham (2.78) and Torri Campbell (2.67).
The Last Meeting Between Nebraska and Oklahoma (Sept. 25, 2010)
The No. 4 Nebraska volleyball team improved to 30-0 all time against the Baylor Bears with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-22) sweep at the Ferrell Center.
Playing back in her home state of Texas, sophomore Allison McNeal had a career night as her eight blocks doubled her previous best of four. A native of Schulenburg, Texas, McNeal added seven kills on 11 swings to hit a match-high .636.
Lindsey Licht's 13 kills led three Huskers in double figures, as Hannah Werth and Brooke Delano each chipped in 10 kills apiece.
Scouting the Huskers
- The Huskers are ranked No. 5 in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll for the fourth straight week. Nebraska have been ranked as high as No. 2 this season and have been in the top 10 all season.
- The Huskers are 21-0 this season when holding opponents below .200 hitting after the Huskers held Kansas State to .104 hitting. Nebraska is 4-2 when opposing teams hit above .200.
- After hitting .301 against Oklahoma, the Huskers are 183-0 under Head Coach John Cook when they hit .300 or better.
- The Huskers are 12-0 at home the season and have dropped just three sets all season at the NU Coliseum. In Big 12 play the Huskers are 9-0.
- Nebraska is 10-1 on the road this season and 8-1 in Big 12 play, with its lone loss coming at Texas.
- After posting double-digit blocks in nine of their first 14 matches of the season the Huskers have hit double figured just three times in their last 13 matches.
- Junior middle blocker Brooke Delano enters the week ranked third national in hitting percentage at .436 and ranks sixth in blocks per set at 1.46.
- The Huskers are 30-0 all-time against the Baylor Bears, including a 15-0 record at home. Nebraska has swept the Bears 25 times, including sweeps in the last three meetings.
- The Huskers enter the week ranked third nationally in three categories, including blocks (3.02), kills (15.14) and assists (14.15) per set.
- Only five times this season has a team hit .200 or better against the Husker defense, including Florida (.270), Illinois (.216), Texas twice (.272 & .252), Colorado (.239) and Oklahoma (.216). In those five matches the Huskers are 3-2.
- During Big 12 play the Huskers are tops in opponent hitting (.153), as well as assists (14.44), kills (15.41) and blocks (3.03) per set.
- Under Head Coach John Cook, the Huskers improved to 299-8 when winning the first set of the match after their 3-0 win over Oklahoma. The last time Nebraska won the first set and then lost the match was during the 2009 NCAA Regional Final, when Texas won 3-1 after NU took set one, 25-21.
- Four Huskers have combined for 16 double-doubles on the season, including nine from Hannah Werth, three each from Tara Mueller and Lauren Cook and one from Sydney Anderson.
- Three Huskers have earned four All-America honors, including Sydney Anderson (2), Tara Mueller (1) and Brooke Delano (1).
Toys for Tots Collection
Nebraska volleyball will join with the U.S. Marines Toys for Tots Drive on Wednesday night when the Huskers host Baylor at 7 p.m.
Fans are encouraged to cash donations or bring new, unwrapped toys to the match.
The volleyball team's Toys for Tots collection will be the second of four co-sponsored collections by the Nebraska Athletic Department at Husker events. The women's basketball team held their event on Nov. 17, while the Nebraska football team will join in the toy collection at Memorial Stadium (Colorado, Nov. 26), and the Husker men's basketball program will hold the collection back at the Devaney Center against USC on Nov. 27.
November to Remember
The Huskers are looking for a repeat performance of last season's 7-0 November that helped propel Nebraska into getting within one win of the Final Four.
Nebraska is currently 5-0 in November and holds a one-match lead over Texas with two matches to go on the Big 12 schedule. A perfect November would guarantee the Huskers their 31st overall conference title and their 12th in the Big 12 era.
Since Head Coach John Cook took over in 2000, the Huskers have posted a perfect record in November six times, including three straight seasons from 2000-02.
Fear the Coliseum
The Huskers have been making quick work of their opponents of late with 11 sweeps in their past 12 matches, including six straight entering Wednesday night's match.
During Big 12 play at the NU Coliseum the Huskers have lost just two sets all season, with Kansas and Texas both winning a set in a pair of 3-1 Husker wins.
Black and Blue Bears
Anytime the Baylor Bears have had the Huskers on the schedule it has not ended well for Baylor as the Huskers are a perfect 30-0 in the series. NU has dominated the series with 25 sweeps, with Baylor winning just five out of 95 sets and BU has never won a set by more than two points.
The Nebraska-Baylor series in the only Big 12 series for the Huskers where they've won every match. Nebraska has never lost to Kansas, but the Huskers and Jayhawks did tie once in 1977.
In Need of an Assist?
Entering the season ranked ninth on Nebraska's career chart with 2,683 assists, senior Sydney Anderson's 559 assists this season have already moved her to fifth place on the career list with 3,242 dishes.
Against Texas Tech on Nov. 6 Anderson took over the No. 5 spot from Christy Johnson, who had totaled 3,183 assists from 1991-95.
On her way up the charts Anderson has also passed Rachel Holloway (2,861), Dani Busboom (2,873) and Lori Endicott (3,117). All together the four setters she has passed this season combined for six All-America honors.
Next up for Anderson is Val Novak, who sits fourth on NU's all-time charts with 3,303 assists.
The Numbers Game
With its recent sweep of Oklahoma the Nebraska volleyball team has climbed to second in the latest NCAA RPI rankings behind No. 1 Florida. The Huskers are 12-2 against the RPI's top 50 this season and have wins over four top-20 teams, including No. 4 Illinois, No. 10 Dayton, No. 13 Texas and No. 19 Iowa State.
Where Will the Huskers Go?
On Sunday, Nov. 28 the Huskers will find out their path in the NCAA Tournament during the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Selection Show, which will be shown from 2-2:30 p.m. (CT) on ESPNews. If the Huskers get out of the first two rounds of the tournament, Nebraska will then have to head on the road for the regional round. The four pre-selected regional sites include Austin, Texas, Dayton, Ohio, Seattle, Wash., and University Park, Penn. The 2010 Final Four will be hosted at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.
Tara-ing it Up
Senior Tara Mueller is starting to find her rhythm at just the right time. An All-American in 2008, Mueller had struggled to find constancy at the net this season and was hitting just .194 entering the month of November with 2.16 kills per set.
Mueller has found new life since the start of the year's 11th month as she is hitting .347 and averaging 2.23 kills per set. She has also been the Huskers' most dangerous server with 0.62 aces per set.
Delano Stays Hot
Junior middle blocker Brooke Delano has been the Huskers' most efficient attacker all season with a .430 hitting percentage. Along with being ranked No. 1 in the Big 12 Conference, she is near the top of the national charts and currently ranks third.
Delano has been ranked at the top of the national list previously this season and made her first appearance in the top spot on Oct. 17 and held the lead until she fell to the No. 2 spot during the week of Oct. 31. Delano re-took the top spot the following week (Nov. 7) and has stayed there until this week.
An All-American in 2009, Delano has hit .500 or better 11 times in 2010, including two matches where she hit over .700.
Delano is looking to become just the fourth Husker in school history to hit .400 or better in a season. Tracy Stalls was the last Husker to do so when she set the NU single-season record in 2007 when she hit .473. Stalls also hit .400 in 2006.
One on the Court
It is all about the team at Nebraska and it shows this season as the Huskers enter the week ranked in the top-20 nationally in four categories, including three top-five rankings. What makes the feat even more impressive is the fact that Nebraska only has one player that ranks in the top 50 of any individual national category as Brooke Delano enters the week ranked third nationally in hitting percentage (.430) and is sixth in blocks per set (1.46).
As a team the Huskers are third in blocks (3.02), kills (15.14) and assists (14.15) while also ranking 16th in hitting percentage (.283).
No Place Like Home
The Huskers hold a home-court advantage at the Coliseum due to the Huskers' passionate fan base.
Nebraska currently holds a streak of 146 consecutive sellouts at the NU Coliseum, the longest sellout streak across all NCAA women's athletics. Including the Devaney Center match this season against Illinois, the Huskers are averaging 4,756 fans per home contest.
Nebraska is one of just two programs nationally to average over 4,000 fans per home contest with national-leader Hawaii holding the top spot with 6,136 fans per home match. Wisconsin ranks third at 3,737 fans per match.
Sophomore Hannah Werth has come alive for the Huskers of late as she is averaging a team-best 3.29 kills and is second on the team in digs with 3.35 digs per set while also hitting .306 over her last 10 matches, including a .474 performance at Kansas State. In her first 17 matches of the season Werth was hitting .205 and averaging 2.58 kills per set.
Head of the CLASS
Nebraska senior setter Sydney Anderson was named one of 10 finalists for the 2010 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award on Monday, Oct. 11 for women's volleyball.
A two-time AVCA All-American, Anderson was named to the preseason All-Big 12 list and is a two-time captain for the Huskers.
Fans can vote every day for Sydney at www.SeniorCLASSaward.com.
Nebraska's middle blockers have been a force both offensively and defensively this season. Brooke Delano, Jordan Wilberger and Allison McNeal all average nearly one block per set and each is hitting .335 or better.
Delano leads the Big 12 in both hitting percentage (.430) and blocks (1.46), while Wilberger is fourth in hitting percentage (.335) and sixth in blocks (1.14).
With her second dig of the match against Texas Tech on Saturday, Nov. 6, senior libero Kayla Banwarth took over the top spot on the NU career digs chart with the 1,569th dig of her career. Banwarth broke Jennifer Saleaumua's record of 1,568 digs.
Not only is Banwarth the top digger in NU history, but she is also one of the top diggers in Big 12 history. Entering Wednesday night's match the senior ranks sixth all-time on the Big 12 charts with 1,628 digs. Banwarth is one of four active liberos on the Big 12 top-10 list, including Iowa State's Ashley Mass, who hold the top mark at 2,209 digs.
Last season, Banwarth compiled 570 digs, which nearly broke Dani Busboom's 2006 single-season record of 580.
Huskers Add Three for 2011
Nebraska Head Volleyball Coach John Cook announced the addition of three high school players to the Huskers' 2011 roster on Thursday, Nov. 11, including two Prepvolleyball.com's top-100 Senior Aces.
The class includes outside hitter/right side hitter Taylor Simpson (Colorado Springs, Colo.), libero/outside hitter Lara Dykstra (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and libero/defensive specialist Shelby Winkelmann (Rhineland, Mo.).
Simpson is rated as the No. 9 player in the country by Prepvolleyball.com, while Dykstra ranks 52nd. Winkelmann led her prep squad to two state titles and holds the school record in kills (1,453).
The Great Wall
The Husker defense has shutdown opposing hitters all season and for it the Huskers enter the week ranked No. 3 in the country in blocks with 3.02 per set. Nebraska has posted double-digit stuffs in 11 matches this season, including 15 or more three times. It is an impressive feat as the Huskers have played more than three sets only nine times this year and to a fifth set just twice.
During Big 12 play the Huskers have been just as tough on opposing attackers with 3.03 blocks per set.
Along with Brooke Delano's conference-best 1.46 blocks per set, which ranks sixth nationally entering the week, Jordan Wilberger and Lindsey Licht join Delano on the Big 12 top-10 list with 1.14 and 1.11 blocks per set, respectively.
Since Head Coach John Cook took over at Nebraska in 2000, the Huskers have earned the NCAA blocking title five times, including 2000, '01, '02, '04 and '05.
Coming off a freshman season that saw her earn Big 12 Freshman of the Year, honorable-mention All-America and honorable-mention All-Big 12 honors, Hannah Werth has continued to put up solid numbers in 2010.
Through 27 matches, Werth leads the team with nine double-doubles, including six in Big 12 play.
True freshman Morgan Broekhuis is starting to hit a groove as the 6-5 lefty is hitting .348 and averaging 2.39 kills per set over her past six matches. She has hit .300 or better in five of the six matches, including three matches where she has hit over .400 and one match where she hit .538.
In her first 12 conference matches this season she was hitting .179 with 2.02 kills per set. During the run she had hit .300 or better just twice, with the top performance coming at home against Texas when she hit at a .333 clip.
Kills Keep Coming
The 2010 Huskers ranked first in the Big 12 Conference and third nationally with 15.14 kills per set, but Nebraska doesn't have one player on the individual Big 12 top-10 list or national top-50 list.
Five Huskers average at least two kills per set, including Brooke Delano (2.98), Lindsey Licht (2.95), Hannah Werth (2.84), Tara Mueller (2.17) and Morgan Broekhuis (2.09).
During Big 12 play, Licht (3.05), Werth (3.04) and Delano (3.02) are each averaging over 3.00 kills per set.