The Huskers travel to Michigan State and Michigan this weekend.
Photo by BreAnna Haessler/NU Media Relations

Huskers Head to Michigan State, Michigan

By NU Athletic Communications
No. 7 Nebraska at Michigan State  Friday, Sept. 30  Jenison Field House 6 p.m.
Radio:  Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and KTWI 93.3 FM in Omaha, and on
Web Video:
Live Stats:

No. 7 Nebraska at No. 17 Michigan •  Saturday, Oct. 1  Cliff Keen Arena 6 p.m.
TV:       ESPN2 (Tape Delay on Oct. 2 at 1:30 p.m.)
Radio:  Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and KTWI 93.3 FM in Omaha, and on
Live Stats:

The No. 7 Nebraska volleyball team makes its first Big Ten roadtrip this weekend as the Huskers take on Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich., on Friday, Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. and face off with No. 17 Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 6 p.m. The Huskers' match against Michigan State will air via Student U on, while NU's match against the Wolverines will air via tape delay on ESPN2 on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 1:30 p.m.

Nebraska (9-1) is fresh off a 3-1 win over No. 24 Ohio State last Saturday night. The Huskers opened the conference schedule with a bang by topping Penn State 3-2 on Wednesday, Sept. 21 in front of a roaring NU Coliseum. Penn State could not overcome a dramatic effort by NU to win its inaugural Big Ten Conference match. Nebraska finished the weekend 2-0 in conference play. 

Michigan State and Nebraska have met 10 times, with NU holding an 8-0-2 record over the Spartans. The last time the two teams met was on Dec. 7, 2007 when Nebraska won 3-2 in the third round of the NCAA tournament.

Michigan and Nebraska have met four times, with Nebraska leading the all-time series at 3-1. The last time the two teams met was on Aug. 28, 2009, with the Wolverines topping the Huskers, 3-0.

Fans can 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 Twister 93.3 FM in Omaha. Fans outside the state will also be able to catch the live audio feed for free on

NU-Michigan State All-Time Series

Nov. 4, 1978- T, 15-13, 6-15

Oct. 20, 1979- W, 15-10, 15-8

Nov. 3, 1979- T, 3-15, 15-9

Dec. 14, 1995- W, 10-15, 15-8, 15-8, 9-15, 15-8

Sept. 6, 1996- W, 15-7, 15-11, 13-15, 11-15, 15-11

Sept. 7, 1996- W, 15-11, 15-8, 15-7

Dec. 6, 1997- W, 15-7, 15-12, 15-4

Sept. 9, 2000- W, 15-3, 15-3, 15-4

Sept. 13, 2003- W, 30-20, 30-20, 30-24

Dec. 7, 2007- W, 25-30, 28-30, 30-17, 30-28, 15-9

NU-Michigan All-Time Series

Sept. 14, 2002- W, 30-20, 30-28, 3-23

Sept. 3, 2005- W, 30-22, 30-19, 30-21

Dec. 12, 2008- W, 25-13, 25-16, 25-18

Aug. 28, 2009- L, 23-25, 21-25, 17-25

Getting to Know the Spartans

Location: East Lansing, Mich.

Enrollment: 47,100

Nickname: Spartans

Colors: Green and White

Head Coach: Cathy George (Illinois State '85)

Record at School: 84-76 (5 years)

Overall Record: 449-300

Asst. Coaches: Russ Carney, Mike Gawlik

2010 Record: 15-16

2010 Big Ten Record: 7-13 (7th)

2010 Postseason: DNQ

2010 Final Ranking: NR

Letterwinners R/L: 9/4

Starters R/L: 5+1/1

Series Record: Nebraska leads, 8-0-2

Last Meeting: NU won, 3-2 (12/7/07)

Last NU Win: 12/7/07

Last NU Loss: None

Longest NU Winning Streak: 7

Current NU Winning Streak: 7

Two sets: 1-0-2

Three sets: 4-0

Four sets: 3-0

Getting to Know the Wolverines

Location: Ann Arbor, Mich.

Enrollment: 38,980

Nickname: Wolverines

Colors: Maize and Blue

Head Coach: Mark Rosen (Cal State Northridge '85)

Record at School: 239-152 (12 years)

Overall Record: 448-189 (19 years)

Associate Head Coach: Leisa Rosen

Asst Coach: Erin Virtue

2010 Record: 23-10

2010 Big Ten Record: 12-8 (T-4th)

2010 Postseason: NCAA First Round

2010 Final Ranking: NR

Letterwinners R/L: 13/2

Starters R/L: 4/2+1

Series Record: Nebraska leads, 3-1

Last Meeting: NU lost, 3-0 (8/28/09)

Last NU Win: 12/12/08

Last NU Loss: 8/28/09

Longest NU Winning Streak: 3

Current NU Winning Streak: 0

Three sets: 3-1

Scouting the Michigan State Spartans

  • The Spartans are 12-2 on the year, heading into a weekend where they face the Huskers on Friday, Sept. 30, and Iowa on Saturday, Oct. 1.
  • Michigan State went 1-1 last weekend in matches at Purdue and Indiana. The Spartans lost 3-0 to Purdue, but won 3-1 at Indiana.
  • Senior outside hitter Jenilee Rathje leads the Spartans in kills with 179 on the season, averaging 4.07 per set.
  • At the net, sophomore middle blocker Alexis Mathews leads Michigan State in blocks with a total of 67 and 1.49 per set. She has one solo block and 66 block assists.
  • Freshman defensive specialist Kori Moster was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Monday, marking the first such award of her career. She tallied a career-best 17 digs against Indiana, while adding 13 against Purdue the previous night.
  • Defensively, senior libero Carli Weiler has 126 digs on the season, with an average of 2.80 per set.
  • Michigan State ranks first in the Big Ten in team hitting percentage (.321) and blocks (3.01). The Spartans are fourth in assists (13.36), 12th in digs (12.18), eighth in opponent hitting percentage (.107), third in kills (14.31) and 10th in aces (0.93).
  • The Spartans are also first nationally in hitting percentage and are ninth nationally in blocks per set.
  • Michigan State's win at Indiana snapped MSU's road losing streak against Indiana as it tallied its first win over the Hoosiers on the road since Oct. 12, 2007. Senior outside hitter Kyndra Abron paced the team with 15 kills on the night.
  • Head coach Cathy George is in her seventh season at the helm of the Spartans. In her 25 seasons as a head coach, George has appeared in eight NCAA tournaments, including being the first woman to coach in the NCAA Division I Final Four in 1989. During her time at MSU, the Spartans have appeared in the tournament in three of her six seasons.
  • MSU has received plenty of support this season offensively from its senior class, a group which entered Michigan State as the seventh-ranked recruiting class in the nation in 2008.

The Last Time Nebraska and Michigan State Met (Dec. 7, 2007)

Madison, Wis. - Jordan Larson's 20 kills and 16 digs led second-ranked Nebraska to a 25-30, 28-30, 30-17, 30-28, 15-9 victory over No. 24 Michigan State at the University of Wisconsin Field House.

Larson's first 20-kill match of the season propelled Nebraska (30-1) into the regional title match against sixth-ranked Cal, a 3-0 winner over Iowa State in Friday's first regional semifinal.

It marked the third time in her career that Larson totaled 20 kills and her highest single-match total since she totaled a career-high 21 kills in the 2006 NCAA Regional title match. Larson, who totaled her team-best 11th double-double of the season, was one of four Huskers to total double figures in kills as Nebraska reached the 30-win plateau for the fourth straight season.

Scouting the No. 17 Michigan Wolverines

  • The Wolverines are 13-1 on the year, heading into a weekend where they face Iowa on Friday, Sept. 30, and the Huskers on Saturday, Oct. 1.
  • Michigan enters the weekend after going 1-1 last weekend in matches at Indiana and Purdue. The Wolverines won at Indiana 3-0, but were swept at Purdue.
  • The match against Purdue marked just the second time this season that Michigan has hit less than .200. The Wolverines also hit .185 against Texas A&M.
  • At the net, sophomore middle blocker Jennifer Cross leads Michigan in blocks with a total of 54. She has five solo blocks and 49 assists on the season.
  • Senior outside hitter Alex Hunt leads the Wolverines in kills with 163, averaging 3.40 kills per set. Sophomore outside hitter Lexi Erwin has 156 kills in 2011.
  • Defensively, senior libero Sloane Donhoff leads the team with 221 digs, averaging 4.60 digs per set.
  • Michigan ranks first in the Big Ten in kills (14.90) and aces (2.00). The Wolverines are fourth in hitting percentage (.277), second in assists (13.71), 10th in blocks (2.07), seventh in digs (14.33) and ninth in opponent hitting percentage (.172).
  • Head coach Mark Rosen won the 250th match of his tenure at Michigan with a 3-1 win over Xavier two weeks ago. He is 252-153 in 13 years at Michigan.
  • The Wolverines closed the 2010 regular season with a 12-1 mark at Cliff Keen Arena, including a 9-1 Big Ten mark.
  • Michigan is ranked ninth in win-loss percentage nationally, tied for fourth in aces per set, fifth in assists per set and 11th in hitting percentage.

The Last Time Nebraska and Michigan Met (Aug. 28, 2009)

Omaha - Sixteenth-ranked Michigan upset the third-ranked Nebraska volleyball team at the Runza/AVCA Showcase at Qwest Center Omaha, winning 25-23, 25-21, 25-17 to become the first team to sweep the Huskers since 2007.

In front of a pro-Husker crowd of 5,772, Nebraska started strong, as the Huskers either led or were tied for 19 of the first 21 rallies. From there, it was all Michigan, as the Wolverines were either tied or held the lead for 73 of the final 78 rallies in handing the Huskers their first season-opening loss since 1999.

The Wolverines, who had never taken a set off Nebraska in three previous meetings, picked up their program's first-ever win over a top-five team while becoming only the second team ever to beat the Huskers at the Qwest Center.

Nebraska meanwhile suffered a pair of firsts under 10th-year head coach John Cook. The Huskers lost a season opener for the first time under Cook, while Nebraska lost for the first time in nine matches under Cook at the prestigious AVCA Showcase.

Scouting the Huskers

  • Nebraska is 9-1 in 2011 and enters Friday night's match ranked No. 7 in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll.
  • The Huskers are 9-0 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 six 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.
  • As of Sept. 25, Nebraska ranks second in the Big Ten in opponent hitting percentage at .115. The Huskers are fifth in hitting percentage (.274), eighth in assists (12.44), third in blocks (2.73), ninth in kills (13.31), 12th in service aces (0.82) and ninth in digs (13.82).
  • As of Sept. 25, Hayley Thramer is first in the Big Ten in blocks (1.58), while Jordan Wilberger is sixth (1.24) and Morgan Broekhuis is tied for eighth (1.15). Brooke Delano ranks sixth in hitting percentage (.374), and Gina Mancuso is ninth in points (4.23) and seventh in kills (3.82). Lauren Cook is seventh in assists with 10.85.
  • Gina Mancuso has 149 kills so far in 2011, averaging 3.82 per set.
  • Mancuso was named the Co-Big Ten Player of the Week on Monday after her stellar weekend against Penn State and Ohio State.
  • Lara Dykstra has 132 digs so far in her freshman campaign, averaging 3.38 per set.
  • Lauren Cook has totaled 423 assists in 2011, averaging 10.85 per set. Her efforts have led NU to a .274 hitting percentage on the season.
  • Under Head Coach John Cook, the Huskers improved to 311-9 when winning the first set of the match after their win over Ohio State on Sept. 24.
  • Three Huskers have combined for eight double-doubles in 2011, with Mancuso tallying five, Broekhuis tabbing two and Werth notching one of her own.

Gina Mancuso  |  2011 (5)  |  NU Career (5), All (5)

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

Penn State (Sept. 21)                22         0          10         2

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 (2)  |  NU Career (2), All (2)

Opponent (Date)           K          A          D          B

Iowa State (Sept. 17)     11         2          10         4

Penn State (Sept. 21)    12         4          11         4

  • Three Huskers average more than a block a set, including Broekhuis (1.15), Wilberger (1.24) and Thramer (1.58).

Tough Tests

With the match at No. 17 Michigan on Saturday, Nebraska will be taking on its fifth top-25 team this season.

The Huskers hold a 3-1 record against top-25 teams, losing to then-No. 15 Colorado State on Sept. 2 in five sets in Fort Collins, Colo., but notching a 3-2 victory over then-No. 5 Penn State on Sept. 21 and a 3-1 victory over then-No. 24 Ohio State on Sept. 24.

Hot in September

Historically, the Huskers' two best months are September (294-26) and November (214-18), as they have all-time winning percentages of .919 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 117-8 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 continuing sellout streak across all NCAA women's athletics. The Huskers averaged 4,632 fans per home contest last season. As of Sept. 28, Nebraska ranks third in current home win streaks with 29.

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 10 matches of her collegiate career, freshman Lara Dykstra has totaled 132 digs and has averaged 3.38 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 notched another eight blocks against Penn State on Sept. 21. She currently ranks first in the Big Ten in blocks, averaging 1.58 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. The Huskers held Ohio State to a .134 hitting percentage on Sept. 24.

Holding Their Own

As of Sept. 25, the Huskers rank 18th nationally in blocks per set with 2.73. NU is 14th in hitting percentage at .274 and is 15th in match win-loss percentage.

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 notched another double-double against Penn State with 12 kills and 11 digs. Broekhuis has 116 kills for the Huskers in 2011, with a hitting percentage of .256.

Mancuso Paving Her Way

Gina Mancuso has notched five double-doubles so far in 2011, most recently against Penn State on Sept. 21. She tallied 22 kills and 10 digs to lead NU in topping the Nittany Lions. Mancuso leads all Nebraska hitters with 149 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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