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Gina Mancuso and the Huskers will take on Northwestern on Saturday.
Courtesy: NU Media Relations
          Release: 11/24/2011
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Huskers Conclude Regular Season at Northwestern

No. 2 Nebraska at Northwestern • Saturday, Nov. 26 • Welsh-Ryan Arena • 7 p.m.

Web Video: NUSports.com (subscription)
Radio: Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and KTWI 93.3 FM in Omaha, and on Huskers.com
Live Stats: nusports.com

The No. 2 Nebraska volleyball team will travel to take on the Northwestern Wildcats on Saturday, Nov. 26 at Welsh-Ryan Arena at 6 p.m. The match can be seen on NUSports.com with a subscription or with a BTN.com subscription.

The Huskers (24-3, 17-2) topped Iowa 3-0 (25-14, 25-14, 25-19) on Tuesday night, clinching the first Big Ten Conference title in any sport in school history.

Northwestern and Nebraska have met four times, with the Huskers holding a 4-0 record over the Wildcats. The last time the two teams met was on Sept. 1, 2000, when Nebraska swept Northwestern 3-0 (15-4, 15-7, 15-6).

Fans will be able to see the match live on NUSports.com with a subscription.

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

Getting to Know the Northwestern Wildcats

Location: Evanston, Ill.

Enrollment: 8,367

Nickname: Wildcats

Colors: Purple and White

Head Coach: Keylor Chan (Florida, '95)

Record at School: 158-183 (11 years)

Overall Record: 176-198 (12 years)

Asst. Coaches: Aaron Smith, Kirstine Jensen

2010 Record: 20-13

2010 Big Ten Record: 9-11

2010 Postseason: NCAA Second Round

2010 Final Ranking: RV

Letterwinners R/L: 10/5

Starters R/L: 6/4

Series Record: Nebraska leads, 4-0

Last Meeting: NU won, 3-0 (9/1/00)

Last Nebraska Win: 9/1/00

Last Nebraska Loss: None

Longest Nebraska Winning Streak: 4

Current Nebraska Winning Streak: 4

Two sets: 1-0

Three sets: 3-0

All-Time Nebraska/Northwestern Series (NU Leads 4-0)

Oct. 13, 1979             W, 15-2, 15-3

Sept. 15, 1984            W, 15-6, 15-13, 15-10

Sept. 16, 1988            W, 15-7, 15-7, 15-8

Sept. 1, 2000             W, 15-4, 15-7, 15-6

Scouting the Northwestern Wildcats

  • The Hawkeyes are 15-15 on the year, heading into their match-up with the Huskers on Saturday.
  • Northwestern went 0-2 last weekend, falling 3-2 at Michigan on Friday, Nov.18, and dropping the match 3-0 at Michigan State on Saturday, Nov. 19. The Wildcats fell 3-0 to Illinois on Wednesday, Nov. 23.
  • In the match against the Wolverines, Yewande Akanbi had a career-high 18 kills and a personal-best seven total blocks. Stephanie Holthus and Madalyn Shalter each recorded double-doubles for the Wildcats as Julie Chin became the 13th player in program history to tally 1,000 career digs as she finished the game with 17. She now has 1,004 in her three seasons with Northwestern.
  • In the match against the Spartans, Hannah Crippen and Holthus led Northwestern as Holthus had a match-high 22 kills and Crippen had 18 kills. Akanbi also had 12 kills for the Wildcats.
  • Against the Fighting Illini, Holthus had a match-high 17 kills and notched 10 digs, while Shalter had 27 assists and recorded 18 digs, just shy of her season-high. Holthus notched her sixth double-double in the last eight matches, while Shalter notched a double-double for the fourth time in her last five matches.
  • Stephanie Holthus leads Northwestern in kills on the year with 456 and an average of 4.15 per set. Akanbi has 281 kills on the season, averaging 2.58 per set.
  • At setter, Shalter has 1,077 assists, with an average of 10.26 per set.
  • Defensively, Chin leads the Wildcats in digs with a total of 490 and an average of 4.45 digs per set. Holthus has 314 digs on the year, averaging 2.85 digs per set.
  • In the Big Ten standings, Northwestern ranks 10th in hitting percentage (.187), 10th in assists (11.39), fifth in blocks (2.62), first in digs (15.62), third in opponent hitting percentage (.165), 10th in kills (12.49) and third in service aces (1.25).
  • Shalter ranks seventh in the conference in assists (10.29). Katie Dutchman is second in blocks (1.43), while Kathryn Chrystal is 10th (1.00). Holthus is fourth in kills (4.10), as Katie Dutchman is fourth in aces (0.36) and Chin ranks fourth in digs (4.48).

The Last Time Nebraska and Iowa Met (Oct. 19, 2011)

Lincoln, Neb. - Under first-year head coach John Cook, the sixth-ranked Nebraska volleyball team won its season-opening match at the NU Coliseum, defeating Northwestern 15-4, 15-7, 15-6 in US Bank Tournament action.

The Huskers dominated offensively, hitting .346 to Northwestern's .022. Nebraska hit better than .346 just eight times the entire 1999 season. Sophomores Amber Holmquist and Laura Pilakowski led Nebraska's offensive attack. Holmquist, a 6-foot-4 middle blocker, posted a match-best 10 kills on .350 hitting, and set new career highs in total blocks (11) and block assists (10). Pilakowski, who totaled 13 kills during the 1999 season, pounded a career-high nine kills and hit 438.

Big Ten Weekly Awards

(3 honors by 2 players)

Gina Mancuso

Co-Player of the Week (Sept. 26)

Mancuso averaged 3.7 kills per set with a .319 hitting percentage, along with 1.6 digs and 0.4 blocks per set in the Huskers' back-to-back wins over Penn State and Ohio State. She recorded a double-double against Penn State with 22 kills and 10 digs, marking the fifth double-double of her career. She also tied her career-high mark for attacks against Penn State.

Player of the Week (Oct. 23)

Mancuso posted 4.1 kills, 3.3 digs and 1.0 block per set in Nebraska's wins over the Hawkeyes and Fighting Illini. She recorded her 10th double-double of the season with 15 kills and 14 digs, adding five blocks and two aces to help the Huskers take down Illinois. She also notched 14 kills, nine digs and two blocks against Iowa. Her efforts helped Nebraska earn its first win over a top-ranked opponent since 1990. The honor marked the second conference player-of-the-week award for Mancuso.

Hannah Werth

Player of the Week (Oct. 17)

Werth averaged 4.0 kills and 2.9 digs per set and recorded a .385 hitting percentage in back-to-back wins at Wisconsin and Minnesota. She posted 17 kills on .536 hitting and added 10 digs against the Badgers. Werth recorded her second double-double of the weekend against the Gophers, tallying 15 kills and 17 digs while adding six blocks.

Player of the Week (Nov. 21)

Werth recorded 3.8 digs and 3.5 kills on .323 hitting to lead No. 4 Nebraska to four-set wins over No. 19 Minnesota and Wisconsin, helping the Huskers clinch at least a share of the Big Ten title. She posted 14 kills, 17 digs and a .379 hitting percentage against Minnesota. Werth then notched her second double-double of the week against the Badgers, recording 14 kills and 13 digs. She was also selected as the Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week.

Nebraska Clinches Outright Big Ten Title

Huskers Earn First Big Ten Title in School History

Nebraska clinched its first Big Ten Championship on Tuesday after a 3-0 sweep of the Iowa Hawkeyes at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. With the championship, Nebraska also earns the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.

The 2011 Big Ten title marks the 32nd conference title for Nebraska overall and their first as a member of the Big Ten Conference. It is also the first Big Ten Conference crown for any sport at Nebraska.

Hot in November

Huskers Boast All-Time Record of 220-19 in November

Historically, the Huskers' two best months are September (293-26) and November (220-19), as they have all-time winning percentages of .919 and .921, respectively.

Comeback Kids

Huskers Are 7-2 when Losing the First Set of a Match


The Huskers have dropped the first set nine times this season, most recently against Wisconsin on Saturday, Nov. 19. However, Nebraska holds a record of 7-2 when losing the first set in 2011, winning the last two contests against Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Volleyball Blackshirts

Huskers' Defense Halts Opponents

Nebraska held Iowa to a .000 hitting percentage on Oct. 19, marking the lowest percentage for a Nebraska opponent this season. The Huskers also held Albany to a .038 hitting percentage for the match, Creighton to a .053 hitting percentage on Sept. 8, Indiana to a .022 hitting percentage on Oct. 8 and Michigan State to a .026 hitting percentage of Nov. 5.


Scouting the Huskers


• Nebraska is 24-3 in 2011 and enters this weekend's match ranked No. 2 in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll.

  • The Huskers are 20-1 this season when holding opponents below .200 hitting. Nebraska is 4-2 when opposing teams hit above .200.
  • Nebraska has totaled double-digit blocks in 14 matches this season, including a season-high 18 blocks against Michigan.
  • 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 Nov. 22, Nebraska ranked second in the Big Ten in hitting percentage (.266), eighth in assists (12.56), fourth in blocks (2.64), ninth in digs (14.78), first in opponent hitting percentage (.145), eighth in kills (13.51) and 12th in aces (0.82).
  • Gina Mancuso has 359 kills so far in 2011, averaging 3.55 per set.
  • Mancuso was named the Big Ten Player of the Week on Monday, Oct. 24 after leading the Huskers over previously top-ranked Illinois and the Co-Big Ten Player of the Week on Monday, Sept. 26 after her stellar weekend against Penn State and Ohio State.
  • Werth was named the Big Ten Player of the Week on Monday, Oct. 17 and Oct. 21, after solid outings at Wisconsin and Minnesota. She was also named the Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week.
  • Lara Dykstra has 364 digs so far in her freshman campaign, averaging 3.60 per set. She now ranks first in the all-time freshman digs record at Nebraska.
  • Lauren Cook has totaled 1,034 assists in 2011, averaging 11.00 per set.
  • Brigette Root made her first career start at setter against Michigan on Friday, Nov. 4. She notched the first double-double of her career with 25 assists and 11 digs.
  • As of Nov. 20, the Huskers ranked 25th nationally in blocks per set with 2.65. NU was 19th in hitting percentage at .263. Lauren Cook ranked 34th nationally in assists per set (11.01).
  • 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.
  • 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.

Year          Players

2008         Allison McNeal

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

2010         Morgan Broekhuis

2011         Lara Dykstra, Taylor Simpson

Tough Tests

With the match against No. 19 Minnesota on Nov. 16, Nebraska was taking on its 13th top-25 team this season.

Opponent                                 Result

at No. 15 Colorado State           L, 3-2
vs. No. 12 Iowa State                W, 3-0
vs. No. 5 Penn State                 W, 3-2
vs. No. 24 Ohio State                W, 3-1
at No. 11 Michigan                    W, 3-0
vs. No. 11 Purdue                     W, 3-1
at No. 14 Minnesota                  W, 3-2
vs. No. 1 Illinois                        W, 3-1
at No. 23 Ohio State                  W, 3-1
at No. 8 Penn State                   L, 3-1
vs. No. 23 Michigan                   W, 3-1
at No. 10 Purdue                       L, 3-0
vs. No. 19 Minnesota                 W, 3-1

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 Nov. 21, Nebraska ranks second nationally in current home win streaks with 36.

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 24 matches of her collegiate career, freshman Lara Dykstra has notched 364 digs of her own and an average of 3.60 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 notched a career-high 10 blocks against Illinois on Oct. 22. She currently ranks sixth in the Big Ten in blocks, averaging 1.13 per set.

Producing Double-Doubles

Five Huskers have combined for 41 double-doubles in 2011, with Mancuso tallying 11, Broekhuis tabbing five,  Root adding one, Werth notching nine of her own and Cook adding 15.

Brigette Root |  2011 (1)  |  NU Career (1), All (1)

Opponent (Date)           K          A          D          B

Michigan (Nov. 4)          5          35         11         2

Gina Mancuso  |  2011 (11)  |  NU Career (11), All (11)

Opponent (Date)                       K          A          D          B

New Mexico State (Aug. 26)       16         0          14         2
Colorado State (Sept. 2)            24         3          10         1
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
Michigan State (Sept. 30)           12         1          10         3
Purdue (Oct. 7)                          16         0          19         0
Minnesota (Oct. 15)                   18         0          15         5
Illinois (Oct. 22)                         15         0          14         5
Minnesota (Nov. 16)                  14         1          16         1

Lauren Cook |  2011 (15)  |  NU Career (34)

Opponent (Date)                       K          A          D          B

New Mexico State (Aug. 26)       1          51         10         0
New Mexico (Aug. 27)                0          40         12         1
Colorado State (Sept. 2)            2          49         12         2
Albany (Sept. 3)                        2          34         13         1
Creighton (Sept. 8)                    5          33         13         0
Penn State (Sept. 21)                1          53         17         2
Ohio State (Sept. 24)                 4          41         14         3
Purdue (Oct. 7)                          0          51         12         1
Wisconsin (Oct. 14)                   1          38         11         0
Minnesota (Oct. 15)                   2          45         19         0
Iowa (Oct. 19)                            4          32         16         0
Illinois (Oct. 22)                         0          54         13         0
Penn State (Oct. 29)                  1          32         11         0
Minnesota (Nov. 16)                  1          47         12         4
Iowa (Nov. 22)                           3          32         10         1

Hannah Werth |  2011 (9)  |  NU Career (31), All (31)

Opponent (Date)                       K          A          D          B

Colorado State (Sept. 2)            12         0          15         1
St. Mary's (Sept. 9)                   10         1          11         1
Wisconsin (Oct. 14)                   17         0          10         0
Minnesota (Oct. 15)                   15         2          17         6
Illinois (Oct. 22)                         14         1          17         0
Ohio State (Oct. 28)                   11         1          13         3
Michigan State (Nov. 5)             11         0          10         3
Minnesota (Nov. 16)                  14         0          17         2
Wisconsin (Nov. 19)                  14         0          13         2

Morgan Broekhuis |  2011 (5)  |  NU Career (5), All (5)

Opponent (Date)                       K          A          D          B

Iowa State (Sept. 17)                 11         2          10         4
Penn State (Sept. 21)                12         4          11         4
Purdue (Oct. 7)                          13         2          10         2
Illinois (Oct. 22)                         17         2          11         4
Minnesota (Nov. 16)                  14         1          16         1

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 notched four others this season. Her 22 kills at Michigan State on Sept. 30 marked a career high her.

Mancuso Paving Her Way

Gina Mancuso has notched 11 double-doubles so far in 2011, most recently against Minnesota on Nov. 16. She tallied 14 kills and 16 digs to lead NU against the Gophers.


Wilberger's Senior Night Performance

Jordan Wilberger notched career-high numbers in kills and hitting percentage on senior night against Wisconsin. The Scottsbluff, Neb., native tabbed 12 kills and a hitting percentage of .750 in guiding the Huskers to a 3-1 win.

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