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The Huskers will face Michigan State on Wednesday night.
Courtesy: NU Media Relations
          Release: 09/24/2012
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Huskers Host Michigan State

The No. 6 Nebraska volleyball team returns home after a long week on the road. The Huskers will host the No. 24 Michigan State Spartans on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Coliseum.

The Huskers opened the 2012 Big Ten Conference slate last Wednesday at Penn State, dropping the match 3-1. Nebraska rebounded with a 3-1 victory over Ohio State last Saturday, evening its Big Ten record to 1-1.

Nebraska leads the all-time series with the Spartans, 10-0-2. The Huskers posted a 2-0 record against Michigan State in 2011, beating MSU 3-2 in East Lansing and then sweeping the Spartans in Lincoln.

The match will be shown live on the Big Ten Network, with Kevin Kugler and Megan Bower with the call.

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 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.

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, 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.

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 in the match.

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.

Scouting the Michigan State Spartans

  • Michigan State is 13-1 on the season and has a 1-1 Big Ten record. MSU holds a No. 24 national ranking this week. The Spartans will travel to Iowa City, Iowa for a match on Saturday, Sept. 29.
  • Last weekend Michigan State lost to Purdue in five sets, but turned around to top Indiana 3-0 the following day.
  • Four Spartans led Michigan State against the Boilermakers with double-digit kills, while Amy Dentlinger and Lauren Wicinski paved the way with 16 each.
  • Kristen Kelsay notched her second double-double of the season against Indiana, with 20 assists and 12 digs. Lauren Wicinski led all players with 14 kills on the night.
  • Michigan State ranks second in the conference in hitting percentage (.321) and is also second in assists (13.54). The Spartans rank fifth in blocks (2.54) and are ranked second in opponent hitting percentage (.139). MSU is first in kills (14.98) and also in service aces (1.77).
  • Alexis Mathews ranks second in the conference in hitting percentage (.484), while she is also fourth in blocks (1.31). Lauren Wicinski leads the conference in points (5.44) and is second in kills (4.42) and first in aces (0.65).

Noting the Nebraska Cornhuskers

The information below provides a quick glimpse of a few statistics and brief notes heading into this weekend.

  • Nebraska enters this Saturday's match with a 9-2 record and No. 6 national ranking. The Huskers are 1-1 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 1,149 wins and trails only UCLA (1,168) 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 169 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 (363-34) of his matches in 12 seasons as the Huskers' leader.

Last Time Out- Nebraska at Ohio State, 9/22/12

The No. 3 Nebraska volleyball team (9-2, 1-1) took down the No. 23 Ohio State Buckeyes 3-1 (17-25, 25-12, 25-20, 25-14) Saturday at St. John Arena on the campus on Ohio State University.

Morgan Broekhuis led the Huskers on the night with 12 kills for a .370 hitting percentage. Gina Mancuso tallied 10 kills (.304), while Hannah Werth had eight kills and 10 digs. Lauren Cook notched 35 assists and Meghan Haggerty led the team with six total blocks.

The Last Time Nebraska...

  • Won a match 3-0: vs. Duquesne, Sept. 7, 2012
  • Won a match 3-1: at Ohio State, Sept. 22, 2012
  • Won a match 3-2: vs. UCLA, Aug. 25, 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

Nebraska...

  • Is 338-66 (.839) when winning a first set under John Cook and 41-26 (.612) when it loses the opening set
  • Has spent 398 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 17 consecutive weeks (Sept. 12, 2011-present)
  • Is 202-0 under John Cook when hitting .300 or better

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 second in the Big Ten and the NCAA in hitting percentage on the season (.539).

She posted 11 kills on 25 swings against Penn State, notching five total blocks. In addition, she recorded six blocks against Ohio State.

Tough Competition

With a match against No. 24 Michigan State this week, Nebraska is taking on its sixth top-25 teams this season.

The Huskers hold a 3-2 record against top-25 teams, losing to No. 4 Penn State on Wednesday, then-No. 25 Iowa State last weekend, but topping No. 1 UCLA and No. 19 Kentucky at the Coliseum and No. 24 Ohio State on the road.

Werth Notches 1,000 Digs

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 1,108 career digs, and ranks sixth all-time on the Nebraska career digs list.

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 368-35 record at Nebraska.

Efficient Hitters

Nebraska has hit better than .300 in five out of nine matches in 2012, including a .383 hitting percentage against Oklahoma.

Hot in September

Historically, the Huskers' two best months are September (301-28) 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 five wins so far in September, the Huskers are 123-110 in the month under Head Coach John Cook.

How the Huskers Rank

As of Sept. 23, Nebraska ranked fourth in the Big Ten in hitting percentage (.291) and fourth in assists (13.23). NU is also first in blocks (3.01), sixth in opponent hitting percentage (.163) and fourth in kills (14.33). Individually, Meghan Haggerty is eighth in the conference in hitting percentage (.397) and seventh in blocks (1.27), while Lauren Cook is fourth in the conference in assists (11.00). Gina Mancuso ranks 10th in kills (3.44), while Hannah Werth is 10th in digs (3.36).

As of Sept. 24, the Huskers rank 30th nationally in assists per set (13.23) and are 12th in hitting percentage (.291), seventh in blocks per set (3.01) and 21st in kills per set (14.33). Individually, Cook ranks 40th in assists per set (11.00), while Haggerty is 27th nationally in hitting percentage (.397).

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.

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.

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 currently ranks fourth on Nebraska's all-time assists list with 3,448 career assists. She has eight 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.

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.

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).

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.

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. One of the Huskers' most consistent players in 2011, Dykstra became just the seventh true freshman to start a season opener during Coach John Cook's career at Nebraska. 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.

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.

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