After improving to 3-0 during the opening weekend of the 2012 season, including a 3-2 win over defending NCAA Champion UCLA, the Nebraska volleyball team will travel to Irvine, Calif., for a pair of matches on Saturday, Sept. 1. The Huskers will take on the Colgate Raiders on Saturday at 5 p.m. CT, before a match up with the UC Irvine Anteaters on Saturday at 10 p.m. CT.
The Huskers' matches with the Raiders and Anteaters will be the first meeting between both schools.
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 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.
Live stats for all matches will be available on Huskers.com and UCIrvineSports.com.
Nebraska Ranked No. 1
The No. 1 ranking represents the 83rd week that Nebraska has been ranked No. 1 in the AVCA Coaches Poll. Since 2001, the Huskers have been ranked No. 1 for 50 weeks, including holding the top spot nationally for the entire 2006 season and for 15 weeks during the 2005 season. The last time Nebraska was ranked No. 1 was on October 24, 2011.
Cook Earns Big Ten Weekly Honors
Nebraska senior Lauren Cook was honored by the Big Ten Conference after being selected as the Co-Big Ten Player of the Week and the Big Ten Setter of the Week. The awards mark her first Big Ten weekly honors.
Cook guided the Husker attack to wins over Saint Louis (3-0), No. 1 UCLA (3-2) and Notre Dame (3-0) over the weekend. 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.
Scouting the Colgate Raiders
Colgate is 0-3 on the season, suffering losses to Bryant (2-3), Illinois-Chicago (0-3) and Syracuse (1-3) last weekend.
The Raiders returned Kaylee Fifer to the 2012 squad, as she led the Colgate offense in 2011 with 1,016 assists and 9.32 assists per set. In addition, Lindsay Young returned for Colgate after notching 365 kills in 2011, including 3.32 kills per set. Caitlin Cremin had 403 digs in 2011, averaging 3.63 digs per set.
In the Raiders loss to Syracuse, Young recorded 20 kills on 50 swings for a .220 hitting percentage and posted a team-high 13 digs. She was named to the Colgate Classic All-Tournament Team.
Diane Seely was a force early in the match with Syracuse, helping Colgate keep pace with the Orange. She totaled 12 kills on 26 swings for a .308 hitting percentage.
Colgate Head Coach Ryan Baker is in his seventh year with the program. He holds a 113-96 record as a head coach and a 92-85 record at Colgate. He led the 2011 squad to the Patriot League Tournament for the fifth time in six seasons in 2011.
The Raiders will take on Loyola Marymount and Arizona State on Friday, before facing UC Irvine prior to their match with the Huskers.
Scouting the UC Irvine Anteaters
UC Irvine enters this weekend with a 1-2 record after falling to Kansas State and Oregon State, but beating Oakland at the Kansas State Tournament last weekend.
The Anteaters returned All-Big West honorable mention outside hitter Aly Squires to the 2012 roster. She notched 372 kills, 3.41 kills per set and 338 digs as a sophomore in 2011. Also returning for UC Irvine is libero Kristin Winker, who totaled 573 digs in 2011, including 5.12 digs per set. Setter Marissa Alvarez returns after posting 4.66 assists per set in 2011.
Redshirt freshman Marisa Bubica had nine kills for UC-Irvine against Kansas State. Aly Squires and Taylor Smith each chipped in five kills, while Kristin Winkler led all players with 15 digs. Alvarez paced the team with 18 assists.
UC Irvine had three players with double digit kills in its loss to Oregon State, as Squires posted a match-high 16 kills, while Bubica had 14 and Taylor Smith recorded 10 kills on 22 attempts. Winkler posted 26 digs and Alvarez notched a double-double with 51 assists and 10 digs.
In the Anteaters win over Oakland, Squires boasted a .320 hitting percentage, posting just four errors in 50 attempts. Winkler notched her second 20+ dig match with 27 digs, while Alvarez recorded 38 assists and 11 digs. Arielle Manz had no errors on the day, hitting .538 (7-0-13).
Head Coach Paula Weishoff enters her fourth season at the helm of the UC Irvine program. She has served as an assistant coach on the U.S. Women's National team for two consecutive years, helping the Olympic Women's Volleyball team to a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games. She holds a 40-49 overall record during her time at UC Irvine.
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 weekend's matches with a 3-0 record and No. 1 national ranking.
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 1,143 wins and trails only UCLA (1,159) 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 166 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 (361-34) of his matches in 12 seasons as the Huskers' leader.
The Last Time Nebraska...
Won a match 3-0: vs. Notre Dame, Aug. 26, 2012
Won a match 3-1: vs. Wisconsin, Nov. 19, 2011
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 Northwestern, Nov. 26, 2011
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
Is 333-65 (.837) when winning a first set under John Cook and 40-25 (.615) when it loses the opening set
Has spent 394 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 13 consecutive weeks (Sept. 12, 2011-present)
Is 197-0 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.
The Huskers hold a 3-0 record to open the season. The last time Nebraska was 3-0 after the first weekend of play was in 2008 when the Huskers beat Stanford, USC and Oral Roberts.
Werth Notches 1,000 Digs
Nebraska senior outside hitter Hannah Werth tallied 17 digs against the UCLA Bruins, notching her second-consecutive double-double of the season. With that dig total, she surpassed the 1,000 career dig mark, becoming just the 11th Husker to reach that milestone. She has a total of 1,017 career digs, just one away from reaching the 10th spot held by Maria Hedbeck (1,018).
Cook Reaches 400th Match
Saturday's match against the UC Irvine Anteaters will be Head Coach John Cook's 400th match at Nebraska.
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 recorded three double-doubles during the opening weekend of play, including reaching over 1,000 career digs. She led Nebraska in kills against Saint Louis, recorded 12 kills against UCLA and notched 11 against Notre Dame.
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.
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. She currently ranks sixth on Nebraska's all-time assists list with 3,206 career assists.
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 a career-high 12 digs against Kansas State.
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.
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 in 2011
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.
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).
Dykstra Sets Freshman Records
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.
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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