NU Volleyball hosts #1 Illinois Saturday

No. 4 Nebraska vs. No. 1 Illinois • Saturday, Oct. 22 • NU Coliseum • 7 p.m.
Web Video: BTN2Go
TV: BTN (Tape Delay, Sunday, Oct. 23 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.)
Radio: Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and KTWI 93.3 FM in Omaha, and on Huskers.com
Live Stats: huskers.com

 

The No. 4 Nebraska volleyball team will host the No. 1 Illinois Fighting Illini on Saturday, Oct. 22 at the NU Coliseum at 7 p.m. The match will air via tape delay on BTN on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

 

The Huskers (16-1, 9-0) swept Iowa 3-0 (25-14, 25-14, 25-11) on Wednesday night. Illinois swept Northwestern 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-19) on Wednesday.

The last time the Huskers played a No. 1 team in the Coliseum was when No. 1 Stanford played in the State Farm Volleyball Classic in Lincoln in 1995. Stanford beat the Huskers 3-1. 

 

Illinois and Nebraska have met 21 times, with NU holding a 15-5-1 record over the Illini. The last time the two programs met was on Sept. 11, 2010. The Huskers outlasted Illinois in a 3-2 victory (21-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-14, 16-14).

 

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 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 Illinois Fighting Illini

 

Location: Champaign, Ill.
Enrollment: 42,326
Nickname: Fighting Illini
Colors: Orange and Blue
Head Coach: Kevin Hambly (Illinois, ‘06)
Record at School: 50-15 (3 years)
Overall Record: Same
Asst. Coaches: Jen Flynn Oldenburg, David Kniffin
2010 Record: 24-9
2010 Big Ten Record: 14-6
2010 Postseason: NCAA Regional Semifinalist
2010 Final Ranking: 9th
Letterwinners R/L: 13-4
Starters R/L: 4+1/3
Series Record: Nebraska leads, 15-5-1
Last Meeting: NU won, 3-2 (9/11/10)
Last NU Win: 9/11/10
Last NU Loss: 12/10/92
Longest NU Winning Streak: 7
Current NU Winning Streak: 4
Two sets: 1-0-1
Three sets: 10-2
Four sets: 1-2
Five sets: 3-1

 

All-Time Nebraska/Illinois Series (NU Leads 15-5-1)

 

Sept. 30, 1977   T, 15-10, 15-17
Oct. 14, 1978    W, 15-12, 8-15, 15-12
Oct. 3, 1980      W, 15-5, 15-17, 15-11
Sept. 10, 1982   W, 15-10, 15-8
Sept. 11, 1982   W, 15-5, 15-5, 15-11
Sept. 21, 1986   W, 15-10, 15-7, 12-15, 15-6
Dec. 13, 1986    W, 15-9, 15-8, 15-3
Sept. 26, 1987   W, 15-10, 12-15, 16-14, 13-15, 15-8
Dec. 11, 1987    L, 11-15, 12-15, 5-15
Sept. 17, 1988   L, 14-16, 15-8, 1-15, 9-15
Nov. 11, 1989    L, 15-13, 6-15, 15-11, 8-15, 12-15
Dec. 9, 1989     W, 17-15, 15-5, 15-8
Sept. 21, 1990   W, 6-15, 13-15, 15-9, 15-8, 15-8
Oct. 6, 1991      W, 15-7, 15-7, 15-1
Dec. 7, 1991     W, 15-5, 15-8, 15-12
Sept. 11, 1992   L, 7-15, 14-16, 15-3, 12-15
Dec. 10, 1992    L, 10-15, 7-15, 10-15
Nov. 23, 1993    W, 15-4, 15-12, 15-7
Oct. 25, 1994    W, 15-9, 15-6, 15-10
Aug. 30, 2003    W, 30-27, 30-20, 30-20
Sept. 11, 2010   W, 21-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-14, 16-14

 

Scouting the Illinois Fighting Illini

 

• The Fighting Illini are 20-0 on the year, heading into their match-up with the Huskers.

 

• Illinois swept Northwestern 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-19) on Wednesday night.

 

• In the match against the Wildcats, senior outside hitter Colleen Ward posted the third 20-20 performance by an Illinois player this year. She had 20 kills and 20 digs while hitting .283 as Illinois fought off rallies in each set by the Wildcats. Junior middle blocker Erin Johnson and freshman middle blocker Anna Dorn had six blocks apiece for the Illini. Sophomore libero Jennifer Beltran had 17 digs for Illinois as well.

 

• On Sept. 26, Illinois reached No. 1 for the first time in school history. With their record, the Illini have their second-best start in school history behind only the 30-0 beginning to the 1985 season.

 

• Senior outside hitter Michelle Bartsch leads Illinois with 304 kills on the season and an average of 3.85 kills per set. She has moved into eighth on Illinois' all-time kills list with 1,373. She is also fifth in career attack attempts.

 

• Defensively, Beltran has 280 digs on the season with an average of 4.00 per set.

 

• At the net, Johnson (1.18), freshman outside hitter Liz McMahon (1.09) and freshman middle blocker Anna Dorn (1.29) are all averaging over one block per set.

 

• As of Oct. 20, Illinois ranked fourth in hitting percentage (.260) in the Big Ten, seventh in assists (12.72), third in blocks (2.68), fourth in digs (15.35), second in opponent hitting percentage (.140), seventh in kills (13.71) and fifth in service aces (1.19).

 

• As of Oct. 16, Illinois ranked 20th nationally in blocks per set (2.65) and 17th in hitting percentage (.263). Junior setter Annie Luhrsen ranks 26th in assists per set (11.09) nationally, while Anna Dorn is 27th in blocks per set (1.30).

 

• Head coach Kevin Hambly is in his third year at the helm of the Fighting Illini. He has been instrumental in helping Illinois emerge as a national power. Since his arrival in Champaign, the Illini have garnered two top-10 recruiting classes, reached No. 1 in the national rankings and advanced to three straight Sweet 16s.

 

• Illinois has out-hit every opponent this year except for Purdue. Only four opponents (Dayton- .284, Tulsa- .320, Louisville- .200 and Michigan State) have hit .200 or better against the Illini.

 

Big Ten Weekly Awards

(2 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.

 

The honor marked the first conference player-of-the-week award for Mancuso and made her the first Nebraska volleyball player to earn a Big Ten weekly award.

 

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.

 

The honor marked the first conference player-of-the-week award for Werth this season and made her the second Nebraska volleyball player to earn a Big Ten weekly award.

 

Scouting the Huskers

 

• Nebraska is 16-1 in 2011 and enters Saturday night's match ranked No. 4 in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll.

 

• The Huskers are 15-0 this season when holding opponents below .200 hitting. Nebraska is 1-1 when opposing teams hit above .200.

 

• Nebraska has totaled double-digit blocks in nine matches this season, including a season-high 17 blocks at Minnesota.

 

• 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 Oct. 20, Nebraska ranked second in the Big Ten in hitting percentage at .276. The Huskers were eighth in assists (12.58), second in blocks (2.69), eighth in digs (14.65), first in opponent hitting percentage (.125), eighth in kills (13.51) and 12th in service aces (0.89).

 

• As of Oct. 20, Hayley Thramer was sixth in the Big Ten in blocks (1.27), while Brooke Delano ranked sixth in hitting percentage (.356). Lauren Cook was fifth in assists (10.91), Gina Mancuso was eighth in points (4.16) and eighth in kills (3.63) and Lara Dykstra was 10th in digs (3.74).

 

• Gina Mancuso has 236 kills so far in 2011, averaging 3.63 per set.

 

• Mancuso was named 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, after solid outings at Wisconsin and Minnesota.

 

• Lara Dykstra has 243 digs so far in her freshman campaign, averaging 3.74 per set.

 

• Lauren Cook has totaled 709 assists in 2011, averaging 10.91 per set. Her efforts have led NU to a .276 hitting percentage on the season.

 

• Three Huskers have combined for 13 double-doubles in 2011, with Mancuso tallying eight, Broekhuis tabbing three and Werth notching two of her own.

 

Gina Mancuso  |  2011 (8)  |  NU Career (8), All (8)

 

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
Michigan State (Sept. 30)           12         1          10         3
Purdue (Oct. 7)                          16         0          19         0
Minnesota (Oct. 15)                   18         0          15         5

 

Hannah Werth |  2011 (2)  |  NU Career (24), All (24)

 

Opponent (Date)                       K          A          D          B

Colorado State (Sept. 2)            12         0          15         1
Minnesota (Oct. 15)                   15         2          17         6

Morgan Broekhuis |  2011 (3)  |  NU Career (3), All (3)

 

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

 

Top RPI Match-up

 

This Saturday's showdown features a match-up of the top two RPI teams in the country as Illinois is No.1 and Nebraska is No. 2 in the latest rankings.

 

Tough Tests

 

With the match against No. 1 Illinois on Saturday, Nebraska will take on its eighth top-25 team this season.

 

The Huskers hold a 6-1 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 sweep over then-No. 12 Iowa State, a 3-2 victory over then-No. 5 Penn State on Sept. 21, a 3-1 victory over then-No. 24 Ohio State on Sept. 24, a sweep over then-No. 11 Michigan on Oct. 1, a 3-1 win over No. 11 Purdue on Oct. 7 and a 3-2 victory over No. 14 Minnesota.

 

Cook Reaches 500

 

With the Huskers' win over Albany on Sept. 3, Head Coach John Cook tallied his 500th win as a head coach.

 

Few Unbeaten

Illinois and Nebraska share first place in the Big Ten standings through four weeks of conference play, with both teams checking in at 9-0.

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 Oct. 17, Nebraska ranks second nationally in current home win streaks with 31.

 

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 17 matches of her collegiate career, freshman Lara Dykstra has totaled 243 digs and has averaged 3.74 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 sixth in the Big Ten in blocks, averaging 1.21 per set.

 

Volleyball Blackshirts

 

Nebraska held Iowa to a .000 hitting percentage on Wednesday, marking the lowest percentage for  a Nebraska opponent this season. The Huskers held Albany to a .038 hitting percentage for the match, Creighton to a .053 hitting percentage on Sept. 8, Weber State to a .071 hitting percentage on Sept. 10 and Indiana to a .022 hitting percentage on Oct. 8.

Holding Their Own

 

As of Oct. 17, the Huskers ranked 16th nationally in blocks per set with 2.69. NU was 10th in hitting percentage at .275 and was fifth 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 and again against Purdue with 13 kills and 10 digs. Her 22 kills at Michigan State on Sept. 30 marked a career high for Broekhuis. She has 201 kills for the Huskers in 2011.

 

Mancuso Paving Her Way

 

Gina Mancuso has notched eight double-doubles so far in 2011, most recently at Minnesota on Oct. 15. She tallied 18 kills and 15 digs to lead NU against the Gophers. Mancuso leads all Nebraska hitters with 222 kills in 2011 and was named the Co-Big Ten Player of the Week on Sept. 26.

 

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 Prepvolleyball.com.

 

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