Notebook: Nebraska Still Perfect
BAUM-BARDED: Arizona took over second-place in the Pac-10 Conference standings after posting a pair of key league wins against then-No. 3 Stanford and then-No. 13 California.
Junior Kristina Baum turned in stellar performances in the two matches, averaging 4.12 points, 3.50 kills, 2.62 digs and 0.62 blocks per game to garner Sports Imports/AVCA Division I National Player of the Week honors. Baum, a native of Whittier, Calif., tallied a career-high 17 kills and 13 digs, while hitting .382, as Arizona pulled out a five-game win against Stanford. She was also named Pac-10 Player of the Week for the first time in her career.
With the victories, the Wildcats (14-2, 6-1) jumped to No. 8 in the latest CSTV/American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I Top 25" their highest ranking since the start of the 2002 season. Arizona's only Pac-10 loss is to undefeated No. 2 Washington.
YOUTH IS SERVED: Top-ranked Nebraska continued to roll, recording a trio of three-game sweeps last week behind the outstanding play of freshman outside hitter Jordan Larson. The Huskers improved their perfect record to 18-0 and 9-0 in Big 12 Conference action.
Larson averaged 4.78 points, 3.89 kills and 3.11 digs per game, while posting a .397 hitting percentage, as she became the only freshman in the league this season to earn Big 12 Player of the Week honors. The native of Hooper, Neb., recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 13 kills and 14 digs and a .440 hitting percentage against Texas Tech. She added a match-high 13 kills and eight digs against No. 18 Texas.
Larson leads all freshman in the conference with 3.42 kills per game and a .327 hitting percentage.
RECORD STREAK: Wichita State extended its school-record winning streak to 16 matches after a pair of Missouri Valley Conference wins against Northern Iowa and Bradley and a non-conference victory over Oral Roberts.
Middle blocker Elizabeth Meyers contributed 3.27 kills, 1.27 blocks and a .412 hitting percentage in Wichita State's three road victories and was selected MVC Player of the Week for her efforts.
The Shockers (18-2, 9-0) are unbeaten in MVC play and earned their first CSTV/AVCA Division I Top 25 ranking in program history as they grabbed the No. 25 spot in the latest poll. With the win at Bradley on Oct. 14, head coach Chris Lamb earned his 100th career victory.
BIRTHDAY GIRL: Louisville's Lena Ustymenko was named BIG EAST Player of the Week for the third time this season after helping the Cardinals to wins at Xavier and Cincinnati last week. U of L, just one of four undefeated teams in the nation, remained No. 6 in the latest national rankings.
Ustymenko, a 19-year-old senior from Kiev, Ukraine, tallied 21 kills and 16 digs to celebrate her birthday with a 3-1 win over Xavier on Oct. 11. She then followed it up with a career-high 29 kills, 15 digs and a .413 hitting percentage in a league win against the Bearcats on Oct. 16.
STILL GOING: No. 15 BYU is off to its best start since 1977 after sweeps of Air Force and New Mexico in Mountain West Conference action last week. The Cougars join Nebraska, Washington and Louisville as one of four unbeaten teams in the nation.
BYU has won its last five matches in three games. The Cougars are sparked by middle blocker Lindsy Hartsock, who leads the conference with a .475 hitting percentage, and sophomore Chelsea Goodman, who contributes a MWC-leading 4.00 kills per game.