Nebraska 3, Wichita State 0



LINCOLN, Neb. - Sarah Pavan had a match-high 16 kills to lead three Huskers with double-figure kills, as top-ranked Nebraska advanced to the NCAA round of 16 with a 30-22, 30-20, 30-21 victory over Wichita State Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd of 4,219 at the Nebraska Coliseum.

The 56th consecutive sellout crowd at the Coliseum witnessed a balanced Husker attack, as Nebraska hit .336 in winning its 26th straight match. In addition to Pavan who hit .483 with four blocks, Christina Houghtelling added a double-double with 15 kills and 11 digs, while Jennifer Saleaumua also chipped in a double-double with 12 kills on ..333 hitting and a match-high 15 digs.

The Huskers (29-1) will now meet Louisville next Friday, Dec. 10, in Louisville in the NCAA Regionals, while Wichita State, which was making its first NCAA appearance, closes its season with a 25-6 record.

The Huskers took command early in game one, jumping out to an 8-3 lead and never looking back in a 30-22 win. After spotting the Huskers the early lead, Wichita State came back, closing to within 9-7 after a pair of Husker hitting errors. Saleaumua then quickly extended the lead to 11-7 with a kill and a service ace, as Nebraska led by at least three points the rest of the way. WSU got to within 22-18 on a kill by Darci Vohs before a kill by Pavan, who had six kills in the opener, and a combined block by Pavan and Melissa Elmer on Lara Geer gave NU a six-point lead and ended the visitors best opportunity to take game one.

In game two, Houghtelling keyed a decisive spurt, as the Huskers hit .487 in a 30-20 win. With the match tied at 13, Houghtelling, who had six of her 15 kills in game two, single-handedly accounted for five kills in a 6-2 Husker run, giving Nebraska a 19-15 cushion. The Shockers continued to whittle away at the NU advantage, closing to within 24-19 after a Husker error, but kills by Tracy Stalls and Dani Busboom began a 6-1 run to close out game two.

In the finale, Nebraska needed to overcome a six-point deficit before pulling away with a 30-21 win. The Shockers used runs of 4-0 and 3-0 to take a 15-9 lead after a Husker hitting error. NU made quick work of the deficit by scoring five unanswered points to get within 15-14 after a Houghtelling kill. The Huskers eventually took the lead for good at 19-18 on a Saleaumua kill and led 23-21 before closing the match with seven straight points. Dani Busboom, who had 45 assists and nine digs, served the final six points, while Houghtelling accounted for solo blocks on two of the final three points, including match point, to send Nebraska to the NCAA Regionals for the 11th straight year.

Sara Lungren led Wichita State with 10 kills, as the Shockers were held to .111 hitting and were out-blocked 13-5. Sarah Younes, the MVC Player of the Year who had six aces in the opening round against Nevada, was held to three kills and no aces while hitting -.125.

Notes: Nebraska sophomore libero Amanda McCormick also reached double figures in digs with 441, tying Jennifer Saleaumua's single-season school record set last season. With 1,105 digs in her career, Saleaumua moved within five digs of the NU career mark of 1,111 held by Lindsay Wischmeier (1999-2002). With five blocks, Melissa Elmer, who also had nine kills, became the 10th Husker to reach 500 career blocks in school history....Pavan is hitting .445 with 4.85 kills per game over the last four matches..

-- Courtesy Nebraska