Dec. 4, 2009

Lincoln, Neb. - The Nebraska volleyball team used its home court advantage Friday night at the NU Coliseum to sweep the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, 25-13, 25-18, 25-15, and move onto the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Huskers are now 48-3 all-time at the Coliseum in the postseason and 23-1 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Husker defense was the story as NU held Coastal Carolina to just 19 kills on 105 swings, holding the Chanticleers to .048 hitting. Kayla Banwarth added a match-high 24 digs, as the junior libero became just the second Husker in school history to accumulate 500 or more digs in a season, joining former Husker Dani Busboom (2006).

On the attack, Hannah Werth racked up a double-double as she led all players with 12 kills on 30 swings, hitting .267, while also adding 11 digs. Tara Mueller came close to a double-double as she added nine kills to her 14 digs. As a team the Huskers put home 47 kills on 111 swings, hitting .297, with Sydney Anderson adding 36 assists.

Coastal Carolina, who was making its third appearance at the NCAA Tournament and its first since 1998, ends the season with a 20-14 record. Chelsy Kimes, the MVP of the Big South Tournament, led the Chanticleers with a double-double, as she had a team-high eight kills on 25 swings, hitting .240, and added 10 digs.

The Huskers started the first match with three straight points, beginning with an error by Coastal Carolina, followed by a block by Lindsey Licht and Kori Cooper and then capped with a kill from Werth. After the two teams exchanged points to give the Huskers the lead 5-3, NU scored eight straight points, including three kills from Mueller. The Chanticleers came back with three straight points of their own, but it was short lived, as the Huskers responded with a 5-0 run, fueled by a kill and ace from Mueller and two kills from Brooke Delano to put the Huskers up 18-6. Cooper and Werth went on to each add two kills down the stretch, as the Huskers took set one, 25-13.

The second set started out much closer, as prior to the set being tied at 11-11, neither team led by more than two points. At the 11-11 mark, Nebraska came alive with seven unanswered points, with Delano adding three more kills during the stretch. Kimes stopped the NU run with a kill, but the Huskers got right back on track with four straight points to take the lead, 23-14. Coastal Carolina narrowed the gap to 24-18, but a block by Jordan Wilberger and Anderson wrapped up to second set, 25-18.

Coastal Carolina opened set three with a 2-0 lead and continued to lead at 8-7, before the Huskers came out with a 4-0 run behind an ace from Megan Pendergrast, two errors by Coastal Carolina and a kill from Mueller. The two teams then exchanged points on four straight possessions, with Kimes and Licht each adding two kills, leaving NU in front 14-12. The Huskers came back with three separate 3-0 runs to extend their lead to 23-14, as Pendergast added another ace and Werth put home two more kills. Following an error from Wilberger, Werth added a kill and Wilberger bounced back to put the final set away with a kill, 25-15.

The Huskers will now face the Northern Iowa Panthers (31-2) tomorrow night back at the NU Coliseum at 5 p.m. The Panthers advanced to the second round with a 3-0 sweep of the Washington State Cougars in the first match on Friday night.

Single match tickets are still available for tomorrow night's game. Fans can order them online at or can stop by the NU Ticket Office in personal tomorrow starting 3:30 p.m.