No. 2 Nebraska Top Iowa State in Four

11/1/2008

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LINCOLN, Neb. - Jordan Larson totaled 17 kills to lead three Huskers in double figures, leading second-ranked Nebraska to a 3-1 (25-17, 22-25, 25-20, 25-19) win over Iowa State Saturday afternoon.

Larson collected her 45th career double-double, finishing with 17 kills, 15 digs and two aces. The 45 career double-doubles is the most by a Husker in the Big 12 era, topping the 44 by three-time All-American Nancy Metcalf.

Sophomores Lindsey Licht and Tara Mueller joined Larson in double figures for the Huskers, who improved to 21-1 overall and 12-1 in the Big 12. Licht drilled 12 kills on .435 hitting and added a pair of blocks, while Mueller collected her fifth double-double with 12 kills, 12 digs and three blocks, as the Huskers extended their home win streak to 82 matches.

Sydney Anderson guided a balanced Husker offense, as all five primary hitters totaled at least eight kills, to help NU out-hit the Cyclones, .259-.156. Anderson finished with 51 assists, four blocks and four kills as the Huskers improved to 74-0 all-time against Iowa State (15-9, 7-6 Big 12).

Middle blockers Kori Cooper and Amanda Gates also shined in the win, combining for 17 kills on .433 hitting and 11 blocks. Cooper finished with nine kills on .467 hitting and match-high six stuffs, equaling her season best. Gates had eight kills on .400 hitting and five blocks, as NU enjoyed a 12-8 advantage in blocks.

Nebraska Head Coach John Cook was pleased by the way the Huskers came out following Wednesday's loss at Colorado.

"For us, I thought it was a great match," Cook said. "I thought Iowa State played really well and very competitive. These are the kind of the matches that the athletes and the fans really enjoy. It went point by point and there was just a real sense of urgency on every point. In three games we held them to 20 (points) or less, and that's a great effort.

"I'm most pleased with how we responded after Wednesday night. Our three senior leaders took it upon themselves to have this team ready, and I thought those three brought an attitude and competitiveness to our team tonight, so it was a really good effort and a fun match."

Nebraska got off to a fast start, jumping out to a 7-2 lead and never looking back in a 25-17 victory. The Huskers out-hit ISU, .355-.031, as Mueller had five kills and a pair of blocks, while Licht had four kills and two stuffs. Licht was a force early on, putting down all four of her kills in the early flurry as the Huskers built an early lead and forced a Cyclone timeout. ISU fought back, pulling to within 11-8 but the Husker block took over, as Gates helped on consecutive stuffs to put the lead back to five points. The Cyclones made one last push and were within 18-13, but back-to-back blocks by Kori Cooper and an ace from Jordan Larson sparked a 5-2 run, as a Larson kill gave the Huskers their largest lead at the time at 23-14.

The second game was just the opposite for the Huskers, as the Cyclones scored the first four points and never trailed in taking a 25-22 lead that sent the teams to the locker room tied at one set apiece.  ISU out-hit NU .263-.143, behind Kelsey Peterson, who had three kills and three of ISU's five blocks in the set.  The Cyclones used strong blocking early, as Peterson and Diane Kieger combined on consecutive stuffs to force NU to use an early timeout. Trailing 9-5, Nebraska climbed back, as back-to-back kills from Kori Cooper and a Jordan Larson ace got within a point, but ISU won three of the next four rallies to take a 12-10 lead after a Husker hitting miscue. The Huskers forged back, tying the score at 13-all after a Licht kill, only to see the Cyclones run off a 5-1 spurt to take a 19-14 lead after a kill from Kaylee Mans. NU whittled away at the lead, getting within 22-23, but Peterson and Kieger combined on a block before a Husker miscue ended the set.

NU came out of the locker room with a strong focus, jumping ahead and never trailing in a 25-20 victory. Larson totaled six kills in the set, while Licht chipped in three kills on just six swings. Nebraska raced out to an 8-4 lead, only to see ISU pull to within 11-8 after a Victoria Henson kill. NU than took over, forcing the Cyclones into a spade of miscues, and using a 4-1 run to extend the margin to 15-9 at the media timeout. The Huskers eventually pushed the lead to 19-13 after a Mueller kill, but ISU made one last charge, getting to within three points at 23-20, but kills from Licht and Larson closed out the set and gave NU a 2-1 lead.

The Huskers continued the momentum in the finale, running off the first four points and never trailing in a 25-19 victory. NU held the Cyclones to .029 hitting, as Larson, Cooper and Licht combined for 11 kills. Strong serving by Gates keyed an early four-point run that forced ISU to take an early timeout. NU eventually pushed the lead to 8-3 after kills by Anderson and Mueller, but ISU would come back. The Cyclones trimmed the lead to 13-11 after a Rachel Hockaday kill, but Nebraska responded with three straight kills, punctuated by a Mueller swing that gave NU a 16-11 lead. ISU hung around and was within 21-18, but could not get closer, as kills from Larson and Kayla Banwarth sandwiched around a block by Gates and Anderson ended ISU's bid to take it into the fifth set.

Henson led Iowa State with 15 kills while Hockaday finished with 10 kills and eight digs, as ISU fell for just the second time in their last seven contests.

The Huskers return to action on Wednesday night, when they travel to Texas A&M. First serve at G. Rollie White Coliseum is set for 6 p.m. and the match can be heard on the Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM and Twister 93.3 FM, and on Huskers.com

Article courtesy of Nebraska athletics.

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