Nov. 30, 2002
Lincoln, Neb. -
The 22nd-ranked Kansas State women's volleyball team were held to a season-low .098 hitting percentage, as fifth-ranked Nebraska used stellar defensive play to post a 30-20, 30-21, 30-19 win before 4,197 fans at the Nebraska Coliseum.
With the win, Nebraska improved to 28-1 on the season and 20-0 in Big 12 Conference play, while Kansas State dropped to 20-8 overall and 16-4 in league action. The Cornhuskers not only extended their overall winning streak to 26 straight matches dating to a 3-0 win over Pepperdine on Sept. 6, but also pushed their conference winning streak to 70 matches and their home streak to 60. The Wildcats were the last team to beat the Huskers in Lincoln with a 3-2 win on Sept. 22, 1999.
The hitting percentage surpassed the previous season-low of a .103 hitting percentage posted against Colorado State in the season opener on Aug. 30. Nebraska registered 54 kills on a .331 hitting percentage and outblocked Kansas State, 20.5 to 4.
Junior middle blocker Lauren Goehring paced a balanced Kansas State attack with 10 kills on .304 hitting percentage, as she led five Wildcats who tallied five or more kills in the contest. Sophomore middle blocker Lisa Martin added seven kills and team-high three blocks, while sophomore setter Gabby Guerre turned in six kills, 28 assists and eight digs.
Senior outside hitter Laura Pilakowski led a balanced Nebraska attack with 12 kills on .296 hitting, as all six Husker starters tallied at least six kills on the evening. Freshman outside hitter Jennifer Saleaumua tallied a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs, while junior outside hitter Anna Schrad added 10 kills and eight digs. Senior middle blocker Amber Holmquist tallied a match-high 13 blocks with eight kills on .316 hitting and senior setter Greichaly Cepero was effective all-around with six kills on .385 hitting with 35 assists, two aces, eight digs and eight blocks.
In game one, Nebraska jumped out to the early lead by virtue on a 4-0 run before Kansas State responded with an 8-4 run to tie the game at 9-all. The two teams battled back and forth before the Wildcats took their first lead at 12-11 on a Cari Jensen kill. However, the Huskers scored six of the next seven points for a 17-13 advantage. K-State would close to within 21-19, but that's the closest it would get, as Nebraska closed the game on a 9-1 run to take a 30-20 win. The Huskers registered 21 kills on .364 hitting with eight blocks, while the Wildcats posted just a .104 hitting percentage. Goehring led the team with four kills.
Kansas State jumped out to the early lead in game two before Nebraska used another mini run to take the lead at 8-5. Facing a 15-9 deficit, the Wildcats responded with a 6-1 run to close the gap to 16-15. However, the Huskers followed with nine straight points, including eight on the serve of Cepero, to take a commanding 24-15 advantage. K-State closed to within 25-18, but the deficit was too much to overcome, as Nebraska earned a 30-21 win. The Wildcats were held to just .086 hitting in the game.
Much like the first two games, Kansas State was able to stay with Nebraska in the early going before the hot Cornhuskers ripped off a series of mini runs. The Wildcats closed to within 17-13 on a kill, but could get no closer, as the Huskers earned the sweep on its first match point, 30-19. K-State managed just 12 kills on .100 hitting, while Nebraska had 19 kills on .357 hitting.
Kansas State will find out its postseason destination on Sunday, as the NCAA unveils its 64-team bracket on ESPNEWS at 8 p.m. CST. The Wildcats will be looking for their eighth straight postseason appearance, including their seventh consecutive in the NCAA Tournament. K-State is 8-8 all-time in the postseason, including 6-6 in the NCAA Tournament, and have won first round matches in each of the past four seasons. Both fans and media are invited to attend the team's official Watch Party, which is set for Willie's Bar and Grille at 307 Seth Child Road in Manhattan.