One night after becoming the Big 12's all-time leader
in blocks, Elmer totaled 12 blocks in the first and second rounds, breaking the
single-season school record held by Amber Holmquist, who had 220 blocks in NU’s
2000 national title season. Elmer now has 223 blocks, holding both the Big 12
and school single-season record in the process.
Elmer’s 10 stuffs helped the Huskers hold Duke to a
season-low .043 hitting, as Nebraska improved to 30-1 on the season. The 30 wins
marks the 17th time the program has reached the 30-win plateau and the fifth in
six years under Head Coach John Cook. The win snapped Duke's nine-match winning
streak and closed out the Blue Devils' season with a 24-8 overall
Nebraska will now meet the winner of Saturday’s match
between UCLA and San Diego Friday evening at the Qwest Center in Omaha,
beginning at 7 p.m. Friday’s first matchup in Omaha will feature Florida and
Louisville, which will take place at 5 p.m. Over 11,500 tickets have already
been pre-sold for next weekend’s regional, making it one of the largest
postseason volleyball crowds in NCAA history.
While Elmer paced NU’s sterling defensive effort
against the Blue Devils, junior Christina Houghtelling and sophomore Sarah Pavan
both totaled a match-high 12 kills to led the Husker offense. Pavan also had six
blocks and two of NU’s service aces, while freshman Jordan Larson has nine
kills, four blocks and a pair of aces in the win.
Nebraska used a strong offensive effort to take the
opener 30-19. Senior Jennifer Saleaumua had five kills on nine swings, while
Houghtelling had five kills on .500 hitting, as NU out-hit the Blue Devils,
.378-.154. The Huskers took control early, using a 5-0 run, including four
straight points off the serve of junior Dani Busboom, to take a 9-4 lead after a
block by Pavan and Houghtelling. Duke pulled to within 12-8, but could get
no closer, as the Huskers scored eight of the next 10 points to build a
commanding 20-10 advantage and cruise to a 11-point win.
Nebraska’s defense took charge in game two, as the
Huskers took a 2-0 lead into the locker room after another 30-19 win. NU held
Duke to -.028 hitting, as Elmer and Saleaumua combined for four of the Huskers'
six team blocks. Offensively, Houghtelling continued her hot hand, hitting .571
on four kills, while Pavan led the hosts with six kills on 10 swings. NU trailed
8-7 before using the serve of sophomore Maggie Griffin to run off six straight
points and take a 13-8 advantage. Duke pulled to within 14-10, but Elmer led a
5-0 spurt with three blocks in helping NU take a 19-10 lead, an advantage it
would not relinquish.
Larson’s five kills on 10 swings and two blocks
helped Nebraska close the match with a 30-20 victory in the finale. Once again,
NU used a strong defensive performance, holding the Blue Devils to .000 hitting.
Nebraska scored five unanswered points to take an early 8-3 lead after a block
by Elmer and Pavan. After Duke pulled to within 10-6, Pavan started a 7-0 run
with a kill and then served six straight points in helping NU build an 17-6
lead. Duke trimmed the Husker lead to 25-20 after a junior Tealle Hunkas kill,
but the Huskers closed out the match and an undefeated home season with five
Hunkus led the team with 10 kills, as Nebraska held
the Blue Devils to season-low .043 hitting percentage. Entering today’s match,
Duke had been held to under 20 points only six times in 118 games. The Huskers
held the Blue Devils to just 19 points in the first two games, marking the first
time Duke was held below 20 points in more than one game of any match this