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No. 1 Huskers next for volleyball

Oct. 11, 2000

Road game could be toughest yet


Sports Writer

The Baylor volleyball team (10-4 overall, 4-4 in the Big 12 Conference) will face its most formidable opponent tonight at 7 in Lincoln, Neb., as the defensive strengths of the University of Nebraska pivot against Baylor's offensive prowess.

While the No. 1-ranked Huskers lead the nation in team blocking with 3.9 per game, the Bears are racking up 18.08 kills and 16.5 assists per game, both tops in the Big 12.

These two strongholds at the net will make for an interesting match.

The Huskers hold a perfect 15-0 record overall and are 7-0 in the Big 12. Nebraska has won every meeting with Baylor, but their series is a short one, with the first match-up happening only five years ago.

Offensively, the Huskers are third in the nation and first in the Big 12 with a .350 hitting percentage, and that number improves to a staggering .373 in conference play.

Nebraska head Coach John Cook has amassed an impressive winning streak for his first year of coaching in Lincoln. The former coach, Terry Pettit, retired at the end of last season.

Under the leadership of two middle blockers, junior Jenny Kropp and sophomore Amber Holmquist, Nebraska is holding its opponents to a 0.90 hitting percentage. The duo is ranked fifth and sixth nationally in individual blocking.

The Bears, however, pose a real threat to ending Nebraska's spotless record.

Cook said on the Nebraska athletic Web site that the Huskers will not take Baylor lightly, as the Bears feature one of the most potent offenses in the conference.

Freshman outside hitter Stevie Nicholas leads the Big 12 individually in kills with 5.82 per game. And the Baylor attacking is balanced -- five Bears are averaging more than two-and-a-half kills per game under junior setter Dana Chuha, who leads the Big 12 in assists with 15.14 per game.

'The desire is there for our team,' junior middle blocker Sunny Nicholas said. 'It comes down to consistency.'