NebraskaThe Nebraska volleyball team opens the 2006 season this week with four matches, beginning Tuesday evening against No. 20 San Diego. First serve at a sold-out Nebraska Coliseum (4,030 capacity) is set for 7 p.m. and the match will be carried across the state on the Pinnacle Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln, and on the Internet at

The Huskers find themselves in a familiar position to begin the season, as the Huskers are ranked first in the CSTV/AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll. It marks the third time that Nebraska has opened the season in that spot (also 2001 and 2005).

The Huskers will have a vastly different lineup than the one that took the court at the end of last season. The Huskers must replace a trio of All-Americans, middle blocker Melissa Elmer and outside hitters Christina Houghtelling and Jennifer Saleaumua. Houghtelling underwent season-ending surgery in July and will redshirt this fall. Her absence sparked NU’s shift to the 5-1 offense. Despite the losses, NU returns five of its top eight players from last season, including two-time All-American Sarah Pavan and Big 12 Freshman of the Year Jordan Larson.

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