The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 20, 1991, Page 7, Image 7

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NU wrestling team returns 4 starters
By Chuck Green
Senior Editor
Nebraska’s wrestling team will be
starting this season right where it left
off last year — in 10th place.
The Comhuskers, returning only
three of their 10 starters from last
season, were picked No. 10 in Ama
teur Wrestling News’ prescason poll.
The ranking was a surprise to
Nebraska Coach Tim Neumann.
“It’s real unusual for
mann said. “When
you’re starting a
program from
scratch, you have
a lot of younger,
inexperienced guys
who get beat a lot.
We might face that
at the beginning of
the season.”
The Huskers Neumann
return three starters — John Buxton,
who will move up to the 126-pound
weight class, Corey Olson at 177 and
Chris Nelson at 190—who were All
American or All-Big Eight finishers
last season. Other than those three,
Neumann said, Nebraska has wres
tlers “who are capable, but just have
n’t done it at this level yet.”
“I would have to say that our guys’
strength is that they recognize their
weaknesses,” he said. “They’re out to
prove something this year, not pro
tect something.”
Neumann said the Huskcr roster is
full of redshirts and junior college
transfers “who arc ready to make a
big jump.”
One junior college transfer who
figures prominently in Nebraska’s
starting lineup plans, Neumann said,
is Rulon Gardner, who won the junior
college heavyweight championship
last season at Ricks Community Col
lege in Rexburg, Ind.
“He’s beaten several quality Divi
sion I opponents in junior college,”
Neumann said, “and hopefully he can
keep that up here. I anticipate great
things from him.”
One of the biggest jobs facing
Neumann and assistant coach Mark
Perry this season is replacing gradu
ated 126-pound national champion
Jason Kclber. Buxton, who wrestled
at 118 pounds last season, will move
up one weight class to replace him.
Buxton’s twin Jason will be the
starter at 118.
At 134, Neumann said freshmen
Tony Geiger and Joe Stevens will
compete for the lop spot, and starters
in the middle weights—142,150 and
158 — will be freshmen and junior
college transfers.
At 167, Tommy Robbins, another
returner from last season, will battle
Dan Harrison for starting honors.
Neumann said Robbins has improved
significantly since last season.
“He’s made the biggest improve
ment on the team,” Neumann said.
“On the way home from nationals last
season (in Iowa City, Iowa), he told
me he was tired of being just an
average wrestler. He dedicated his
summer to improving.”
Olson, who earned All-America
honors last year, and Nelson won’t
need as much improvement. Neu
mann is looking for them to provide
leadership for the younger wrestlers
this season.
“They’ve both taken a verbal lead
ership role in practice,” Neumann
said. “If they sense that practice is a
little stale, they’ll do what they need
to do to get the others going. If they
sense attitude problem in someone,
they either talk to them themselves or
tell me, and I take care of it.
“They know what they’re doing,
and know what needs to get done.
Last season, one of Neumann’s
biggest challenges was to keep his
starting lineup frorp changing every
week. During one stretch last Febru
_The Team_
Michael Bums Fr.
Jason Buxton Jr.
John Buxton Jr.
Richard Coltvet Jr.
Scott Dobson Fr.
Rulon Gardner Jr.
Tony Geiger Fr.
Peter Gomez Fr.
Dan Harrison So.
John Hiffernan Jr.
Jason Hutson Fr.
Eric Justus Fr.
Kelvin Krietman Sr.
Matt Llndland Jr.
Jason Lockett Fr.
Chad Nelson Fr.
Chris Nelson Sr.
Corey Olson Jr.
Ovanes Oganlsian Fr.
Jamie Penning So.
David Pope Jr.
Tommy Robbins Jr.
James Schmid Fr.
Joe Stephens Fr.
Russell Verlng Jr.
LaCrescent, Minn.
Spearflsh, S.D.
Spearflsh, S.D.
Eagle Grove, Iowa
Alton, Wyo.
Council Bluffs, Iowa
Cedar Grove, WIs.
North Bend
Oregon City, Ore.
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Stewartville, Mlrm.
LeRoy, Minn.
Rochester, Minn.
Moscow, USSR
Waverty, Iowa
Amery, WIs.
Tulsa, Okla.
Centerville, Iowa
Nov. 23 all day - Omaha Open, Omaha
Dec. 6-7 all day - Las Vegas Invitational, Las Vegas,
12 7:30 p.m. - Iowa State, Ames, Iowa
28-29 all day - Midwest Classic, Des Moines
Jan. 4 7:30 p.m. - Indiana, Bloomington, Ind.
7:30 p.m. - Purdue, Bloomington, Ind.
11 7:30 p.m. - Notre Dame, Lincoln
18 2 p.m. - Clemson, Atlanta
7 p.m. - Tennessee-Chattanooga, Aitanta
24 7:30 p.m. - Oklahoma State, Stillwater, Okla.
Feb. 2 7:30 p.m. - Missouri, Lincoln
8-9 all day - National Duals, Ann Arbor, Mich.
15 7:30 p.m. - Oklahoma, Lincoln
19 7:30 p.m. - Minnesota, Minneapolis
22 5 p.m. - Northern Iowa, Lincoln
26 7:30 p.m. - Wyoming, Laramie, Wyo.
March 7 11 a.m. - Big Eight Championships,
Stillwater, Okla.
19-21 all day - NCAA Championships, Oklahoma
City, Okla.
Amie DeFrain/DN
9 lucky number
Coach hopes his substitution pattern pays off
By John Adkisson
Staff Reporter
Nebraska volleyball coach Terry
Pettit is gelling particular.
Pettit is hoping that his formula of
using particular players in particular
roles in particular matches pays off in
one thing in particular — a national
“I think you have to have nine
good players,” Pettit said. “Nine people
that you have ready to play in certain
situations. You can’t do it with just
The Comhuskers’ starting lineup
of Janet Kruse, Cris Hall, Stephanie
Thatcr, Eileen Shannon, Kim Tonni
ges and Nikki Strieker has been intact
all season. As a unit, those six have
started the past 14 matches, all Ne
braska victories.
But it’s the backups and the roles
they will play in next month’s NCAA
tournament that Pettit has been hon
ing in recent conference matches.
Pettit said his bench — which
includes junior Debbie Brand, sopho
more Laura Luther and freshmen
Christy Johnson and Peggy Meyer—
had steadily improved with his team
throughout the season.
“Things arc happening when they
come in,” he said. “They’re starting
not to just hold around, but they’re
giving us something when they come
Luther, a6-foot outside hitter from
Grand Island, started earlier this year
while Kruse nursed an ankle injury.
Since Kruse’s return, Luther’s play
ing time has decreased considerably.
Luther said she doesn’t mind and
added that her role now might be even
more important than that of a starter.
“When I go in in crucial situations,
I need to go in and lift the team and
make plays that aren’t going to be
made when I’m not on the court,”
Luther said.
Luther said she and her teammates
had accepted their roles and were
eager to get into big matches.
“You just have to be prepared in
all areas,” she said. “I think it makes
me keep in the game a lot more.”
Pettit said Luther had picked up
her play as of late.
“Laura’s playing real well,” he
said. “She’s serving lough,and I think
her level of play is right with the
Brand, a 5-foot-9 junior outside
hitler from Adelaide, Australia, has
been used primarily this season in
back-row defensive situations.
Pettit said Brand, who already has
been to two Final Fours with Ne
braska, would play an integral part in
his team’s drive toward a third straight
national semifinal.
“Debbie's one of our belter defen
sive players,” Pettit said. “She can
make two or three digs in rallies. The
faster the play, the better she plays.”
Johnson and Meyer have been used
in vastly different situations this sea
son, with Johnson mostly used in
serving situations and Meyer used in
the front row to spell one of the start
In addition, Pettit has two jump
serving specialists in freshmen Kelly
Aspergren and Tami Thompson. In
Friday’s match against Missouri,
Thompson served the last three points
of the match, the last two on aces.
situations the rest of the season.