Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 3, 1996)
an elite team
In a steamy, un-air conditioned
Redbird Arena, the Nebraska vol
leyball tearnbegan a journey into the
unknown more than three months
Dozens of questions arose that
first weekend in Normal, 111. Who
would step up to be a team leader?
Who would fill in for Allison
Weston, Christy Johnson and Billie
Could this team handle the pres
sure of playing as the defending na
tional champion? How would three
season-ending injuries affect this
un mat sticKy August weeKena,
NU had problems.
After fighting for a four-game
win over Illinois State, Hawaii
ripped the Huskers, exploiting all the
weaknesses Nebraska didn’t have
last season. A 22-8 season and an
NCAA-regional appearance ap
peared to be a realistic goal for this
But this is Nebraska, where
championship seasons are always
the goal, and mediocrity is not an
option. Soon the athletic youngsters
became experienced—and danger
ous for Husker foes.
Fiona Nepo, who started one
match in 1995, replaced Johnson, a
two-time All-America setter — the
most important position on the floor.
Sophomore transfer Megan
Korver and true freshman Tonia
Tauke filled vacancies left at the
middle-blocker position by the in
jured Jen McFadden and Weston.
Replacing Winsett at outside hitter
was the inexperienced, yet spunky,
Things were rough.
Fifteen weeks later, the road is
The Comhuskers are 27-3, Big
12 champions, and as long as they
beat Rhode Island or Arkansas on
Saturday night, NU will play host
to a NCAA regional for the third
time in as many years.'. "
Nothing has fazed this young
club, which suddenly looks like a
bunch of veterans.
With a brutal schedule and nine
freshmen and sophomores, this suc
cess didn’t seem possible feu: a team
that lost All-America candidate
McFadden, redshirt freshman
Denise Koziol and all-star recruit
Katie Jahnke to injuries before the
beginning of die season.
Nebraska was not chosen to win
the Big 12 this season. Still, the
Huskers weren’t fazed. Seniors Kate
Cmich and Maria Hedbeck orches
trated the goals: Big 12 tide, NCAA
regional host, Final-Four partici
pant, die national championship.
So far the Huskers die two for
two, and they’ve proven everyone
wrong but themselves. *
Parks is a senior news-editorial
major and a Daily Nebraskaitse
NU to face
By Trevor Parks
Although the Nebraska men’s bas
ketball team’s progress may not be
obvious, Coach Danny Nee has seen
improve in every
game this season.
ing along,” Nee
said. “To you, it
may be slight. But
to me, I’m getting
eight players some
pretty good expe
rience that will ?
make us better
The 2-1 Cornhuskers’ next chance
to take a step forward comes tonight
at 7:05, when NU plays host to Texas
San Antonio (2-1) at die Bob Devaney
Sophomore forward Larry Flo
rence, who missed Nebraska’s 75-67
win over Oregon State Saturday with
a knee injury, returns to the starting
lineup. Nebraska will have all nine
scholarship players available tonight
for the first time this season.
While one player returns for the
Huskers, one key player is missing for
the Roadrunners. Sheldon Jones, who
was averaging 10.3 points per game
for Texas-San Antonio, broke a bone
in his left leg Saturday against Hous
ton. After having surgery, he is out for
Playing without Jones, a 6-foot-1
senior from Chicago, will hamper the
Roadrunners, Nee said.
UTSA’s two wins this season have
come over Angelo State (70-56) and
Abilene Christian (90-78). The Road
runners lost 69-49 to Houston.
Another advantage on NU’s side is
the team’s cohesiveness, point guard
Tyronn Lue said. In three games, Lue
said, the Huskers have played with
more appreciation for each other then
they did in the entire 1995-96 season.
“We still have the long part of the
season to go,” said Lue, who is aver
aging 17 points and six assists per
game, “but we are more together as a
unit than we were last year. I think we
will be pretty good down the road.”
On its current path, Nebraska is
I Please see HOOPS on 8 I
andAnna Derorge fight for a loose
ball with St. Louis guard Mandy Lueking in Nil’s 93-54 win
Saturday. Nebraska will play Creighton in Omaha tonight at 7.
for bragging rights
. ..- —1 ■ I
By Mike Kluck
' Senior Reporter
The last time the Creighton
women’s basketball team started
0-2, the Lady Jays went on to fin
ish die season 28-4, winning their
league championship and advanc
ing to the second round of the
That may be why Nebraska
Coach Angela Beck is taking the
0-2 Lady Jays seriously heading
into the 4-0 Comhuskers’ 7 p.m.
game today against Creighton at
the Civic Auditorium in Omaha.
“We think they will be a real
difficult game for us,” Beck said.
‘We don’t care if they had a loss
at Wyoming and Iowa State.
Creighton is Creighton, and
Creighton and Nebraska is a tre
CU Coach Connie Yori said the
rivalry between the two schools is
good for basketball in the state.
Through the last six meetings,
the series is even. The Huskers
won 86-69 last year in Lincoln, but
the Lady Jays had won the previ
ous two contests.
“Anytime you have two Divi
sion I teams in the state, there will
be arivalry,” Yori said. “It is prob
ably not as much of a rivals for
them, because they have so many
good rivalries within the Big 12
‘We have a lot of respect for
what Nebraska has done and the
job Angela Beck has done.”
Yori has been particularly im
pressed with Beck’s ability to re
cruit players from Nebraska. The
Huskers have three scholarship
freshman from Nebraska, includ
F 22 Tina McClain 5-10 Sr.
G 20 LaToyaDoage 5-6 Sr.
G 32 Kristi McCullough 5-9 Sr.
F 24 Carrie Welle 6-1 Jr.
ing Nicole Kubik, who has earned
a starting spot in her first season.
“We have tried to recruit Ne
braska kids and haven’t had a lot
of luck,” Yori said. ‘To go to Ne
braska seems to be the trend right
now. For us to beat Nebraska
would help us.”
However, Creighton’s effort
tonight may be hampered by in
juries. Point guard Holly Sivesind,
an All-Missouri Valley preseason
first-team selection, is question
able because of a calf injury suf
fered last Tuesday in practice.
“Before the season,” Yori said,
“the one thing we knew about our
team is we couldn’t afford to have
Huskers could still
end up in any of five
Bt Mike Kluck
It’s simple. If the Nebraska foot
ball team beats Texas in Saturday’s Big
12 championship game, the
Comhuskers will almost certainly play
Florida State in the Sugar Bowl, pos
sibly for a third straight national title.
But if the Huskers lose...
The Longhorns would win the first
ever Big 12 tide, receiving an auto
matic berth to the Bowl Alliance and
throwing a wrench in the master
scheme orchestrated by the Sugar, Fi
esta and Orange Bowls.
And NU goes where?
As long as the third-ranked Husk
ers don’t fall too far in the polls, they
probably would be considered for a
spot in the Orange or Fiesta Bowl, said
Keith Tribble, executive director of the
- 9* “1 wouldthink they would still be
an at-large selection for the alliance,
even though they would have two
losses,” Tribble said Monday.
On Monday, Orange, Sugar and
Fiesta officials narrowed the list of
teams available for an alliance-bowl
berth to 10. The group includes Florida
State, Nebraska, Florida, Brigham
Young, Penn State, Colorado, Virginia
Tech, Tennessee, Alabama and Texas.
Fiesta Bowl Public Relations Man
ager Shawn Schoeffler said Nebraska
would certainly be welcome in Tempe,
Ariz., the site of NU’s 62-24 win over
Florida last season.
“We try to look at what’s best for
college football,” Schoeffler said. “A
lot of times, the number in front of a
team doesn’t matter to us. We would
rather look at teams that would pro
vide more of ah intriguing matchup.
It doesn t bother us that Nebraska
played here last season.”
Another thing that doesn’t bother
Fiesta Bowl officials is Nebraska’s
fans, more than 35,000 of whom trav
eled to Arizona last December and
January for the Fiesta Bowl.
If Nebraska loses Saturday and is
left out of die Bowl Alliance, the Husk
ers likely would play in die Cotton
Bowl, Jan. 1 in Dallas, or the Holiday
Bowl, Dec. 30 in San Diego.
After the alliance picks its six
teams on Sunday at 1:30 p.m., the
Cotton Bowl has the first selection of
any remaining Big 12 teams. Cotton
Bowl officials have expressed interest
in Kansas State.
The Wildcats finished the season
with a 9-2 record, including a 6-2 mark
in the Big 12 Conference, one game
worse than Colorado, which only lost
one conference game.
John Reid, the executive director
of the Holiday Bowl — which will
choose a Big 12 team after the Cotton
Bowl — said the Cotton Bowl has a
history of not inviting the same team
for two straight seasons. Colorado beat
Oregon 38-6 in last year’s Cotton
!Cotton Bowl Executive Director
Rick Baker was unavailable for com
Powered by Open ONI