The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 16, 1997, Page 10, Image 10

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    Shannon Heffelfinger
will answer
big question
Nebraska volleyball coach
Terry Pettit sighed, sat down at the
front of the room and faced the
assembled media at South Stadium
The room was unusually
crowded, and Pettit knew why.
Everyone wanted an answer to
the question.
“What happened to the team
last week?” a reporter asked, refer
ring to NU’s first back-to-back
losses in four years.
“I don’t know,” Pettit said with a
smile. “El Nino?”
Sometimes, it’s easier to talk
about things when you’re winning
than when you’re losing.
Two losses last week destroyed
NU’s 41-match home winning
streak, its 22-year league victory
string and marked the first time
ever the Huskers had been swept by
a conference opponent.
NU fell to Colorado before tak
ing a whipping at Oklahoma - a
team the Huskers had swept eight
straight years.
This is Neoraska. This is the
team with a strong player-of-the
year candidate and an even stronger
preseason bid to repeat as Big 12
Champions. This is the team that
returned nine players from last sea
son’s team that advanced to the
NCAA Final Four. This is the team
that was expected to go further.
Pettit points to an injury to
starter Jaime Krondak when
answering the question.
His players, however, blame
“Everyone was waiting for
someone else to step up and take
control, but nobody did,” sopho
more Mandy Monson said. “It’s
hard to be on the court when every
one is just looking around.”
Lisa Reitsma felt the frustration
after OU.
Our serving has gone down,
our passing has broken down. After
that goes, so does everything else,”
Reitsma said.
So the question remains.
This weekend is huge for NU.
Nebraska travels to No.l 1 Texas
and No. 12 Texas A&M.
Will the Huskers regain their
dominance? Where will they find
leadership? Can they refocus?
“We have two losses in the Big
12, so what?” Monson said. “That
doesn’t mean we can’t come back
and win every single game we play.
Its doesn’t mean we can’t win the
Big 12 Championship or the
national championship.”
The question will surely be
answered in Texas.
Hefielfinger is a sophomore
news-editorial major and a Daily
Nebraskan assignment reporter.
Let the games begin
Lue: Attitude may be key factor
for successful ’91-98 campaign
By Darren Ivy
Staff Reporter
NU point guard Tyronn Lue
hopes an improved team attitude will
lead the NU men’s basketball team
back to the NCAA Basketball
“Our self-discipline and work
ethic are better than in the past,” Lue
said. “We don’t have as much talent
as my freshman and sophomore sea
sons, but self-discipline also wins
- Nebraska coach Danny Nee has
seen the players’ new attitudes four
days a week during the preseason for
weights and running, but Saturday
will be the first time on the court.
A strong nucleus of returning
players from last year’s 18-15 and
NIT qualifying team has Nee excited
about the 1997-98 season.
“The players have a winning atti
tude this year,” Nee said. “The play
ers want more. They want to be com
petitive in the last two weeks of the
season and in the NCAAs.”
Sophomore Cookie Belcher said
the preseason was harder this year.
“I think Coach Nee knows what
kind of team we can have and that’s
why he worked us so hard,” Belcher
A successtul season won t just
rely on the players, Nee said, but also
the support of the home-court fans.
On offense, the Huskers should be
fast-paced team. He said team quick
ness and shooting are two of NU’s
Belcher said home-court fans
may not realize how important they
are to the team.
“When they get involved, we get
involved,” Belcher said. “They make
us want to play harder.”
The fans will see returning
starters, Lue, Belcher, Venson
Hamilton and Larry Florence on the
court. In addition to these players,
Andy Markowski will start as for
ward, and Troy Piatkowski will like
ly be the sixth man, Nee said.
To win the tournament, Nee said
the team will need to develop a
sound man-to-man defense.
“We know if we win either (the
Big 12 Conference or Big 12
Tournament), we make it to the
NCAAs,” Nee said. “There are a lot
of good individual players in this
league and to win we will have to be
able to get stops on them at key
times,” Nee said.
To play consistent, Nee said it
takes an attitude about coming out
and playing hard and smart every
“The players from last year
understand that,” Nee said. “They
have had great attitudes thus far this
On offense, Nee said the team
will be a fast-paced team. He said
team quickness and shooting are two
of the team’s strengths.
Depth on the front line will be
one of the team’s weaknesses. Nee
said 6-foot-10 freshman Brant
Harriman will see quite a bit of
playing time backing up M
Hamilton and Markowski.
The team’s first
chance to see how the
defense and offense are
progressing will be Nov.
5 against Pella
Windows. The regu
lar season starts at
home on Nov. 16 ;
against UNC
Several pre
season publica
tions have pre
dicted the
Huskers to fin
ish in second
or third place
in the Big \T
North Division. _________
Street, Smith and
Sporting News picked the
Huskers to finish third behind Iowa
State and Kansas, while Athlon and
Preview Sports Publications picked
the Huskers to finish second behind
Nee said some of the publica
tions do a lot of research, but he
doesn’t pay too much attention to
“I think it’s great entertainment
reading, but how right and how fac
tual remains to be seen,” Nee said.
“It doesn’t take too much to know
Kansas is the best team in the confer
Lue said the team can’t get
caught up in all the preseason hype.
“We were supposed to finish
second my freshman year,”
Lue said, “but we
never did.”
New coach, players hope to unite
as Huskers begin Sanderford era
By Shannon Heffelfinger
Assignment Reporter
The Southern style of up-tempo
basketball merges with a strong
Midwestern work ethic when new
Coach Paul Sanderford begins prac
tice with the Nebraska women’s bas
ketball team Saturday.
Both coach and players expect a
successful union.
“The most impressive
thing about this team has
been the work ethic,”
Sanderford said.
“Coaches usually spend
half the time trying to
get their players to play
hard. We have that
already, so we can spend
that much more time
get them to play well.
Sanderford plans to use the four
weeks before the Huskers open their
regular season to implement his up
tempo system. Years of coaching in
an area of the country where North
Carolina’s Dean Smith and
Kentucky’s Rick Pitino dominated
the college basketball landscape
influenced Sanderford’s up-tempo
coaching-style philosophy, he said.
In the early stages of practices,
Sanderford wants to concentrate on
fundamental aspects of the gapiej
such as rebounding and defense.
But the new head coach hopes, to
have a solid offensive attack by tne
start of the Huskers’ exhibition sea
son Nov. 7 when NU plays host to
Zala Volan (Hungary).
“It’s a different philosophy than
the players have seen before,”
Sanderford said. “Things are going
, to be a little faster. We’re going to
Ik press more and get more people
ft involved that way.”
ft Nebraska’s top returning
ft scorers and three-point threats
Wr are senior honorable-mention
W All-American Anna DeForge and
sophomore Nicole Kubik.
I Also expected to contribute
heavily in the paint are fresh
I men Lisa Bryan, Amanda
;| Cleveland and Amanda
|1 Sanderford believes good
M communication between
§ himself and the returqip^
f players holds an important
| key to success in his first ^a
Jami Kubik said the players
have been meeting individually
^ with Sanderford, giving him an
§f opportunity to calm their appre
§ hensions.
“It’s been a chance to get some
; questions answered,” Kubik said.
\ “He’s trying to tell us where we’re
| at, but he doesn’t really know. Its
f hard for him to say what our roles
m are going to be.”
W NU proceeds in early January
I to Big 12 Conference play. Kubik
said the Huskers will be ready for
the challenge.
“We were always anxious for
practice to start in past years, but it’s
more so this year,” Kubik said. “It’s
more excitement with the anxiety.
For me, this is really special. It’s the
last time the seniors will be doing
this and coach knows that and he
doesn’t let you forget it. I think we’ll
work really hard for him.”
Huskers hope to contain Lethridge
By Antone Oseka
Senior Reporter
Already this season, Nebraska
has seen some good quarterbacks.
Washington’s Brock Huard,
Central Florida’s Daunte Culpepper
and Kansas State’s Michael Bishop
have all tried their arms at beating
Nebraska and have come up short.
This week, when No. 2
Nebraska (5-0 overall, 2-0 in the
Big 12 Conference) faces off
against Texas Tech (3-2, 2-0)
Saturday, at Memorial Stadium,
senior Zebbie Lethridge will be the
next quarterback to try and leaid the
Red Raiders to a victory.
Alter facing good quarterbacks
already this season, the Blackshirts
are feeling prepared to play
Lethridge. j
“We’re going to treat him a lot
like Bishop,” senior rush end Grant
Wistrom said. “Hopefully, we can
put pressure on him.”
Wistrom said, as far as the talent
NU has faced this season, he would
rate Lethridge in between
Culpepper and Bishop for quarter
back ability. The most dangerous
part of Lethridge is his ability to run
with the football.
Nebraska senior defensive tack
le and All-American candidate
Jason Peter said Lethridge could
play running back for most schools.
But, Peter added, if Lethridge
hurts you on one play, the defense
can’t hang its head and concentrate
on it.
“If we get hurt, we need to come
back into the huddle and concen
trate,” Peter said. “This defense
knows how to handle it.
Last season, Tech had two stars
in the backfield. Lethridge was
teamed with running back Byron
Hanspard, a Heisman Trophy candi
date, who now plays in the NFL for
the Atlanta Falcons. The loss of
Hanspard, Peter said, has made a lot
of the Tech offense one-dimensional
around Lethridge. Wistrom had a
little different view.
“Zebbie’s a threat all to him
self,” Wistrom said.
Please see LETHRIDGE on 111 |