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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 1, 1997)
fun from big
BOULDER, Colo. - One
thing for certain that the polls, the
Bowl Alliance and the Big 12
championship game have done is
take the fun out of football.
Nebraska won the Big 12
North Division championship and
completed an undefeated regular
season with a 27-24 victory over
Colorado on Friday, but you
couldn’t tell by the looks on the
“In the locker room afterward,
the guys were somber and kind of
moping around, and it looked like
we had kind of almost lost the
game,” said Nebraska center Matt
Hoskinson, who filled in for the
injured John Heskew. “I really
didn’t know how to react to some
thing like this.”
Sortiber and moping after a
win? Over Colorado? To com
plete an undefeated regular sea
I his is what the new age of
college football has brought us.
Friday was a day for celebra
tion, a day to enjoy the accom
plishments of goals, a day to enjoy
a victory over a conference oppo
Yet, it turned into a day of sad
ness, disappointment and disgust.
If we believe what Nebraska
Coach Tom Osborne, the NU players
and Sporting News had said, then
Colorado was a good team and capable
of playing the Huskers tough and
close, which it did.
But in this new age of college
football, style points almost mean
more than wins and losses.
“The bottom line is that we
won the game,” Osborne said.
“But we almost lost to a team that
had five losses, so that is probably
in the voters’ minds also.”
Now the Huskers must get ready
for the Big 12 championship game
with a Texas A&M team that is ready
to prove Osborne right for the second
Osborne has argued against a
Big 12 title game, saying it gives a
team like Nebraska -which is in
contention for a national champi
onship - an added chance to slip.
Last season, a win in the Big 12
championship game would have sent
the Huskers to toe Sugar Bowl to com
pete for their third tide in three years.
But a 37-27 upset by Texas knocked
NU out of contention.
No. 14 A&M could do the
same thing, placing die Huskers
in a no-win, no-fun situation.
A loss would leave die Huskers
upset A close win would leave the
Huskers disappointed, and a blowout
would only meet expectations.
If we’re lucky, we may get at
least a high-five or a hug, or even,
God-forbid, a little fun.
Klnck Is a graduate student
in journalism and the Daily
Nebraskan sports editor.
MEGAN KORVER slams aa attack over the Texas block Saturday night at
the Ml Coliseum. The Huskers defeated Texas ie four games to«nd the
regular season with 10 straight wins. NU received a No. ?seed on Sunday
in the Pacific region of the NCAA Tournament.
Win streak grows
to 10 as NU cruises
By Shannon Heffelfinger
The last five weeks of the Big 12
Conference action meant everything and
nothing to the Nebraska volleyball team.
It carried little significance in the
race for the league title because of four
losses in October that presented the
Comhuskers a slim chance to win their
second straight Big 12 championship.
But after a month of frustration,
the Huskers knew a November win
ning streak would provide an accept
able cure for a season that nearly took
a turn for the worse.
With wins over No. 9 Texas
Saturday and No. 16 Texas A&M
Friday, Nebraska stamped an exclama
tion point on its regular season-ending
10-match streak, which as it turned
out, meant everything to the Huskers.
NU (25-6 overall and 16-4 in the
conference) earned the No. 2 seed in
the NCAA Tournament’s Pacific
Region on Sunday and the No. 7
overall seed in the tournament.
Saturday night at 7:30, Nebraska
- the only Big 12 team to earn a first
round bye - plays host to Michigan
State or Butler, who meet in the first
round Friday night in Lincoln.
“Five weeks ago, they could have
decided to be a mediocre team and
limp home,” NU Coach Terry Pettit
said. “They knew the couldn't win the
conference and they could have just
let things go, but they didn’t do that
“They made a decision to play as
hard and as well as they can, and they
turned their season around.”
NU completed the turnaround in
grand style, defeating league champion
Texas 17-15,15-6,14-16,15-10 Saturday
at the NU Coliseum after beating Texas
A&M 15-4,2-15,15-6,15-1 Friday.
The Huskers often faulted their
inability to replace injured players
Jaime Krondak and Renee Saunders
when explaining their October losses.
Now, only one month later, depth has
proven to be NU’s strength.
Twelve Huskers competed before a
season-high crowd of4,408 in the win
over Texas (23-6 and 17-3). Pettit point
ed to Nebraska’s depth as a deciding
factor in the fourth game of the match.
Down 10-9 in the final game,
Pettit inserted freshman Kim
Behrends for the second time in the
match. Behrends responded with a
kill and two critical digs as the teams
took turns siding out.
“I told Kim before the match that
I thought she might be the difference
tonight,” Pettit said. “You can tell she
really wants to be on the court.
“In the fourth game, (Mandy)
Please see STREAK on 10
NU with No. 2 seed
By Shannon Heffelfinger
A late-season surge by the
Nebraska volleyball team nearly
erased the memory of a midseason
slip in the minds of the NCAA
Tournament selection committee.
The Comhuskers received a No.
2 seed Sunday night in the tourna
ment’s Pacific region, a reward for
Nebraska’s successful 10-0
November that proved a point
behind which Coach Terry Pettit
stood all season.
“They (the selection committee)
put extra weight on the last half of
the season,” Pettit said. “We stum
bled in the middle, but we’re 10-0
the last half of the season.
“We’ve beaten a lot of ranked
teams, and they see that. We’ve beat
everyone in the Big 12 Conference
at least once, and we have the
longest winning streak of those
The tournament begins with
first round matches Friday and ends
with the national championship
match Dec. 20 in Spokane, Wash.
As one of the top eight teams in
the tournament the Huskers (25-6
overall and 16-4 in the league)
receive a first-round bye. NU will
play host to either Butler (28-6) or
Michigan State (22-11) Saturday
night at 7:30 at the NU Coliseum.
The Bulldogs and Spartans play
NU missed out on a No. 1 seed
for the first time in four years. Long
Beach State received the No. 1 seed
in the Pacific region, and will play
host to one of four regionals if it
can beat either Hawaii or Loyola
The concept of
second says a lot for
Texas volleyball coach
(Marymount) on Saturday.
Defending national champion
Stanford, Wisconsin and Penn State
claimed the other top Seeds.
In addition to Nebraska, five
other Big 12 teams earned bids:
Texas A&M, Kansas State,
Oklahoma, Colorado and Texas.
The Pac-10 and the Big Ten also
placed six teams in the tournament,
a fact that Texas Coach Jim Moore
said testifies to the strength of the
“You look at the top teams in the
Big 12, and you see they’re as good
as any other team in the confer
ence,” Moore said. “The concept of
Nebraska finishing second says a
lot for our conference. Colorado is
the most under-ranked team in the
country, Nebraska is an excellent
team, we’re good and A&M is real
NU outside hitter Mandy
Monson said the Huskers were con
fident they’d earn a high seed after
defeating Texas and A&M.
“We knew we’d move up after
those wins,” Monson said. “A cou
ple of losses didn’t ruin everything
for us. We’ve got to be happy with
where we’re at.”
to get past UTSA
By Jay Saunders
For the second time in three
years, the Nebraska men’s bas
ketball team has started the
To get there, the
Cornhuskers had to overcome
more than just Texas-San
The Huskers shot only 40
percent from the field and
turned the ball over 16 times
against the Roadrunners, but
managed to pull off a 68-59
win in front of 7,637 fans at the
Bob Devaney Sports Center on
NU junior Venson Hamilton
led the Huskers with 18 points
and 14 rebounds;
For the second straight
year, UTSA (2-2) provided the
Huskers a formidable chal
lenge. Last season, NU
squeaked by the Roadrunners
79-76 in Lincoln.
“Those teams with hyphens
in there name always come up
here and give us their best
shot,” NU Coach Danny Nee
said. “I don't think it was ever
in doubt who would win the
Nine of the Huskers’ 16
turnovers came in the first half
as NU mustered just a 32-28
Nebraska point guard
Tyronn Lue, still recovering
from a stomach virus that both
ered him in Nebraska’s 64-57
win over Colorado State on
Tuesday, shot only 2-of-7
before halftime. For the game,
Lue was 4 of 16 with 14 points.
He also had five turnovers.
Even though Lue struggled in
the last two games, Nee said
Lue still has the green light.
“I thought (Lue) had some
good looks tonight,” Nee said.
“He had a couple of flat shots,
but the majority were pretty
good. If (Lue) turns the ball
over five or six times, nothing
is going to look smooth.”
In the second half, UTSA
tied the game at 32 and 36,
before the Huskers went on a
12-0 run. Lue and junior Troy
Piatkowski each hit a 3-point
er. Sandwiched between was
one of six baskets in the paint
NU’s lead grew to 11 with
11:30 left in the game before
the Roadrunners put together a
similar run. Junior guard Steve
Meyer scored five consecutive
points to make the score 50-44
with nine minutes left.
The Roadrunners, however,
got no closer than five points
as Nebraska hit its free throws
in the final minutes to ice the
game. Hamilton said the
Huskers should have put UTSA
away when they had the
Please see HOOPS on 10
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