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BRADLEY from page 9
of defensive pressure in the first half to
“It’s hard to get up for these
games,” McDill said. “You want to, but
it’s not easy.
“And we didn’t realize how quick
they were going to be. We were lack
adaisical in the first half. We weren’t
picking up players, we weren’t rotat
ing, and we weren’t talking.”
McDill said the Huskers regained
their focus in the second half, allowing
the Braves to convert on only one of
their nine field-goal attempts in the
first five minutes. Nebraska pieced
together an 18-9 run on the strength of
consecutive layups by sophomore
Charlie Rogers - who led NU with 17
points and eight rebounds - and a 3
point field goal by senior Anna
“I told the team in the locker room
that the first five minutes of the second
half were going to be the difference in
the game,” Freitag said. “It turned out
that it did make the difference. I just
wish it could have been the other way
Nebraska moves on to play its fifth
game in two weeks Friday in Arizona
at the Insight.com Women’s Classic. If
NU defeats Wichita State in the first
round, the Huskers will setup a possi
ble match up with llth-ranked
Sanderford said Nebraska is look
ing forward to the trip after
“We were just happy to get the win
and get out of there,” Sanderford said.
“There were signs that we had a clue.
We had 11 assists, and that’s very good.
We just have to play the other end.”
HUSKER GUARD Nicole Kubik passes around Bradley guard Dana Anderson
(left) and forward Alexandria Gal in the second half at the Bob Devaney
Sports Center Wednesday evening. The Huskers defeated the Braves 80-66.
Butler, MSU hope to face Huskers
By Andrew Strnad
Volleyball’s version of the “Big
Dance” begins tonight, but at the NU
Coliseum the fun starts on Friday
night when Michigan State plays
Butler University in the first round of
the NCAA Tournament.
Nebraska received a first-round
bye and will play the winner of Friday
night’s match on Saturday night.
The Spartans finished the season
22-11 overall and finished tied for
fifth at 12-8 in the Big 10 Conference.
Michigan State is no stranger to
the NCAA Tournament as Head
Coach Chuck Erbe, in his fifth sea
son, has led the Spartans to four
straight tournaments, including a trip
to the Regional Finals a year ago.
Erbe also took the Spartans to the
Final Four in 1995 before bowing out
to the Huskers in five games.
Butler, on the other hand, will be
making its first appearance in the
NCAA Tournament. Head Coach
Sharon Dingman, in her sixth season,
directed Butler to a 28-6 record over
all and anll-1 record in the
Midwestern Collegiate Conference,
leading the Bulldogs to their first
MCC title since 1987.
The two teams aren’t strangers to J
each other, having played this season
on September 20"1 with Michigan
State winning in three games.
Both coaches downplayed the
first meeting, saying their teams are
entirely different clubs now.
“That was probably our worst
match of the season in all aspects,”
Dingman said. “So we would like to
definitely correct that, and I think we
have improved greatly since that
The Bulldogs will look to senior
setter Jennifer Kintzel to help carry
the team against the Spartans.
Kintzel, the MCC Player of the
Year, is among the nation’s leaders in
service aces, with 67, and assists,
with 12.34 per match. Kintzel aver
ages two service aces per match.
Erbe and the Spartans have the
luxury of two strong attackers in
junior outside hitter Jenna Wrobel
and senior Veronica Morales. Wrobel
averages 5.48 kills per game - good
enough for eighth in the nation -
yhile Morales led the Big Ten in digs
yith 3-58 per game.
“We definitely have a strong
ittack with Jenna and Veronica, but
ve’ve had a lack of balance, and that’s
srobably because we have a setter
vho’s never played setter before this
^ear,” Erbe said.
Whoever wins the match won’t
lave much time to prepare for the sec
ond round, where seventh-seeded
Nebraska will be waiting, a team both
Butler and Michigan State have
“This being our first tournament
is extremely exciting, and I don’t
hink there is a better thrill in volley
sail than playing Nebraska in
Lincoln,” Dingman said.
Elbe said the atmosphere in the col
iseum is something that can’t be dupli
cated anywhere else in the country.
The Spartans played Nebraska
wice at the coliseum last year, and
some of the players are familiar with
he surroundings, but Erbe said that
advantage can work both ways.
“It’s kind of a 50-50 thing,” Erbe
said. “Some of our players know what
it’s like, but half of the players are
Freshmen and the closest they’ve
come to Lincoln, Nebraska, is reading
A&M seeks triumph, not respect
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP)
—The Texas A&M Aggies aren’t con
cerned about gaining respect when they
play No. 2 Nebraska in Saturday VBig
12 Championship Game.
They figure they’ve lost that battle
“A lot ofpeople don’t like A&M, so
if we won, they’d say Nebraska had a
bad day,” offensive tackle Chris
Ruhman said. “In all honesty, people
would probably call it a fluke.”
The Aggies are 17-point underdogs
for Saturday’s game in San Antonio’s
Alamodome. But they don’t really care
if their victory would be labeled an
“No one in the country thinks we
can win, and that’s fine with me,”
Ruhman said. “We’ll try to go out and
surprise some people. I just want to be
able to walk away from that game and
say I gave it my all.”
The Aggies are in the title game one
year after a disheartening 6-6 finish in
their first season in the Big 12. But
maturity and improved offense helped
A&Mgo 9-2 overall and 6-2 in confer
ence play to win the South Division.
“At the beginning of the year, no
one gave us credit or a chance to win the
South Division,” safety Rich Coady
said. “Now we’ve won die South and
have a chance to win the Big 12
Coach R.C. Slocum realizes his
Aggies aren’t as respected as the
Comhuskers. He sees the game as a
chance to earn some recognition.
“We’re playing the No. 2 team in the
country,” Slocum said. “They made
Washington look bad early in the sea
son, and Washington is a good team.”
Branhdon Stewart, whose
improved play at quarterback helped
the Aggie turnaround, has seen his team
“I can understand why people
would discredit us playing Nebraska,”
Stewart said. ‘Two years ago, they dis
credited us in the Alamo Bowl with
Michigan (the Aggies won, 22-20).
From my standpoint, I feel we are capa
ble of giving ourselves a chance to win.”
Although the Cornhuskers are
almost always capable of running away
with the game, the Aggies believe
they’ve learned a lesson from last year’s
humiliation of losing 51-15 to the
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