The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 20, 1998, Page 7, Image 7

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    Shannon Heffelfinger
Coach gave
in lean years
When Rhonda Revelle joined
the Nebraska softball team as
coach six years ago. her vision for
the Cornhuskers was broad.
She wanted to slowly imple
ment her own coaching philoso
phy into the struggling program;
the team hadn't won more than
half of its league games in the pre
vious three years.
Revelle. a member of the
Nebraska Softball Hall of Fame
and former NU pitcher, began by
recruiting unselfish, hard-working
players - athletes who would
respect and trust each other and
their coaches.
The Huskers posted losing sea
sons in Revelle's first two years,
but after that building period, NU
has skyrocketed into the upper
echelon of college softball.
Nebraska won more than 40
games in both 1995 and 1996.
Last season, the Huskers
climbed further up the collegiate
hierarchy than ever before by
advancing to the NCAA Regional
Finals for the first time in 10 years.
NU Catcher Jenny Smith cred
its Nebraska's success during the
last three years to Revelle.
"She is a wonderful coach, role
model and person," Smith said.
"On the field, we respect her so
much and away from softball she
is our friend, and we can talk to her
and have fun.”
Revelie has taken great strides
toward attaining the identity she
wanted for NU early in her career.
Now, her tocus has narrowed.
Revelle knows the Huskers
have established themselves as a
rising power, and now she wants to
make certain that others know.
Nebraska plays one of the
toughest schedules in the nation
this season. The Huskers have
faced or will face No. 2 Michigan,
No. 3 Washington, No. 4
Oklahoma State, No. 6 Oklahoma
and No. 9 Missouri, as well as
seven other top 25 teams.
To be considered among the
best, you have to play the best. And
this season, the Huskers have
defeated some of the best.
NU is 6-4 against ranked teams
this season and is quickly making
believers in the softball world.
After starting the season unranked,
Nebraska earned a No. 13 ranking
in the NFC A/US A Today poll.
With two months remaining in
the season, the Huskers are talking
about making a run at the College
World Series May 21-25.
Because of the quick turn
around Revelle has helped to initi
ate, the focus has become narrow
er still. And the Huskers have
begun to dream again.
Shannon Heffelfinger is a
sophomore news-editorial
major and a Daily Nebraskan
senior reporter.
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NEBRASKA SHORTSTOP Bryan Schmidt dives back to first base as Wisconsin-Milwaukee first baseman Jeff Stoss misses the throw from the pitcher. The
Feb. 22 game, which NU won 6-2, ended a three-game homestand - the Huskers only home games this season. NU, which will play a tournament in
Hawaii over spring break, has had 10 straight games canceled or postponed because of bad weather.
NU to get back to work in Hawaii
By Andrew Strnad
Staff Reporter
Thanks to uncooperative weather,
the Nebraska baseball team will be
forced to seek refuge in Honolulu
during spring break.
The Cornhuskers (7-6 overall and
0-1 in the Big 12 Conference) haven't
played a game since March 7 and
have had their last 10 games canceled
or postponed.
But NU will have no such prob
lem with its next seven games as the
team travels to the Hawaii Rainbow
Easter Baseball Tournament in
Honolulu next week.
Since Nebraska's 9-3 loss to
Baylor on March 7, the Huskers have
been practicing indoors at the Schulte
Field House.
Senior second baseman Kevin
Harrington said the frustration of not
playing a game in nearly two weeks
has become irritating.
“It’s not easy to get excited about
going inside to hit in the cage,”
Harrington said. “But the coaches
have done a good job keeping us
focused and ready for live-game situ
So far, the Huskers have played
only one conference game, while
other Big 12 schools have played as
many as seven games.
NU and Iowa State are the only
schools in the Big 12 that have yet to
win a conference game. Eighth
ranked Oklahoma is currently atop
the conference with a 15-3 overall
record and a 4-1 conference record.
Harrington said the lack of games
under the Huskers' belts could poten
tially take a toll on them during the
conference season.
“It’s hard to get momentum going
into a tournament like this,”
Harrington said. “It’s going to feel
strange playing seven games in a row,
but it's definitely what we need to
The trip will be Harrington’s third
baseball trip to Hawaii in as many
years. In 1996, the Half Moon Bay,
Calif., native played in Hawaii for
Canada College along with current
teammate pitcher Kenny Duebelbeis.
“The first year I was there, it was
an experience,” Harrington said. “But
now, it’s really all about baseball and
that’s the way we have to look at it.”
Duebelbeis, the senior left-han
der, said he didn’t really care where
the team went just as long as he could
play baseball.
“(Practicing indoors) is starting to
suck,” Duebelbeis said. “Hawaii’s
going to be nice, but that’s not why
we’re going there. It’s baseball sea
son, even if it doesn’t seem like it
Swim team sets sights
on best-ever ranking
By James Nicas
Staff Reporter
After one month of waiting,
members of the Nebraska women’s
swimming team will finally have a
chance to show their worth against
the nation.
The seventh-ranked Comhuskers
sent 11 swimmers to Minneapolis
Thursday with plans to improve on
their best-ever eighth-place perfor
mance last year.
Though it will be difficult to
improve on last year’s performance,
NU Coach Cal Bentz said, the
swimming team has its sights set
high. Nebraska finished the first
day of competition in 16th place.
“Finishing in the top five is our
goal,” Husker sophomore Beth
Karaica said. “Stanford, SMU and
USC are ahead of the pack, but we
can finish right with them.”
bentz said this should be the
Huskers’ best performance ever.
Along with Nebraska, Georgia,
Auburn and Arizona are all in the
mix to place high.
“We cannot worry about what
other teams do,” Bentz said. “All we
have to do is worry about our own
performance, and things will take
care of themselves.”
To reach their goal, the Huskers
will need a strong performance
from their relay teams. Nebraska
has five relay teams in the champi
onships, and each should be in good
position to place, Bentz said.
“Relays are all going to depend
on starts and turns,” Karaica said.
“Especially in the short relays, who
ever does best on the turns will
Along with the relays, Nebraska
is also counting on freshman
Shandra Johnson. She has the
nation's second-best time this year
in the 200-yard freestyle and the
fourth-best time in the 500-yard
freestyle. Despite having the oppor
tunity to win an individual champi
onship, Johnson said she is not con
centrating on individual goals.
“I am not going to think about
winning.” Johnson said. “I get really
nervous for big events, so I am only
going to try to set a personal best. It
is better if I go out and swim and not
worry about my individual events. ”
ivaraica said swimming in
Minneapolis will also help the
Huskers improve their times. The
pool is probably the fastest pool NU
has swam in this season, she said.
But the fast pool is not the only
opportunity the Husker swimmers
have to increase their times.
“Everyone has a good chance to
place,” Karaica said. “For the first
time this year, everyone will be on a
full taper and shave. That will really
help us pick up on our times this
With no seniors - and only one
junior - in the championships this
year, Nebraska cannot help but use
this as a stepping stone to next year,
Johnson said.
“Placing well will only give us
the edge we need next year and the
year after,” she said. “This champi
onship will show that Nebraska will
be even better next year.”
Football team tests well
heading into spring ball
From Staff Reports
Heading into spring football,
which begins after break, the
Nebraska football team is lighter
and jumps higher than last year’s
national-championship squad did
after winter conditioning.
According to results released
Thursday, the Comhuskers boast
ed a performance index of 2,042.
NU’s 1997 team recorded 2,083
points last March.
Sophomore fullback Dan
Alexander scored a team-high
3,144 points in the performance
index, which ranks as the fourth
best performance of all time.
Alexander ran the third-fastest 40
yard dash time in 4.53 seconds.
Leading the way in the 40
yard-dash was sophomore quar
terback Bobby Newcombe, who
recorded a time ot 4.46 seconds.
Newcombe also ran the fastest 10
yard dash in 1.55 seconds.
Junior quarterback Frankie
London recorded a time of 3.91
seconds in the pro-agility run,
which tied for fourth-best on the
In the vertical jump, NU aver
aged 30.02 inches - up from last
year’s 29.94. Comerback Demond
Fimster jumped a team-high 37
Position records were set by
freshman offensive lineman
Lonnie Fulton in the pro-agility
run (4.22 seconds); senior kicker
Kris Brown in the pro-agility run
(3.97 seconds); senior punter Bill
Lafleur in the vertical jump (35
inches) and pro-agility run (3.91
seconds); and senior rush end
Chad Kelsay in the pro-agility run
(3.96 seconds).
bornhuskers and Wolverines
invited to visit White House
From Staff Reports
The Nebraska football team
has been officially invited to the
White House April 9, NU Sports
Information Director Chris
Anderson said Thursday.
The Cornhuskers, who fin
ished the 1997 season ranked
atop the ESPN/USA Today
Coaches Poll, will make the visit
with Michigan, which finished
first in the Associated Press Poll.
Nebraska defeated Tennessee
42-17 in the Orange Bowl Jan. 2
after the Wolverines edged
Washington State 21-16 in the
Rose Bowl Jan. 1.
In the AP poll, Michigan
earned 51.5 first-place votes to
Nil’s 18.5. In the coaches’ poll,
the Huskers received 32 first
place votes to the Wolverines’ 30.