The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 02, 1998, Page 10, Image 10

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Sooners in rebuilding season
1—^r~i We’ve only managed to hit
By Andrew StRNAD V9II0VD8II Llk around .189, and it’s hard to
Staff writer Nebraska at Kansas wofr beat anybody in this confer
- 730 pjtl Lawrence, Kan. Friday ence when we hit that low.”
Rebuilding is a word that Nebraska at Oklahoma Pabst said.
coaches don’t like to be asso- -L?.-.Nofman’0lda- in his 21st season with
ciaiea wnn.
It usually involves a long season, filled
with growing pains and painful lessons that
include losing matches.
Unfortunately, this is the reality for
Oklahoma Volleyball Coach Miles Pabst.
“When you lose four seniors that meant
so much for your team, there will be a day
when you’re going to have to rebuild, and
that’s what we’re doing,” Pabst said.
After a 1997 season that saw the Sooners
(20-13 overall and 13-7 in the Big 12) make
an appearance in the NCAA Tournament,
Oklahoma has started the 1998 campaign 5
7 overall and 0-2 in the conference.
Now a team with just four upperclass
men that make up a squad will welcome two
of the best teams in die Big 12 to Norman,
Okla., this weekend, playing host to
Nebraska and Colorado.
The No.^ Comhuskers (11-0, 2-0) will
have revenge on their minds, thanks to a
stunning three-game loss at Oklahoma last
year on Oct. 10(15-17,11-15,10-15).
“It’s definitely a motivating factor for us,
as all losses last year are.” NU middle block
er Megan Korver said.
That could be bad news for Pabst and the
Sooners, as his club has struggled offensive
ly all season.
“We’re not overpowering anybody.
tne booners, Pabst still
wouldn’t change his situation for a winning
team in another conference.
“I love being in this conference, even if
we have a down year,” Pabst said. “We
know we can’t stay at that high level as
Nebraska does, but it’s always good to be in
a conference that is as good as this confer
ence is.”
As the Huskers travel to Norman for
Saturday night’s match, Pabst expects his
young team to play at a much higher level.
“I think we’ll play better because we’ll
be more relaxed,” Pabst said. “Whether we
play better or not I don’t know, but we
should be in the right frame of mind.”
While evaluating the Huskers, Pabst
said, the experience factor is the main rea
son for their continued success. He said this
year’s team could be among NU’s best.
“That’s a team that never rebuilds. That’s
why they are always so good.” Pabst said.
“They always have experienced players on
the court, and with a great leader like Fiona
(Nepo) it’s no surprise that they are always
competing for a Final Four trip.”
For Oklahoma, the experience isn’t quite
there yet, as the loss of Patrice Arrington
and Melissa Peterson will be hard to over
come in 1998, but a patient Pabst said given
time, the Sooners will be back again.
New coach Bechara helps upstart Kansas
^c ' r - -;£
Staff writer
Getting invited to the party called the Big
12 Conference was quite a moment for Kansas
Volleyball Coach Ray Bechard.
For the last 13 years,
Bechard has been locat
i ed jn ihe heart of the Big _
42?r ts^fread coach of
Barton County
Community College in
Great Bend, Kan.
Bechard put up quite
a record at Barton
Country by posting a
716-60 mark, a .923 win
Pettit ning percentage.
But for Bechard, the
opportunity to coach a Division I team in
arguably the best conference in the nation was
just too great of a chance to pass up.
“This is where you aspire to go when you
become a coach or a player.” Bechard said.
“This is the best conference to be in, in terms
of the number of athletes and the number of
quality teams.”
So far Bechard, who inherited a fine group
of players, has the Jayhawks (10-3,1-1) off to
their best start since 1992.
Kansas has been able to take advantage of
a easy schedule early, which has boosted the
confidence of a team that finished 9-24 a year
“I think this schedule allowed us to get
some wins and get feeling confident heading
into the conference,” Bechard said.
In a conference where six and perhaps
seven teams will make a run for the NCAA
Tournament, Bechard believes protecting your
fome court as tfcell as winning on the road will
determine which teams make the tournament.
Junior middle blocker Amanda Reeves is
one player who will play a big part in whether
Bechard’s Jayhawks will make it to the 64
team tournament in his first year.
Reeves is hitting .361 on the year, with 172
kills to go with 65 blocks.
Bechard’s biggest test of his brief tenure
will come tonight as he faces Nebraska and an
old friend, Comhusker Coach Terry Pettit.
Bechard has spent summers working with
Pettit at various off-season volleyball camps.
Pettit, whose Huskers are a perfect 62-0
all-time against Kansas, said he expects KU to
soon join the upper division of the conference.
“Kansas has the best team since I’ve been
here,” Pettit said. “They have a couple of
players that would start for any team in this
conference, and soon they’ll be a nice new
Huskers-Aggies rivalry renewed;
conference implications abound
both teams are prepared for
By Jay Saunders vUuUOi Cj that”
Staff writer Nebraska vs. Texas A&M 7p.m. Friday^ A&M is not the only team
- Nebraska vs. Texas 1p.m. Saturday on the schedule this weekend.
The rivalry continues. Both matches at Abbott Sports Complex Texas, the only other Big 12
In the first two years of team to have beaten the
me mg iz ^onrerence mere nas oeen no snonage
of big games between
Texas A&M and Nebraska.
Combined, the two teams
have won all of die regular
season and conference
tournament soccer cham
pionships. It has become
the Big 12’s first big rival
Tonight, the No. 12
Aggies and No. 19
Comhuskers renew their
rivalry in a 7 p.m. game at the Abbott Sports
“The fact that the two teams have played each
other in each of the conference championships
speaks for itself,” NU Coach John Walker said.
“It is a healthy rivalry.”
Last season, A&M won both times the teams
played. In 1996, it was the Huskers who swept
two games from the Aggies.
In both years, it was the team that played at
home that won the conference tide.
“It is probably our biggest game of the sea
son,” junior Lindsay Eddleman said. “Energy
will not be a problem.”
With the increased energy, there have been
several altercations between the two teams.
In the last two seasons, it has been no secret
that these teams are not the best of friends.
“Everyone has animosity on the field no mat
ter who it is,” Eddleman said. “There might be
some cheap shots and some yellow earth, but
misKers, comes mto town tor a l p.m. game
The Longhorns (2-4) have limped out of die
gate this season. UT has lost three straight games.
But last season, when Texas beat NU 1-0, the
Longhorns had just lost a conference game to
Walker said even though Texas has struggled,
NU cannot overlook the Longhorns.
“Their track record this year is irrelevant,”
Walker said. “They always seem to play well
against us.”
Not only does the Longhorns play the
Huskers tough, but they also seem to have close
games. Three of the four games Texas and
Nebraska have played have been decided by one
The same goes for the series between NU and
the Aggies. Walker said the chance of one team
getting a big lead is slim.
“If you can get out early, it would be crucial,”
Walker said. “Looking at the past, I don’t know if
a team will get out to a two-goal lead.”
“More than likely, it will be a nail-biter.”
The Huskers are coming off a weekend in
which close games were not a problem.
NU outscored Loyola-Chicago and
Southwest Missouri State 18-0.
Walker said the team had a good week of
practice to prepare for die weekend.
For die first time this season, senior Heather
Brown may see playing time. Brown, who tore
her anterior cruciate ligament in the spring, has
been cleared to play by team doctors. 1
Evans questionable for OSU game
By David Wilson
Senior staff writer
The sequel to the return of Nebraska I-back
DeAngelo Evans might be postponed because
of another injury.
Evans, who returned to action against
Washington on Saturday, suffered from a sore
right foot during the game with the eighth
ranked Huskies.
The 5-foot-9, 210 back practiced Thursday
for the first time this week, but is still question
able for Nebraska’s matchup with Oklahoma
State on Saturday in Kansas City, Mo., NU
Coach Frank Solich said Thursday.
“He doesn’t have all his speed and quick
ness,” Solich said, “so we’ll see where he is
Saturday. He definitely will make the trip.”
Evans missed the entire 1997 season
because of a pelvic injury suffered midway
through the 1996 season. He then missed NU’s
first three games this season after undergoing
knee surgery.
Against Washington, Evans rushed for 146
yards and three touchdowns - reminiscent of
his 1996 season, when he rushed for 776 yards
as a true freshman.
Nebraska sophomore quarterback Bobby
Newcombe added 79 yards on the ground and
also scored three touchdowns. He also threw for
84 yards
Saturday marked the first time Newcombe
and Evans had played in a game together.
Newcombe also returned from a knee injury
last weekend after missing two games.
“I didn’t realize how tough he was,” Evans
said Tuesday.
The return of both Newcombe and Evans
definitely didn’t hurt Nebraska’s option attack,
senior fullback Joel Makovicka said.
“The best part about it is we’re finally start
ing to get healthy,” Makovicka said. “I think
you’ve seen some great players come back and
just come into our offense and kind of give us a
shot in the arm.
Even if Evans is not available for Saturday’s
game at Arrowhead Stadium, Solich said he is
confident in No. 21-back Correll Buckhalter.
“I think Correll does a very good job,”
Solich said. “I’ve seen him practice at a much
better pace the last couple of weeks.”
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