The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, January 29, 1999, Page 15, Image 15

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    NU Sports information
TROY PIATKOWSKI might join the NU baseball team as a pitcher once
the Husker basketball season ends. Piatkowski was the South Dakota
player-of-the-year as a senior.
Piatkowski could join
baseball team in spring
By David Wilson
Staff writer
As early as March, Nebraska bas
ketball player Troy Piatkowski could
become the newest left-handed pitch
er on the Comhusker baseball team.
Piatkowski said he discussed the
possibilities with the NU baseball
coaches earlier this month.
“I’ve always had the interest in
playing,” Piatkowski said. “It’s not
like one of those things that just
popped in my mind. I know I can still
play. I was pretty good in high school,
and I usually mess around with base
ball every summer. I just figured I’d
try it out and see what I can do.”
The 6-foot-5 forward from Rapid
City, S.D., said he likely will start
working out with the baseball team
following the Husker basketball sea
At Rapid City Stevens High
School, Piatkowski lettered twice in
baseball, and earned player of the
year honors his senior season.
Nebraska Baseball Coach Dave Van
Horn said he was familiar with
Piatkowski’s skills on the diamond.
“As soon as basketball season
comes to an end, if he’d like to come
over, we’d like to have him,” Van
Horn said. “He’s a big left-handed
pitcher with a good arm.”
Piatkowski said NU Basketball
Coach Danny Nee does not have a
problem with his interest in baseball.
“Coach Nee always jokes about it
with me,” Piatkowski said. “He asks
me if I’ve been throwing the ball
A senior, Piatkowski would be
able to play baseball this year and
next year.
“If anything, I said I just wanted
to leave this year alone with baseball
and get my arm worked back up in the
summer, and I’d like to pitch maybe
this year,” Piatkowski said. “They
said that was an option, but they said
they’d still like to have me come out
this spring.”
Bahensky, Sutcliffe lead
NU tennis looks to rebound
Noetzel must a lead a group that lost several key seniors from 1998
By Jay Saunders
Staff writer
When Nebraska women’s tennis
coach Scott Jacobson looks at this
season’s team roster, one thing sticks
out at him like a sore thumb.
Lack of experience.
Last season’s team poster
described the team as a “fountain of
youth.” Ironically, that poster may
have been one year premature. Of the
seven players on this spring’s roster,
there are no seniors.
In his eight years of coaching at
Nebraska, Jacobson has never seen a
team without a senior.
“We have never had a team this
young,” Jacobson said. “But just
because we’re young doesn’t mean
we don’t have talent.”
That talent starts at the top with
junior Sandra Noetzel. The
Comhuskers’ No. 1 player is also the
No. 57 player in the nation.
Last season, as a sophomore,
Noetzel led in matches against the
No. 4 and No. 5 players in the coun
“The thing that is so frightening
about Sandra,” Jacobson said, “is that
she has so much more potential. Who
knows what she can do?”
Noetzel will also team up with
sophomore Ndali Ijomah to play No.
1 doubles to start the season.
Ijomah is one of two sophomores
on this year’s team. Jacobson said
Ijomah and fellow second-year player
Danica Hardy had successful fresh
man seasons, and will bring a lot
more to the table this season.
“Ndali is going to have to step up
and play at a higher level for us,”
Jacobson said.
Added to the mix are three fresh
men. Ami Frisch, Katarina Dalen and
Riva Wig have gotten rave reviews
from Jacobson, who said those three
have helped lead the team in their
first year.
“We have very talented fresh
men,” Jacobson said. “(The fresh
men) have brought a lot to the upper
Dalen will open the season play
ing No. 3 singles, and teaming up
with Carey at No. 2 doubles.
Not only is this year’s team
young, but they are trying to fill the
shoes of one of the most successful
Husker teams in history.
Lisa Hart, who is now the team’s
Last year s
graduating class won
more matches than
any other”
Scott Jacobsen
NU women tennis coach
assistant coach, won the program’s
first Big 12 championship last sea
son. Jennifer Thoste and Adriana
Dulic, who played in the top six, also
“We have big holes to fill,”
Jacobson said. “Last year’s graduat
ing class won more matches than any
The season will start this week
end on the road against Southwest
Missouri State. The Bears fell victim
to NU to open the season last year in
“Your first dual match is always
big,” Jacobson said. “Playing away
this early in the season will be an
interesting challenge.”
Komine leads young NUpitchers
KOMINE from page 16
At Kalani High School last
spring, Komine went 6-1 striking out
95 batters in 50 innings while posting
a 0.84 eamed-run average.
Now, it’s just a matter of continu
ing that success at the college level.
“The hitters are a lot better,”
Komine said. “You have to mix up
your pitches a lot more. In high
school, you can get away with just
throwing the fastball.”
But so far, mixing pitches hasn’t
been a problem for Komine, NU
senior catcher Brian Johnson said.
“He has great movement on all
his pitches,” Johnson said. “He just
goes out and throws strikes and
comes after guys. He’s just got a great
His size might also throw some
hitters off.
“It’s kind of crazy how he can
throw so hard,” Johnson said. “He can
pump it up there. I guess it doesn’t
matter how big you are.”
The 5-10, 190-pound Sirianni
smiled at the mention of Komine’s
“We joke around with him, but
half the time we ask him how he does
it - even us older guys,” Sirianni said.
“We talk. That’s the good thing about
Sirianni, who struck out 44 in a
team-high 56 2/3 innings last season,
also will start a game in Phoenix, Van
Horn said.
Though Sirianni might not admit
it, Van Horn said, the senior has
stepped up into a leadership role this
“I don’t try to be a hoo-rah guy,”
Sirianni said. “I just try to lead by
example. I’m not what they call a
godfather or whatever.”
And he’s not worried about the
pitching staff either. He might even
get a little offended at the term “hit
ting team.”
“Ooh, that’s a tough one,”
Sirianni said. “We’ve got good arms.
Most of them throw mfd-to upper
80s, some into the 90s, and they
locate pretty well - nothing like a
Greg Maddux, but we locate pretty
well. Mostly we compete. We’re
young and aggressive.”
The third starting slot for NU’s
opening weekend, Van Horn said,
could go to Brent Potter, a right-hand
ed true freshman.
Potter struck out 107 batters in 66
innings last spring at Southeast Polk
High School in Runnells, Iowa. The
5-10, 203-pounder also tossed two
no-hitters and three one-hitters as a
R.D. Spiehs, another right-hand
I-f-— —-HP"—
ed true freshman, could also play an
important role on NU’s staff.
“They all throw strikes, and that’s
half the battle,” Van Horn said. “What
might be the key for them is tHe
coaches making the right decision as
to when to go get them. I’m excited
about having them in here. It makes
the future bright.”
Junior Chad Wiles will begin the
season as the Husker closer, but could
be used as a spot starter. Van Horn
Also returning to the pitching
staff from last season are senior Jarod
Bearinger and sophomore Brian
Rodaway - both right handers.
“It’s not like the big leagues,”
Sirianni said. “If you throw well out
of the pen, you might get a midweek
start. If you throw well that day, you
could be a weekend starter. That’s the
good thing about college baseball.”
Only four returning pitchers -
Sirianni, Wiles, Bearinger, and
Rodaway - have started a game at the
Division-I level.
But a lack of experience is some
thing Van Horn can use as motiva
“We want to win,” Van Horn said.
“Nobody knows any of our players’
names, and I told the players that. I
said, ‘Hey, you have to go out and
make a name for yourself.’”
Nebraska women golfers
tell who our top five players will be,”
By LlSA VONNAHME Krapfl said. “Right now, it’s wide open
Staff writer for who plays. It’s going to be a battle.”
----- Heading the list could be two top
After a two-month break following players from the fall, junior Elizabeth
the fall season, the Nebraska women’s Bahensky and freshman Amanda
golf team is back to its game. Sutcliffe, Krapfl said.
The Cornhuskers have polished Bahensky ended the fall season
their clubs and started taking some with a strong showing as she set person
swings - even if practice means hitting al records for 18 and 54 holes to lead the
into nets at the Bob Devaney Sports Huskers in their final tournament. A
Center track area rather than on a golf native of Australia, Sutcliffe proved her
course. abilities when she set a new 54-hole NU
Coming off of a fall season that was record of 216 at the Husker Invitational,
highlighted with the emergence of three Even with the duo’s golf skills,
freshmen, NU Coach Robin Krapfl is Krapfl said the mentality of Bahensky
optimistic about the team’s spring. and Sutcliffe is what makes the differ
W ith just one senior on this year’s ence in their games,
squad the Huskers will rely heavily on “Their strongest asset is that they
the play of three freshmen and two don’t get too excited on the course,”
sophomores when they begin their sea- Krapfl said. “They’re pretty even-keel,
son Feb. 22 in College Station, Texas.' They both have excellent temperme
“We’re a young team, so it’s hard to nts.”