The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 12, 1999, Page 8, Image 8

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Freshman’s role changes
Suhr looks to find voice at first tourney of season
By Darren Ivy
Senior staff writer
As a softball player at Papillion
LaVista High School, Nebraska fresh
man Leigh Suhr said she was a little
Suhr chattered at batters, was vocal
with teammates and wore her emotions
on her sleeve.
To her Nebraska teammates, these
descriptions may seem uncharacteristic.
Since enrolling at NU in the fall, Suhr
has been reserved.
But when the No. 8 Comhuskers
open their 1999 season today at the
Fiesta Bowl tournament in Tempe,
Ariz., against unranked Maryland, look
for Suhr to pop out of her shell and
return to her high-school form.
“It’s hard for me to go out and be
how I was in high school just because I
don’t want to draw more attention to
myself than usual,” said Suhr, who will
bat leadoff. “I think once I get in a game
and get playing, that (personality) will
come out in me.
“I think I will be more vocal and
more emotional than I have been in the
fall and in practice.”
Suhr will start at shortstop, a posi
tion All-American Ali Viola played last
Coach Rhonda Revelle said Suhr is
a good athlete and is ready to assume the
starting job.
“She’s very competitive and expects
a lot of herself,” Revelle said- “She’s
very much a spark plug. She’s willing to
put it on die line: dive, steal home or do
whatever it takes.”
NU will need Suhr’s intangibles this
weekend as it plays UNLV, No. 21
Florida State, No. 18 Arizona State and
Utah State.
“I like our schedule,” Revelle said.
“We play two ranked teams, and the
three who aren’t (ranked) are reputable
teams. There is not a gimme game in the
All-American pitcher Jenny Voss
will throw the first game, freshman
Leigh Ann Walker the second and Lori
Tschannen the third one.Heather
Martin.and Ellen Middleton will split
time at die catcher’s spot
Revelle said another player to watch
is first baseman Jamie Fuente.
“Fuente had a real strong fall,”
Revelle said. “She’s made great strides
in consistency offensively.”
Establishing new offensive
weapons and a starting lineup will be
the goals for the tournament
“We’re going out and trying to
establish ourselves as* consistent ball
players,” Revelle said. “If you do that,
the other things will take care of them
She s very competitive and expects a lot of
herself She s very much a spark plug”
Rhonda Revelle
women’s softball coach
Netters look to rebuild
character after Iowa loss
By Jake Bleed
Staff writer
The Nebraska women’s tennis
team will face a serious test in their
home opener Friday, meeting a new
and apparently improved Drake team
on the heels of Saturday’s disappoint
ing 9-0 loss to Iowa.
“This will be character-building
experience, a true test of character,”
Coach Scott Jacobson said. “We’ll
find out how ready they are to bounce
The team started the season with a
9-0 victory over Southwest Missouri
“Those two programs (Iowa and
Southwest Missouri) are at very differ
ent levels,” Jacobson said. “And we’re
somewhere in between.”
Jacobson, in his eighth year with
NU, said a large number of good play
ers were lost to graduation.
“Last year we lost probably the
best graduating class I’ve ever had So,
it’s tough to replace,” Jacobson said
Another player, Kelli Clark, trans
ferred to Wichita State.
Jacobson said he has set some high
expectations for his squad this year. He
said he wanted to finish the season
among the top fifty teams in the
nation. NU placed 60“ last year.
Drake faces the task of meeting the
66th-ranked Huskers on Friday at 5
p.m. and another match up with
Wyoming on Saturday afternoon. NU
will meet the Cowgirls for a
Valentine’s Day match Sunday at 9
Wyoming (1-3) will arrive on a
two-match losing streak, having
dropped matches to New Mexico and
Texas-El Paso last weekend
NIAC to prepare Huskers
From staff reports
The Nebraska track and field
teams will get a valuable chance to
rest their key athletes this weekend,
while other athletes will get an
opportunity to make the team for the
Big 12 Championships.
NU co-hosts the Nebraska-Iowa
Athletic Conference Championships
at the Bob Devaney Sports Center
Saturday. The meet starts at 10 a.m.
and continues through the rest of the
The Huskers, who moved up to
fourth in the men’s dual rankings
and second in the women’s dual
rankings, will get a chance to pre
pare for the Big 12 meet that will
take place Feb. 19-20 in Manhattan,
Head Coach Gary Pepin sees the
meet serving two purposes.
“It appears that the majority of
our key people are healthy,” Pepin
said. “We’ll use this weekend as a
tune-up, but we are still going to
have to make some improvements to
be ready for the Big 12 meet.”
NU hopes to end road woes
ROAD from page 7
Sanderford said. “We have to forget
about history, because we can’t
change it.”
NU’s 0-5 conference record had
been balanced by a perfect record at
home. That securitHjlanket unrav
^Ibd Wednesday wflfflBajdor beat
the Huskers 59-53.
Two separate BU runs sank the
Huskers into holes they could not
dig themselves out of.
Sanderford said he hopes the
Baylor game taught the team a les
son they can carry into Lawrence.
“It doesn’t matter if you are
home or away,” Sanderford said. “If
you aren’t mentally and physically
ready, you won’t be successfiil.”
Success is not something that has
come easy for NU on the road since
beginning the conference season.
But Sanderford said he doesn’t
think it’s a road thing - it’s a lack of
consistency. Twice this season,
Nebraska has followed 20-point
wins at home with losses on the
“You have
Sandferford said. TT^iTlKtratm^TO
me. I can’t tell when we are going to
be consistent.”
Consistency could start with a
win at Kansas, but the Jay hawks cur
rently have a six-game winning
Now that the Huskers’ 27-game
home-court winning streak is over,
KU holds the active Big 12 record.
“Is it harder to win on the road?
Yes.” Sanderford said. “But can it be
done? Yes. I think Baylor proved that
last night.”
Huskers face
grudge match
with Baylor
By Jake Bleed
Staff writer
The men’s tennis team welcomes
the Baylor Bears to the Woods Tennis
Center in the first home match of the
season Saturday. And despite the
match’s close proximity to
Valentine’s Day, no love is expected
to be lost in the matchup.
Last year’s Baylor-NU match
ended in a decisive Husker defeat.
“Their guys were kind of shoot
ing their mouths off at the end of the
match,” Coach Kerry McDermott
said. McDermott said he told the
Baylor team to wait until this season
to renew the rivalrv.
NU (1-2) goes into Saturday’s
match after rolling past Lamar 7-0.
McDermott said he was happy with
the team’s attitude and was hoping
the team would rally behind his chal
And a challenge it is. Baylor (2-1)
is currently ranked 19th nationally,
and will arrive in Lincoln T>n the
heels of back-to-back victories
against top-ten opponents. Eighth
ranked Pepperdine and ninth-ranked
SMU fell to Baylor in close matches
earlier this month.
“We’re really stressing this week
for our guys to play with their
hearts,” McDermott said.
Sophomore No. 2 singles player
Lance Mills, who sat out the season
opener at Texas A&M after food poi
soning from local cuisine handed
him his first defeat of the season, said
he thought the team was capable of
winning big games this season.
“We’ve got incredible potential if
we can just put it together,” Mills
Mills is a transfer from Virginia
Tech and said he was much happier
playing for Nebraska.
“It makes a big difference when
you’re playing in a place you like,”
! Mills said. v - ^ .
SeniorNo. 1 singles player Dinko
Verzi said defeatist thinking before
big matches would hurt the team.
“If you think like that right away
we don’t evert need to play,” Verzi
said. “If everyone plays well, we’ve
got a pretty good chance.”
Another factor in NU’s favor is
the indoor facilities. Baylor practices
outdoors and may not be comfortable
under the plastic bubbles at Woods.
“Our guys feel comfortable play
ing indoors,” McDermott said.