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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 13, 1999)
Page 12___Wednesday, October 13,1999
NU helps create
By John Gaskins
Just as some boys who grow up in
Nebraska dream of being a part of the
Memorial Stadium atmosphere, hun
dreds of young girls flock to the
Nebraska Coliseum to watch their own
idols and dream of suiting up in a
Comhusker uniform someday.
Nebraska volleyball has not only
become a national powerhouse, it has
developed a pipeline of the state’s best
prep players. And as a result of its suc
cess, the program has turned Nebraska
into a hotbed of high school volleyball
According to Rich Kem, a Nebraska
volleyball historian, 172 Nebraska high
school standouts from last year are cur
rently playing college volleyball. That’s
up from 133 in 1998 and 75 in 1997.
In fact, Kern said, Nebraska leads
the nation in Division I volleyball
recruits per capita, meaning it has more
recruits per millions, or RPM, of people
in its state than any other. *
That s a staggering total for a
Midwestern state in a sport traditionally
dominated by West Coast talent.
California, which has always claimed to
be the home of volleyball, is ninth in the
nation in RPM.
“We’re in a big-time hotbed,” said
Jake Moore, Lincoln Pius X High
School coach, who has guided his team
to three consecutive Class B state titles
and also coaches junior club ball.
“When I first started juniors 10 years
ago, Nebraska wasn’t that weli-known
for volleyball yet.
“Now, when we attend big national
tournaments in club ball in spring and
summer, we’re not looked upon as the
little Nebraska team anymore. We’re a
team that they have to reckon with and
expect to be in the top four or five in
every tournament. That’s been huge.”
Take it from Moore’s ace player,
senior Anna Schrad, who just recently
committed to playing for NU next year.
“Compared to other states, the
Compared to other
states, the level of play
in Nebraska is high”
whole level of play in Nebraska is very
high,” Schrad said. “Every time you go
out there, you’re playing a good team.
Every match is tough.”
In turn, the quality of Nebraska high
school volleyball has provided the
Huskers with some of their top recruits
and greatest players. This year, nine of
the 15 athletes playing for the 12th
ranked Huskers hail from Nebraska,
including two of the freshmen members
of the No. 3 recruiting class in the
Our goal is to compete for the
national championship, and we have a
responsibility to go out and get the very
best people we can,” said NU Head
Coach Terry Pettit.
“I think at a skill level, (Nebraska)
has a pocket. If it comes down to recruit
ing an exceptional athlete from
Nebraska and another person, we’ll
more than likely end up recruiting the
Nebraska player for a lot of reasons: No.
1 - we know she’s going to be comfort
able here. No. 2 - she probably already
has a loyalty and commitment to the
The Seed is Planted
It isn’t exactly mind-boggling to fig
ure out how the popularity and level of
play at the high schools has grown in
“leaps and bounds” in the last 10 years,
according to Bellevue West Coach
Joanne Kappas. In 13 years, her teams
have won eight Class A state champi
onships, and she has seen more than 30
Please see VOLLEYBALL on 13
__ Nate Wagner/DN
AN IN-STATE RECRUIT, Pius volleyball star Anna Schrad has committed to play for NU next season.
NU not overlooking OU
Despite 1-5 league mark, Sooners bring talent
By John Gaskins
Terry Pettit said Oklahoma’s
6-10 record could have fooled
After all, the 12th-ranked
Cornhuskers’ opponent for
tonight’s 7 p.m. NU Coliseum
match brings four starters from
last year’s team. The Sooners
also will sport an intimidation
factor that Pettit said 22nd-year
coach Miles Pabst’s teams usual
ly bring to the court.
To open up his weekly press
conference Tuesday, Pettit point
ed out that before the season,
Pabst predicted the Sooners
would have a 16-0 record coming
*» into this match.
“I’m not sharing that with
you to point out he was wrong,”
Pettit said. “Why I am sharing it
with you is to point out what kind
of talent he thinks they have
there. It’s a traditional Oklahoma
team in many ways in that they
are very big. They have some
great athletes. They’re always
scary to play because of their
But the fact remains that OU
is struggling, and at 1-5 sits one
game out of the Big 12
Conference cellar. Pettit said the
main reason for this probably lies
in the Sooners’ weakness on
defense, where they give up an
average hitting percentage of
That should play perfectly
into the hands of the Huskers
(12-4 and 4-2), who are looking
to hit their stride in a season
tainted by upsets and, at times,
NU - which has seen Pettit
tinker with both the lineup and
offensive strategy all season - is
coming off a .242 hitting perfor
mance in a four-set victory over
No. 20 Colorado.
It was obvious from both the
match on Saturday and Pettit’s
words Tuesday the Huskers’
younger players have emerged
into the spotlight. Freshmen
Lindsay Wischmeier, Greichaly
Cepero and Amber Holmquist
have all started and seen signifi
cant playing time in the new 6-2
Also emerging is Jenny
Kropp. Ever since she landed a
key ace in NU’s comeback win at
No. 4 Florida last month, the
sophomore middle blocker from
Grand Island has been one of
NU’s most consistent fQrces,
Kropp attributed her team
best .431 hitting percentage and
the Huskers’ recent offensive
improvements since losses to
Kansas State and Texas A&M to
developed team chemistry.
“I think after playing with
our team, you get confidence in
yourself and your teammates,
and it just kind of builds,” Kropp
said. “Things are just starting to
Difficult schedule helps
MU move toward title
■ Following the footprints
of Nebraska, the Tigers are
becoming a national power.
By Brock Wendlandt
In its fourth year of existence, the
Missouri soccer program is trying to
mirror the elite teams of the Big 12
Conference and launch itself atop the
The Tigers (10-3 overall and 5-1 in
the Big 12), who are in sole possession
of second place and ranked 18th in the
nation, travel to Nebraska on Sunday
with an opportunity to win the Big 12
regular season title.
“Nebraska has raised the level of
every team in this conference,” said
Missouri Head Coach Bryan Blitz.
“We’re trying to follow in the footsteps
of their success. If we could emulate
them, we would be more than happy.”
Missouri, Blitz said, has had a roller
coaster season in terms of wins and loss
But after going 11-9-1 overall and 5
5 in the conference last year, MU has
stabilized its winning percentage and is
looking to play in its first post-season.
Much of the rocky road can be
attributed to the Tigers’ tough schedule.
They have also played four teams cur
rently ranked in the top 25.
MU beat No. 14 Michigan and No.
24 Baylor but suffered one-goal defeats
to No. 22 Duke and No. 25 San Diego.
Missouri’s third defeat came at the
hands of Texas Tech, which handed the
Tigers a 4-1 decision.
“We took a beating at Texas Tech,
and my hat is off to them,” Blitz said.
However, Tech did MU a big favor
by upsetting Texas A&M last weekend,
catapulting the Tigers into position to
compete for the conference crown.
Mizzou is led by junior forward
Nikki Thole’s 14 goals and the defensive
prowess of Mandy Pavlovits.
Pavlovits, a high school Parade All
American out of St. Louis, spent her
first three seasons at South Carolina and
transferred to Missouri for her senior
Please see TIGERS on 13
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