The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 01, 1999, Page 8, Image 8

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    ii? : :■ p i"’~ . 'xV .
back in Big 12 title hunt with wins
■ A breakout weekend for
Angie Oxley helps NU to
sweeps over Tech. KSU.
By John Gaskins
, Staff writer
MANHATTAN; Kan. - Nikki
Henk was asked before this weekend’s
matches how close the Nebraska vol
leyball team was to breaking out of
their big-match slump.
The senior co-captain answered by
smiling and making a half-inch gap
between her index finger and thumb.
Consider that gap closed.
One night after steam-rolling over
Texas Tech at the Coliseum in straight
games, 15-6, 15-3, 15-4, the 13th
ranked Comhuskers also narrowed the
gap between them and first-place
Texas in the Big 12 Conference stand
ings by pummeling No. 15 Kansas
State in surprisingly quick fashion, 15
9,15-10,15-6, Saturday night.
The win tied NU with KSU -
which dropped its second consecutive
match after holding the conference
lead for most of the season-for second
place in the league at 9-3, one game
behind the No. 9 Longhorns (10-2).
In a season mired by five-game
meltdowns and heartbreaks, the
Huskers (17-5) overcame earlier set
backs against K-State (15-5) a month
ago in the Big 12 opener and last week
at Texas by outhitting (.370-. 149 hit
ting percentage), outblocking (13-5)
and overpowering (49 kills to 38) KSU.
“I felt after Texas, we would either
step up or step down, and we stepped
up,” NU Head Coach Terry Pettit said.
“We played a great match - probably
one of our best team matches of the
Nebraska stormed into the Ahem
Fieldhouse and stunned the 5,122 fans
in an even more dramatic fashion than
the Wildcats did in the five-game, Sept
22 shocker in Lincoln. Unlike that
match, NU did not relinquish die two
game lead they held going into the
locker room after game two.
Another correction the Huskers
made Saturday was containing KSU
outside hitter Dawn Cady, who set the
school record for kills (37) in the last
match. This time, Cady managed only
14 kills - with just seven in die last two
games - while hitting just. 150.
“That is the best I’ve seen
Nebraska pUty this year,” KSU Coach
Jim McLaughlin said. “They are one of
the best blocking teams in the country
on the outside. If you don’t pass well,
you’re in trouble with Nebraska.”
In each of the three games, KSU
kept the score tight early before the
offensive and defensive attacks of All
American Nancy Meendering and
junior Angie Oxley shut the Wildcats
Meendering pounded a team-high
15 kills while hitting .282 and scraping
for a team-high 11 digs. But it was the
play of Oxley (.435 hitting percentage
with 11 kills and 10 digs) - who had
been an Achilles’ heel for the Huskers
in their previous loss to the Cats - that
provided NU the spaik they needed.
“It’s all about attitude,” Oxley said.
“You’ve got to go out and say you want
the ball. We always come to Kansas
State wanting to crush them.”
KSU never sniffed victory, as the
closest it came was a momentary 10-9
lead in the second game. After
Nebraska took a 3-0 lead in the third
game, the Wildcats looked as though
they were starting a rally, roaring back
to take a 5-3 lead.
But K-State was unable to dupli
cate the comeback heroics of the first
match. Nebraska scored six straight
points on four KSU hitting errors and a
pair of Meendering kills to take a 9-5
lead. Then, up 10-6, the Huskers fin
ished the match in a surge, scoring the
last five points.
Meendering said the speedy rid
dance in the final g^me was just what
NU’s season needed.
“It was a good feeling,” _
Meendering said. “It’s a big confidence
booster, but, at the same time, we knew
we could do it We knew we were going
to come out fired up tonight, and, for .
us, it was a matter of staying fired up
and finishing it off.”
As pandemonium with the Husker
players and fans erupted behind him,
Pettit was reserved about saying the
match was a must-win or gut check for
NU. His players, however, didn’t hold
back their excitement at making a run
at the Big 12 title that seemed out of
reach a week ago.
“I feel God’s given us another
chance,” Oxley said. “I think it’s right
there; we just need to step up and go
after it. It’s been a long roadfbut I think
we’re on the right track. I know we’re
on the right track.” ■ - *
NEBRASKA JUNIOR Jenny Benson and the soccer team take on Iowa St. on Friday night at the Abbott Sports Complex for their fii^hoivmgame
oitfw regular season.
Nebraska ends conference season undefeated
By Brandon Schulte
f Staff writer
The seniors on the Nebraska soccer team
stamped their mark on a night in their honor,
playing in die same fashion they have through
out their careers.
Four players --Lindsay Eddleman, Sharolta
Nonen, Amy Walsh and Isabelle Moraeau -
played their final regular season home game at
the Abbott Sports Complex on Friday night. Adi
played key roles in Nebraska’s 7-0 win over
Iowa State. The win completed a perfect 10-0
run through the Big 12 Conference and moved
the No. 4 Comhuskers to 17-1-1 overall. The
game was the final tune-up for the Big 12
^Conference tournament, which starts
The strong performance by the seniors did
n’t surprise NU Coach John Walker.
“Our seniors did well and played at a high
level, and it is the same thing that they have been
doing all year,” Walker said. “The other players
just followed suit, and that is why these seniors
4 are such great leaders.”
Eddleman, the leading point scorer in school
history, added a goal and an assist to increase her
record point total to 122. Nonen contributed an
assist to die effort, as she and Momeau provided
staunch defense that limited ISU to three shots
on goal the entire game. Walsh, in her first start
since she sprained her ankle against Colorado
on Oct. 10, scored her fourth goal of the year.
Walsh said she was excited about her goal on
senior night, but that was secondary to being on
the field.
“It’s good to get a goal,” Walsh said. “But it’s
just good to be out playing again, and it’s good to
see the field after being out for a while. I would
n’t say that I’m 100 percent, but I’m definitely
on my way”
While Nebraska returned to full strength
Friday night with the addition of Walsh and
junior Jenny Benson, Iowa State was lucky to
field a team after being slowed by injuries.
The Cyclones missed seven starters in the
match and several players on the field were at
less than full strength. ISU Coach Cathy Klein
said her team wouldn’t have been a match for
NU even if it had been healthy.
‘Top to bottom, they are great,” Klein said.
Top to bottom, they are
great (The Huskers) are
clearly the better team”
V •
Cathy Klein
4 ? ISU coach
r' ' '■ •
“They are clearly the better team. That’s no dis
respect to my players. It’s a tribute to their fine
Though it was Nebraska’s last scheduled
game at home, it’s likely that the team will have
several more games at home in the NCAA tour
nament. Walker said the likelihood of more
home games took the edge off the seniors’ home
“It was not as emotional as you might think,”
Walker said. “I was excited for our seniors, but
there is a good chance that they are going to be
playing a few more home games during the
NCAA Tournament.”
■'.-r'?- k -s Wm.
in Big 12s
" r s'" BY3AirfiHteMri^wiW ,v* 1
Staff writer
Depth played a major role for the
Nebraska women’s cross country team this
weekend. The NU men’s and women’s teams
were in College Station, Texas, for the Big
12 Championships.
The Comhuskers came close to cracking
into the top three. NU finished fourth with
121 team points, two points behind
The Huskers showing is more impres
sive considering sophomore Jeannette
Zimmer was unable to compete because of
three stress fractures in her legs. Last year,
Zimmer was the top runner for Nebraska at
the Big 12 Championships.
NU was led once again by senior
Michelle Brooks. Brooks placed seventh
with a season-low time of 17 minutes and 20
seconds. Her performance was the second
best showing for a Cornhusker since the
first Big 12 Championships four years ago. «
; Senior Jaime Pauli was the second nin
for NU to cross the finish l^ei Pauli
chipped into the top 20 with a career-low
^17:44 run, placing her aM7lb. ‘ -
Freshman Kathryn Handrup also
stepped up to fill Zimmer’s void. Handrup
cruised to a 35th-placed showing in 18:15.
Senior Melinda Oliver, freshman
Mirjana Glisovic and junior Amie Finker
ran their way inside the top 50. Oliver and
Glisovic ran 40th and 41st respectively.
Finker placed 49* in 18:33. Sophomore
Jenna Lucas crossed the Texas A&M course
in 18:56, placing 63rd.
The men’s team, which took sixth place
in the team competition, was led by Junior
Marcus Witter.
Witter finished 23rd in 25:46. Junior
Aaron Carrizales had the best race of his
career, running 26:01, placing him 31 *.
Head Coach Jay Dirksen let youth run
the course. Four freshmen gave strong per
formances for Dirksen. Mike Kamm was
the first freshman for NU to finish. Kamm
finished 35* with a time of26:04.
Jed Barta finished 39* in 26:09, and
James DeBruhl finished 54th. Ian Gray took
60*, and sophomore Jared Carlson placed
The Huskers will run next at the NCAA
Midwest Region Championships. The
Midwest Region Championships will be
held Nov. 13* in Savoy, 111.