The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 15, 2000, Page 12, Image 12

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    NU soccer takes unblemished record to UConn
After five straight home
games, the Nebraska soccer
team is leaving the friendly con
fines of the Abbott Sports
Complex for the hostile crowd at
the UConn Classic.
The Comhuskers, ranked
third in the latest NSCAA poll,
are in the midst of its toughest
stretch of games, facing off
against Dartmouth and Uconn,
both top 25 teams and NCAA
Tournament qualifiers last sea
The Huskers will play five of
their next six games on the roald.
NU already disposed of
Florida, who began the season
No. 8, and dropped then-No. 24
In its 7-2 victory over the
Gators, the Comhuskers gave up
their first goal of the season.
Although the shutout streak was
broken, Coach John Walker was
pleased with his team’s play - for
"The level we’re playing at is
good at mid-September but not
November,” Walker said.
Now the Huskers hit the road
against two of last year’s NCAA
Tournament teams.
On Friday, the Huskers face
off against unranked Dartmouth
(1-0). The Big Green advanced to
the Elite Eight of the tournament
two seasons ago and fell in the
second round to UConn last sea
Despite Dartmouth’s low rat
ing, Walker expects a tough
“They’re traditionally one of
the best teams in the country,”
Walker said. “They play well in
big games.”
Goals could be hard to come
by with three-time All-Ivy
League goaltender Kristin
Luckenbill in the net. The two
time All American’s goals against
average is a minuscule 0.67.
In its second game of the
tournament, NU draws host
UConn. The Huskies (1-2-1) fell
■ r- . • - - i ■
“People put a lot of stress on playing road
games, but you have to show up ready to play.
Every game you play is a big game, especially
on the road. ”
Christine Gluck
■j NU soccer player
from sixth to No. 20 in the
NSCAA polls after two losses last
The two Husky losses may*
prove to be deceiving having lost
to No. 19 Santa Clara in overtime
and being shut out by No. 6
Stanford 3-0.
In the teams’ last meeting,
the Huskers knocked off the
Huskies 4-1 in Lincoln last sea
Defender Christine Gluck
said the adjustment to playing
on the road wouldn’t affect the
“People put a lot of stress on
playing road games, but you
have to show up ready to play,”
Gluck said.
“Every game you play is a big
game, especially on the road.”
But Walker said he believed it
would be a nice challenge to play
such a quality team on the road.
“Anytime you play on the
road it gets tricky,” Walker said.
“It’ll be a big test for us.”
The Huskers will compete
without forward Brooke Jones,
who is wearing a walking boot
while nursing an ankle injury.
Walker said Jones was aiming to
play next week.
DN File Photo
Brooke Jones,
seen here out
maneuvering a
defender, is out
of action this
weekend with
an ankle injury.
The team plays
Dartmouth in
Cook inherits tradition, brings new style . by John Gaskins
There Terry Pettit sat last Sunday, in the
same fashion he has sat in all of the 850
plus Nebraska volleyball matches he’s seen
over the last 23 years:
Front row, in a chair, bent over, eyes
piercing the court, elbows-to-knees and
fists-to-face, watching and willing every
point with all his Big Red blood.
He watched the now-No. 1 Huskers
deliver a knockout punch in a five-set
thriller to old nemesis and former No. 1
UCLA, and surely a chill went up and down
his spine when NU won, because NU vol
leyball - along with his family - is, has
been, and will forever be his life.
But Pettit had little to do with that vic
tory. He was in the front row of the stands.
He wasn’t coaching. He's retired. Another
man coaches the team; the program is
another man’s life.
That man is Pettit’s man: John Cook -
the man who he saw 12 years ago as a
young assistant and last year as a right
hand man as the caretaker of the NU
dynasty. He’s Devaney’s Osborne or
Osborne’s Solich.
“The most important thing to me is
that this program is in good hands,” said
Pettit, now a coaching consultant who
mentors Cook and the 23 other coaches in
the NU Athletic Department. Pettit said a
former NU player or coach was a must for
the hire.
“I felt I could have coached five to
seven more years and coach, as well, and
put as much energy into as I had... I would
not have left coaching if I didn’t feel there
was someone with John’s strengths and
mindset to take this position.
“The people that could do it wouldn’t
be attracted to it, other than John, because
of the pressure and expectations. There’s a
lot of successful people out there who
wouldn’t want to try to maintain or
improve on this level of program.”
Said Cook: “This was the job I always
wanted, I always dreamed of. I feel very
blessed to be in a program that has the tra
dition that Nebraska volleyball has.”
And judging by how Nebraska - a team
playing without its best player, Nancy
Meendering - has risen to prominence in
seven short matches, tradition not only
seems to be sustained but revolutionized
by this mellow southern Californian
turned proud Nebraskan.
Welcome to the Cook era, an era sure to
show shades of Pettit, but also one that is
already displaying the wonders of a differ
ent beast. It’s an era that everyone in the
program is excited about.
Cook is the same mind as Pettit,
because of Pettit, but he’s much more a
players’ coach, more a people’s person
than Pettit ever was.
Things are the same, and they are dif
ferent, and no one is more excited than
Pettit, for Pettit is the one who mapped out
this nirvana in the first place.
A Fresh, New Spark
The dozens of red championship ban
ners Pettit won still hang in the Coliseum,
and Pettit’s precepts of hard work and high
expectation and diligent preparation still
But gone are some old staples of the
Pettit mystique of stoicism, and heavily
Photo Illustration by Scott McClurg/DN
embraced is the new Cook mystique: jam
ming or soothing mood music during
warm-ups, high-fives, smiles, daily perk
you-up e-mail and shoulders women can
cry on - Cook soup for the soul.
Just ask senior Kim Behrends, whose
bumpy career is blossoming in its late
stages and who shines when asked about '
Cook’s impact.
“I just thought it was so neat after the
UCLA match, he came up to all of us,” sen
ior Kim Behrends said while imitating a
choked-up Cook, “ ‘You guys, I don’t want
to cry, but I am really proud how all of you
played.’ You could just see his emotion.
That’s something Coach Pettit would
never do.
“One thing about this (year’s) team ...
it’s just fun. I love playing with these girls; I
love Coach Cook; we’re playing great. It’s
just a whole different atmosphere.”
How so?
“It’s so much more relaxed,” says the
redshirting Meendering of Cook practices.
Please see COACHES on 11
Witter wants to make last run at Woody Greeno a memorable one
Senior Cross Country Captain Marcus
Witter has his sights set on making it to
A jog in the park this weekend may
not be the best idea.
Those brave souls who venture to
Pioneers Park on Saturday may get tram
pled by an onslaught of more than 700
runners from 35 schools vying to be the
first to complete the course.
The reason for the congestion is the
ll1*1 annual Woody Greeno/Nebraska
Invitational cross country meet.
The men's team is looking to defend
its title, which it split with the U.S. Air
Force Academy last season.
And the runner who can help the men
best accomplish that goal is senior cap
tain Marcus Witter.
Witter, who will run the course for his
final time wearing a Husker jersey, knows
the route well.
He ran it in high school, sporting a
Kearney High jersey.
Two years ago, Witter crossed the line
in second place, and last year, he came in
This year, Witter knows it’s his last
chance to claim the title on his turf, he
“I’m excited for it, but it’s also kind of
sad,” he said.
Jeff Ganz, student assistant cross
country coach, said Witter’s extensive
summer training will place him in con
tention for the individual title at the meet.
“He’s extremely ready for this race,”
Ganz said.
Along with Witter, Ganz said senior
Aaron Carrizales and sophomore Mike
Kamm should place well in the race.
But Witter has his eyes set on some
thing more than capturing the Woody
Greeno title, he said.
On his wish list is a trip to the nation
als, which he narrowly missed last sea
“Ever since I’ve gotten here, I've want
ed to go up to All-American status,” he
‘ But it’s one meet at a time, and right
now, Pioneers Park is the challenge facing
“I always like to go out there and think
I can win," he said. “And I’d like to go away
winning the Woody Greeno.”
On the women’s side, senior Amie
Finkner Jorgensen looks to lead the pack
along with sophomore Kathryn Handrup
and freshman Ann Gaffigan, Ganz said.
Jorgensen, said Ganz is looking “very,
u ►.
very good."
Handrup, a contender herself, said a
big challenge of the meet will be the high
caliber teams participating.
Last year’s victors on the women’s
side, Kansas State, will be back to defend
its crown, she said.
Handrup said her goal for the meet is
to improve her time from last year’s race.
A finish in the top 15 will please
Handrup, she said, as last year she ended
as the 15th competitor to cross the line.
But running the familiar route with
familiar fans cheering them on gives the
team an edge, she said.
“It’s always nice to have the home
course advantage,” she said.
The women’s 5,000-meter race begins
at 10 a.m., and the 8,000 meter race for
the men will follow at 10:45.