The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 27, 2000, Page 10, Image 10

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    SportsWednesday
Daily Nebraskan Wednesday, September 27,2000 Page 10
A writer's
guide to
volleyball
You want to be a sportswriter,
don’t ya?
Don’t lie. You’ve read a few sto
nes on your
way to the
crossword
puzzle, and
you’re sure
you can do
better.
So what
do you say?
I
Brian
the™' Christophers™
You can han
dle the volleyball beat.
Don’t worry, it’s not as fright
ening as it sounds.
But they’re No. 1 aren’t they?
Exactly, that’s what makes them
so easy to report on.
See, every match is usually
over in under 90 minutes, it’s free
and when you see free food sitting
in the press room, your grin will
widen.
Just make sure you wipe the
chocolate off your lips before you
interview Coach John Cook.
And you don’t need to be cre
ative to apply.
Every story you will write
about the vol
leyball team is r .
the • same ^Oacn
because every Cook Will
(O'his
same at good 7
ol’ Nebraska U. damdest
Here, let s jq yQpy
practice. . 7
First, let’s hIS
start with a lead quotes,
sentence, / * i
which will tell OUt What
everyone exact- can he
ly how easily »»
Nebraska won
the game. say tO
cnann?ot wiS entertain
snappy with
lots of destruc- after a
tionmvolved blowout?
Nebraska
volleyball rolled -
over, flattened, crushed, slaugh
tered, flogged, demolished, tram
pled over, hammered, blew out or,
for you rated-R fans, killed (Insert
name of defeated opposition
here.) in three games Saturday
night at the NU Coliseum.
If some act of God actually
happens to make the match go
longer than three games, you can
call for backup, and someone will
cautiously walk you through a
four- or five-game story.
And you might as well try to
entertain the reader, because the
match likely wasn’t a Frazier-Ali
Classic Sports Network
Confrontation.
So after your lead, say some
thing like: (Insert defeated oppo
sition here.) was as much compe
tition on this night to the Huskers
as (Insert a sorority intramural
volleyball team here.)
Now you’re off and rolling.
Throw in a few stats about kills
and blocks, and definitely learn
how to spell Pilakowski.
When in doubt, there’s always
a Pilakowski stat.
Meanwhile, Coach Cook will
try his damdest to vary his quotes,
but what can he really say to
entertain after a blowout?
“Gee golly, we won in three
games again. One game at a time
yaknow."
For the real meat of your story,
throw in an exasperated opposing
coaches’ quote.
“We... we...we ...just couldn’t
match up,"as their lips quiver, and
they break down crying.
Just smile and nod politely at
the opposing coach. He or she
doesn’t have to know what you
knew. You knew the opposition
was just another 90-minute exer
cise, while the coach did not
Finally you talk to the
Nebraska players, and they will
use phrases like chemistry, com
ing together as a team and still
needs improvement.
Occasionally you can trick
these girls into talking about the
Final Four or National
Championship, but they will
eventually catch your sly ways
and say, “But we take things one
. game at a time...”
But you tried, and that’s 10
gold stars to you.
Now, just type in an opposing
coach’s quote about how
Nebraska and the Olympic team
are about even in talentand hand
that story in.
Now, let’s say the stars align in
a certain manner, and Nebraska
loses a match.
Um... Code red. I’m bailing.
You're on your lonesome now.
Missouri bowed by tough early schedule
BY DAVID DIEHL
Missouri football Coach Larry Smith
doesn’t beat around the bush when dis
cussing his team’s first three games.
“Well,” Smith said, “we sure haven’t
gotten any false sense of security.”
Missouri’s non-conference schedule
left the Tigers with a sour taste in their
mouths and just one win, a season-open
ing 50-20 win vs. Western Illinois.
Now, following a blowout loss at
Clemson and fourth-quarter heart-break
er vs. Michigan State, MU isn’t exactly sit
ting pretty alter its first three games.
When MU comes calling to Lincoln on
Saturday, it will be the third straight week
that the Tigers tackle an opponent ranked
in the top 15. Clemson and Michigan State
are ranked No. 8 and 15 respectively, and
now MU comes to No. 1 Nebraska.
But Smith is holding his chin high after
the first three games and entering his
toughest contest to date.
"This is what the schedule makers
handed us, and that’s what were playing,”
he said. “The situation we’re in is we’re 1-2
and we’re trying to make it 2-2.”
That may be easier said than done.
When played in Lincoln, Nebraska leads
the series with MU, 29-14-1. Missouri has
n’t won in Lincoln since a 35-31 win in
1978 and has lost every game to the
Cornhuskers since then.
But playing NU right after two other
ranked opponents doesn’t deserve any
extra credit or attention being thrown in
Missouri’s direction, Smith said.
“I don’t sit down and worry about those
things,” Smith said. “We have a very tough
first four games. Now were finding out that
Western Illinois is a very fine team. I don’t
expect any more credit because, really, the
bottom line is when you have 11 opportu
nities, how many do you win.”
Missouri came close to winning vs.
Michigan State. They held a 10-point lead
in the first half and were tied going into the
fourth quarter, but a field goal early in the
final period did in the Tigers.
“(This start) taught us a lot about our
team,” said senior offensive tackle Joe
Glauberman. “Even though we’ve been
losing, we’ve stuck together, and we know
we have the ability to be a good team. I
think we've done well through the losses.”
Those losses, along with that schedule
that Missouri is playing early on this year,
helps the team progress, Smith said.
Progress was evident in the practices
between the 62-9 blowout at Clemson and
the tight game his team played against
MSU, he said.
“This is what the schedule
makers handed us, and
that’s what were playing.
The situation we’re in is
we’re 1-2, and we’re trying
to make it 2-2. ”
Larry Smith
Missouri football coach
“If you don't play those games at all,
you can go into the really tough games
with a false sense of how good you might
really be,” Smith said.
“But as a coach and as a team, you'd
still like to be going into a game like this at
3-0.”
■t II
Colorado looks to challenge NU I
■ So far no Big 12 team has been able to hang with NU, who
has won all four matches in straight sets.
BY SEAN CALLAHAN
Nebraska Volleyball Coach John Cook likes to believe every
team is going to present a challenge in the Big 12.
Thus far, that hasn’t happened. The Comhuskers have liter
ally embarrassed every Big 12 foe they’ve faced this season.
Tonight, the top-ranked Huskers (11-0, 4-0) travel to
Boulder to tangle with what Cook calls an improved Colorado
squad (5-5,1-2).
And Cook, like he has for every conference game, expects a
challenge from the Buffaloes.
“Colorado plays typical Colorado volleyball,” Cook said.
“They play great defense, side out and you have to go up there
and play up in an altitude which presents a challenge for us.”
Playing around a mile above sea level may be a factor for the
Huskers in tonight’s match.
Cook said the altitude could alter NU’s approach against
Colorado.
“When you play at altitude it’s harder to stand back and
serve tough because the ball carries more,” Cook said. “The alti
tude kind of neutralizes our serving.
“We’re going to have to be exceptional blocking and defen
sively to win.”
One of the defenders Cook said he expects a big game from
is sophomore Lindsay Wischmeier.
The defensive specialist split time at setter last year with
senior Jill McWilliams.
With sophomore Greichaly Cepero currendy handling the
duties at setter, Wischmeier was expected to take on her new,
less-glorifying role of defensive specialist.
She said most people don’t enjoy playing the position, but
it’s something she knows this team needs in order to succeed.
“It’s a different role,” Wischmeier said. “It’s a challenging
role. You’re really expected to dig everything up, and some
minor things you have to concentrate on are a lot different then
setting.
DN File Photo
Tonight, Colorado will have to face a Husker blocking attack that is
regarded as one of the best in the nation.
“Everyone knows you can’t have a kill without a pass or a dig.
“Whether you get media attention or not, I don’t care. As
long as I’m helping the team I’m happy.”
Thomas busts
out on and off
field for NU
BY JOHN GASKINS
After chatting with
Nebraska rush end Benard
Thomas for all of about three
seconds, it’s pretty easy to figure
out how he has busted out of his
redshirt and onto the field three
games into his true freshman
season.
It’s also easy to figure out
why he might bil§t into a black
shirt a lot sooner than most
Husker defenders do.
With Thomas, after the ball
is snapped or right as he opens
his mouth, the floodgates open
with a fury, much like his career
at NU has.
There’s little holding back.
“Nebraska loves football
like I love football,” Thomas
said when asked why he chose
the Huskers over other powers
Notre Dame, Virginia, USC and
Arizona.
“It’s smash mouth, straight
to the point, we’re going to
break your back, have you cry
ing, have you wetting your
“(NU
football is)
smash
mouth,
straight to
the point, ...
and you’re
going to go
crying to
your
momma
talking
about how
you don’t
want to
play
football
anymore."
Benard Thomas
NU rush end
Please see THOMAS on 9