The Nebraska volleyball team begins another season with the annual Red-White Scrimmage this Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Devaney Center. As of Thursday morning, a limited number of tickets and standing-room only are still available and can be purchased at Huskers.com/tickets. The Husker players will sign autographs following the scrimmage on the northwest concourse of the Devaney Center.
The match will be broadcast on Husker Sports Network radio affiliates, including 107.3 FM in Lincoln and AM 590 in Omaha. A live audio stream will be provided at Huskers.com, on the official Huskers app and the TuneIn app. John Baylor is in his 26th season doing play-by-play for the Husker volleyball program. Lauren (Cook) West, a former All-America setter for the Huskers, will provide color commentary.
Nebraska is coming off its fourth straight NCAA Semifinals appearance and returns 10 players from its 2018 NCAA runner-up squad. For the first time in school history, the Huskers will have no seniors on their roster.
All-American Stivrins and Setter Hames Lead Huskers into 2019 Season
• Nebraska's two captains for the season are All-America junior middle blocker Lauren Stivrins and sophomore setter Nicklin Hames, who was an All-Big Ten Freshman pick and earned All-America honorable mention in 2018. The young duo will guide a Nebraska team that has no seniors on its roster for the first time in program history.
• Stivrins, a Scottsdale, Arizona native, had a breakout sophomore season to earn first-team All-Big Ten and first-team AVCA All-America honors. She averaged 2.36 kills per set and had a hitting percentage of .421, the third-highest mark in school history and the No. 3 mark in the nation last season. As a junior in 2019, Stivrins will aim to hunt down Tracy Stalls' single-season school-record hitting percentage of .473 in 2007.
• Stivrins was selected to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team in 2018 after a career-high 19 kills on .615 hitting in the championship match against No. 1 Stanford.
• Hames, a sophomore from Maryville, Tennessee, set the Huskers to the NCAA Championship match as a true freshman. She finished the season with 10.49 assists per set and 3.32 digs per set, along with 40 service aces, second-most on the team.
• Hames had 25 double-doubles during the 2018 season, which broke Jordan Larson's school record for double-doubles. She tallied a career-best 62 assists in the NCAA final against Stanford with 12 digs.
"29,029" and "To Be Continued..."
• The 2019 Nebraska volleyball team has taken on two mantras for the season: 29,029 and To Be Continued...
• 29,029 is the elevation in feet of Mount Everest. The Huskers, who nearly reached the peak of college volleyball in 2018 before coming up three points short against Stanford, are using the memory of that defeat to motivate them in 2019. The Huskers will play 29 regular-season matches, and Head Coach John Cook said the hardest part of climbing Mount Everest is the final 29 feet. "Many people say the elevation is 29,000 feet, forgetting the final 29 feet. We got to that 29,000 (in 2018). We didn't get that last 29 feet. All the bad things happen in the last 29 feet. People mentally let go, they're exhausted, they get stuck. Our whole theme is we've got to figure out how to get the last 29 feet."
• The Huskers also have a team slogan of "To Be Continued..." in 2019. The slogan references the Huskers continuing what they couldn't quite finish in 2018 - winning an NCAA Championship. It also means carrying on the recent success of the program (four straight NCAA Semifinals appearances) and preparing to bring back the entire team for the 2020 season. The Huskers have no seniors on their roster for the first time in program history.
Foecke and Maloney Leave Big Shoes to Fill
• This year, the Huskers will be without two players who led the program to four straight final fours from 2015-18 in Mikaela Foecke and Kenzie Maloney. The All-Americans both graduated, leaving big production to replace at outside hitter and libero. Foecke and Maloney won two NCAA titles, two Big Ten titles and won more postseason matches than any other player in Husker history.
• Stivrins and Hames are among 10 returning players who will be counted on to step up for the Huskers. Juniors Lexi Sun and Jazz Sweet return to lead the Huskers on the pins, and sophomore Callie Schwarzenbach is back after breaking the Nebraska freshman record for blocks last season with 177. Sophomore hitter Capri Davis played a big role last year coming off the bench, and sophomore Megan Miller and junior Hayley Densberger both have a plethora of experience in the back row.
• A group of six freshmen will help offset the loss of the most decorated senior class in school history. Three of the six newcomers - outside hitter Madi Kubik, middle blocker Riley Zuhn, libero Kenzie Knuckles - were PrepVolleyball.com All-Americans and ranked among the top 40 prospects in the 2019 class. The Huskers' incoming class was ranked No. 2 by PrepVolleyball.com.
Huskers Visit Asia in Summer of 2019
• The Nebraska volleyball team took a 17-day trip to Japan and China over the summer. The Huskers took on top professional teams from the two countries during the trip, winning about half of the sets they played. Head Coach John Cook called it "by far the best" of the five trips his teams have taken to Asia in his 20 years at Nebraska.
• In addition to the highly competitive matches, the Huskers also toured numerous sites in Asia, including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall of China. With six newcomers and no seniors on the roster for the 2019 season, the trip was a great opportunity for the team to bond on and off the court, a team that will spend the next two years playing together.
• The NCAA allows a team to take a foreign trip every four years, and Cook has made it a habit to take his team to Asia. Previous trips have usually paid off with successful seasons. In the last four seasons following a Cook-led foreign trip, Nebraska has responded by winning three conference titles and two national championships.
• Cook took his first team to Asia prior to the 2000 season, his first as Nebraska's head coach. The Huskers responded with a 34-0 season and the program's second national championship.
• In 2006, Cook took his team back to Asia and the results were the same: another national championship. The Huskers went 33-1 following their international trip and capped the national title with a 3-1 victory over Stanford in front of 17,209 fans at the Qwest Center in Omaha.
• Nebraska went back to Asia in 2010. Although NU did not win the national title that year, it did put together a 29-3 season that included a Big Ten title. Nebraska took a No. 3 ranking into the NCAA Tournament but was upset in a four-set loss at No. 11 Washington in the NCAA Regional Semifinal.
• The Huskers' last Asia trip in 2014 with only one senior was followed by a 23-10 season. But the following year saw that young group go on to win the program's fourth national title.
• Nebraska volleyball holds an NCAA women's record 253 consecutive regular-season sellouts.
• Nebraska led the nation in attendance in 2018 for the sixth straight year since moving into the Bob Devaney Sports Center in 2013, averaging 8,205 fans per match.
• Nebraska has ranked in the top three nationally in attendance every season since 1990 (28 straight seasons).
Huskers Ranked No. 2 in AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll
• Nebraska is ranked No. 2 in the AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll. NU began and ended last season at No. 2.
• The Huskers have been ranked No. 1 in 99 all-time polls, the most in NCAA history.
• The Huskers have been ranked in the top 10 a total of 487 times, which is also the most in NCAA history.
• Nebraska has appeared in all 542 AVCA Coaches Polls since it was established in 1982. Nebraska and Stanford are the only two programs to be ranked in every poll all-time.
AVCA Hall of Fame Head Coach John Cook Enters 20th Season at Nebraska
• Nebraska head coach John Cook is in his 20th season as the Nebraska volleyball head coach in 2019. He has led the Huskers to four national championships, nine final fours, 12 conference championships and 17 top-10 final rankings since 2000. Cook has 721 career wins and is one of the all-time winningest coaches in NCAA history.
• Since taking over the program in 2000, Cook has led the Huskers to a nation-leading .881 win percentage in that time (560-76).
• Under Cook, the Huskers have achieved 55 AVCA All-Americans and 19 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, both among the best in the nation. He is a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year, earning the prestigious honor in 2000 and 2005, and a seven-time conference coach of the year, including Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2016 and 2017, his first and second Big Ten honors with the Huskers in their Big Ten era (2011-present).
• Cook is one of only four active coaches - and one of six all-time - to be a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year and was honored in 2008 by USA Volleyball, receiving its All-Time Great Coach Award.
• Cook was inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame in 2017, joining former Husker volleyball coach Terry Pettit in the hall.
• Cook became the ninth active Division I head coach to reach 700 career wins in 2018.
22-Aug-2019 / Steve Stein
Local High School Golf teams open the season today. GICC and Northwest are at the Central City Scramble. Grand Island Senior High is hosting a triangular at Jackrabbit run. Here's a preview of the Crusaders.
GICC Golf Coach Dee Hanssen
22-Aug-2019 / Steve Stein
The Grand Island Senior High Softball Team tangles with Lincoln East to open the 2019 season. Pre-game 4:45 on Thunder 99.7 and www.thunder997.com. Let's hear from a couple of the seniors.
21-Aug-2019 / NU Athletic Communications
Lincoln, Neb. -- The Nebraska football team practiced for just over two hours Wednesday morning inside the Hawks Championship Center and outside on the Ed and Joyanne Gass practice fields, concluding practice with a brief walk-through on Tom Osborne Field in Memorial Stadium.
Offensive Coordinator Troy Walters spoke with the media after the conclusion of practice and talked about if he sees any separation in the wide receivers he coaches.
"Yeah we're putting guys in different situations,” Walters said. “Playing a lot of guys in different positions because we want that depth. This past week we've had a couple of scrimmages, a couple of game day simulations just to see how guys react. Definitely guys are separating themselves but I feel good about the depth that we have. I feel good about the guys understanding the offense so that we can move guys around, JD Spielman doesn't always have to play in the slot, we can move him outside if we need him. So we're very pleased with how things are coming and the depth of the group."
Walters went on to discuss how deep he would like to have his group on game days.
"You'd like to be at least two deeps, so that gives you six,” Walters said. You'd like to have six to seven guys that you believe in, that you can put in at anytime. One of the focuses this season is playing fast and selling out so I don't want guys to hold things in and be on cruise control because they're tired. They don't want to get tired. We want guys to go full speed and when you get tired we'll sub and get some other guys in and we feel like we have some depth where we can get guys in and play just as fast. We'd like to play six, seven, maybe eight."
Walters also commented on how the true freshmen have fared doing during camp.
"They're doing a good job,” he said. “What I'm pleased with is some of the other guys that have stepped up. So they've made it harder for those freshmen, they kind of ‘overshined’ the freshmen. They've done a good job but some of the other guys, (Jaevon) Mcquitty, Mike Williams, Andre Hunt have stepped up and their game and are doing well. The freshmen, they have a battle on their hands, but they've stepped up we'd like for them to play this season, get some experience under their belt. How much? Really just depends on the season and how things kind of shake out."
Walters finished his comments by speaking on moving toward game day preparations for South Alabama and what he will look for from his offense.
"Competition against the defense has been awesome,” Walters said. “Going against them every day has been awesome so we don't want to lose that. We don't want to lose that ‘good on good’, or that ‘iron sharpens iron’. So we'll still go against our defense ones versus ones, twos versus twos, but now the focus shifts to getting a jump on South Alabama. Understanding their tendencies and what we're going to see defensively.
“Now first game, you're never sure what you're going to see. We're going to go into that game plan, doing what we do. The good thing about our defense is that it is very similar to South Alabama so we'll be able to adjust to whatever they throw at us, and now we're trying to simulate game day atmosphere, game day situations so the guys have to be focused, dialed in and the extra days of going against South Alabama (in practice) will help us next Saturday."
The Huskers will continue preparations for South Alabama on Thursday. Kickoff for the season opener is scheduled for August 31, at 11 a.m. at Memorial Stadium with television coverage provided ESPN.
21-Aug-2019 / NU Athletic Communications
Lincoln -- Nebraska sophomore quarterback Adrian Martinez garnered another watch list spot, as the Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, announced its 30-player watch list on Wednesday.
Martinez is one of three sophomores on the Manning Award Watch list, which is presented to the top quarterback following the conclusion of the 2019 season, including bowl games.
Martinez returns to pilot the Husker attack after a record-breaking freshman year in 2018. The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder set 11 school records after becoming the first true freshman quarterback to start an opener in school history. On the season, Martinez completed 224-of-347 passes for 2,617 yards and 17 touchdowns, while also rushing for 629 yards and eight scores en route to All-Big Ten and Freshman All-America honors.
Martinez ranked 12th nationally and led all freshmen nationally in total offense per game (295.1 ypg) while also setting school marks for 300-yard total offense (seven) and 400-yard total offense (three) games in 2018. Martinez set freshman records for completions, completion percentage, passing yards, passing touchdowns, total offense and total touchdowns (25), and he was fourth nationally among all freshmen in passing yards per game at 237.9 yards per game.
Martinez threw for a season-high 384 yards and two touchdowns against Wisconsin, while his best game of the year came against Minnesota, when he completed a school-record 86.2 percent of his passes (25-of-29) for 276 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for a career-high 125 yards and a score on 15 carries.
Martinez and the No. 24 Huskers open the season on Saturday, Aug. 31, against South Alabama. Kickoff for the ESPN televised contest is set for 11 a.m. (CT).
21-Aug-2019 / NU Athletic Communications
Season tickets for an action-packed 18-game schedule of Nebraska women's basketball at Pinnacle Bank Arena go on sale Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 10 a.m. (CT)
through Huskers.com and the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office. Nebraska's 18-game home schedule (including a preseason exhibition game) features eight
non-conference games in November and December, including marquee match-ups with Duke and Creighton, before facing a nine-game Big Ten home schedule
with clashes against Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State, Minnesota, Purdue, Indiana, Penn State, Illinois and Wisconsin.
Husker women's basketball has long been one of the hottest tickets in the nation, with Nebraska ranking among the top 25 teams in average home attendance
in each of the past 10 seasons. Reserved season tickets are available for $180 - that's just $10 per game - while general admission adult season
tickets are $90. General admission season tickets for youth and senior citizens are just $54. Visit Huskers.com/Tickets or call 800-8-BIG-RED.
20-Aug-2019 / Steve Stein
The Grand Island Legion program is seeking coaches for two of its programs for 2020. Jake Ritzdorf is stepping down for family reasons as head coach for the Home Federal Seniors. Josh Redman will be moving back to Kearney. He coached the 5 Points Bank Juniors. The Legion is taking applications till August 31st.
Let's get the perspective of Jake Ritzdorf.
19-Aug-2019 / NU Athletic Communications
Lincoln, Neb. -- The Nebraska football team practiced for just over two hours Monday morning inside the Hawks Championship Center and outside on the Ed and Joyanne Gass practice fields.
Following practice, defensive coordinator Erik Chinander spoke to the media about how the defense began the week of practice.
“I know Coach Frost maybe said the offense didn’t come out as much as he wanted to, but we came out on defense,” Chinander said. “We made a few mental errors when we got tired. He (Frost) gave us a lot of tempo periods today. I thought the energy was really good. There hasn’t been one day where I have been disappointed with the energy of the team. We still got things to work on. We’re not there, but the energy has been really good.”
Chinander continued by sharing his thoughts on the situational scrimmage the team held last Friday.
"I thought we were really good with the ones and twos units,” he said. “You know the threes kind of had that half of football at the end. We have some work to do to develop those young guys. The ones and twos made some good plays and some dumb plays in situations. For instance, we picked off a ball to end the game and instead of just getting down with it, we tried to run it back for a touchdown. Those guys just have to learn those things. It’s really important that Coach (Frost) puts us in those situations, so we can have it happen on August 18 instead of September 30.”
Chinander was then asked about what he has seen from matchups between the offensive and defensive lines.
"It’s really good that in this camp, Coach Frost has gone a lot of ones versus ones,” Chinander said. “He wants a physical practice, so our best guys get their best guys everyday. That’s making us better, and that is making them better. Anytime our d-linemen get to go up against (Matt) Farniok or Brandon (Jaimes) and some of those guys, it is really good for us. Those receivers are causing us some fits out on the perimeter, but it's really good to see it in practice. I am glad we are doing one on ones and two on twos and good versus good for the majority of camp."
With the first game less than two weeks away, Chinander talked about some of the tough decisions he and the coaching staff will need to make regarding the depth chart.
"I think there’s some hard things going on yet,” Chinander said. “The defensive backs, there’s five or six guys that can be starters, and we’ve got to find a way to figure out who is going to walk out there for the first snap. That d-line is pretty deep. What do you do with JoJo (Domann)? Is he ready? The inside linebackers we got three guys, but those are good problems.
“I think what you guys are going to see and what everyone is going to see is a lot of guys rotating in, and I think we need that. Whether you are a starter or not, I would love to have 22 starters and roll that thing through and keep everyone fresh as many reps as we play on defense. There is definitely going to be some decisions on who is out there for the first snap."
The Huskers will continue fall camp on Tuesday in preparation for the first game against South Alabama on August 31.
BTN Bus Tour Stop Show Airs Tonight
The annual Big Ten Network Bus Tour was in Lincoln today to take in this morning’s Husker football practice and will give fans an inside view of the Huskers for the upcoming season with its show this evening.
The 60-minute show features interviews with Head Coach Scott Frost and Husker players Adrian Martinez, JD Spielman and Mohamed Barry, as well as mic’d up segments with Offensive Coordinator Troy Walters and Offensive Line Coach Greg Austin. Other content will be available throughout Monday on BTN Channels on Social Media (@NebraskaOnBTN, as well as BTN on both Instagram and Facebook.
19-Aug-2019 / Steve Stein
The GISH softball team visits Lincoln East on Thursday. We'll have pregame at 4:45 from Thunder 99.7. Here's a preview of the team with KC Hehnke
19-Aug-2019 / NU Athletic Communications
Nebraska Baseball Head Coach Will Bolt announced the addition of Danny Marcuzzo to his staff as volunteer assistant and camp coordinator on Monday.
“We are excited to have Danny and his wife Erin join our staff and bring them back to their home state of Nebraska,” Bolt said. “Danny brings a wealth of collegiate coaching experience in the Midwest as well as high character and an impressive work ethic. Danny will make us better in every area and we are fortunate to have him join the Husker family.”
“It’s a dream come true to be a part of the Nebraska baseball tradition,” Marcuzzo said. “I am looking forward to doing whatever I can to help this program be as successful as possible.”
Marcuzzo spent last season as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Coffeyville Community College, working primarily with hitters and infielders. Coffeyville posted 29 wins in 2019, more than each of the previous four seasons. Coffeyville’s defense set the school record for fielding percentage in 2019 under Marcuzzo’s direction with a .969 clip.
Marcuzzo coached at Central Oklahoma for two years before going to Coffeyville, helping the squad set a then-school record for fielding percentage with a .975 clip in 2018. The Bronchos captured the 2018 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association regular-season title and qualified for the NCAA Division II Regionals. In 2017, Central Oklahoma reached the finals of the NCAA Division II Central Regional after winning 37 games.
During the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Marcuzzo coached hitters and infielders at Butler Community College. In 2016, Butler set the school record for fielding percentage at .968.
Marcuzzo’s first coaching stint at Coffeyville spanned two seasons, as he helped the Red Ravens to the two most successful years in program history. In 2014, Coffeyville set the program record for overall wins (38) and conference wins (25). Marcuzzo worked with outfielders and assisted with hitters for the Red Ravens.
Marcuzzo coached with Midwest Nationals for four summers, serving as the head coach of 18 Red in 2013 before spending three years as an assistant for 17 Blue from 2014 to 2016. During his three seasons with 17 Blue, the team won 124 games, highlighted by a program-record 47 wins in 2015. Marcuzzo saw 16 players sign National Letters of Intent with Division I teams and had two players selected in the MLB Draft.
A native of Omaha, Neb., Marcuzzo graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois in 2012 before earning a Master’s degree from Central Oklahoma in 2017.