Huskers Closing In On Season Opener
The Nebraska football team continued its preparation for Saturday'sseason opener on Thursday with a one-hour walk-through inside the Hawks Championship Center. Head Coach Bo Pelini spoke to the media after the team's workout.
"We had a good day," Pelini said. "We got accomplished what we wanted to get accomplished. We'll finish up our preparation tomorrow and be ready to go."
Pelini said that tackles Givens Price and Matt Finnin will both play on the offensive line during Saturday's game.
"(Givens) has had a good camp," Pelini said. "He's practiced well. He's gotten better. I thought he followed up a good spring and did well at guard. We moved him out to tackle in the fall. He looks even more comfortable. I think he did a good job. We have a lot of confidence in him."
Pelini also addressed the role of kicker for Saturday's game, saying that both Drew Brown and Mauro Bondi will see time.
"We'll start the game with Drew Brown as the field goal kicker and Mauro as the kickoff guy," Pelini said.
Pelini added that the newcomers will be ready to go for their first college football game.
"They've played a lot of football up to this point against good competition," Pelini said. "A lot of good on good. They are ready to go and just execute their football."
Saturday's matchup with Florida Atlantic begins at 2:30 p.m. (CT) at Memorial Stadium. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Loper Golfers Selected Fifth in MIAA
The Nebraska-Kearney golf teams are both picked fifth in the 2014 MIAA preseason polls.
Men's and women's head coaches vote on the makeup of the polls; they cannot vote for their own teams.
On the men's side, UNK had a banner 2013-14 season, entering the national rankings, winning three tournaments and setting several school records. Stroke leader Lance Lawson has graduated with 2014 NCAA qualifier Michael Colgateredshirting this season.
The Lopers tallied 65 points to come in behind heavy favorite Central Missouri (100 points; 10 of 11 first place votes), Central Oklahoma (85), Northeastern State (81) and Lindenwood (71).
Among the returners for head coach Wes Bernt are senior Alec Anania (Grand Island) and juniors Konnor Oltman and Max Rudder, both Norris High grads. Go HERE for an interview with Bernt.
The UNK women picked up 47 points to trail heavy favorite UCO (81 points; nine of 10 first place votes), NSU (73), LWU (60) and UCM (50).
Head coach Brett Mayo didn't have a senior on last year's squad that was just outside the Central Region rankings. Seniors Stephanie Moorberge (Keller, Texas) andStephanie Rodgers (Unadilla) are back as well as junior Ana Summers (Bellevue, Colo.), a 2013 regional qualifier.
Go HERE for an interview with Mayo.
The UNK women start their season September 8-9 at the Central Region Preview in Olathe, Kans., while the Kearney men will be in Jefferson City, Mo., those same two days for the Lincoln Invite.
2014 MIAA Preseason Men's Coaches Poll
1. Central Missouri (10) 100
2. Central Oklahoma 85
3. Northeastern State (1) 81
4. Lindenwood 71
5. Nebraska-Kearney 65
6. Washburn 56
7. Missouri Western 41
T8. Lincoln 33
Missouri Southern 33
10. Fort Hays State 30
11. Southwest Baptist 10
2014 MIAA Preseason Women's Coaches Poll
1. Central Oklahoma (9) 81
2. Northeastern State (1) 73
3. Lindenwood 60
4. Central Missouri 50
5. Nebraska-Kearney 47
6. Missouri Western 45
7. Northwest Missouri 38
8. Fort Hays State 27
9. Southwest Baptist 18
10. Lincoln 11
Lopers Earning Respect After a Strong 2013 Season
The Nebraska-Kearney cross country teams are both picked fourth in the 2014 MIAA preseason coaches polls.
Head coaches from around the league vote on the makeup of the poll and cannot vote for their own team.
Last year, head coach Brady Bonsall saw a senior-laden men's squad finish 17th at the NCAA Championships while a senior-laden women's team placed runner up at the MIAA Championships.
On the men's side, UNK tallied 41 points to tally on Missouri Southern State (64), Southwest Baptist (53) and Central Missouri (48). MSSU received eight first place nods with UCM getting the other.
The Loper women tallied two first place votes and 83 total points to come in behind SBU (91), Pittsburg State (86) and MSSU (85). Each of these three schools received first place votes with SBU (five) getting the most.
UNK starts the year with a Team Time Trial on Friday, September 5th, at Meadowlark Hills G.C. The regular season begins two weeks later at the annual
Wood Greeno Invitational at UNL.
2014 MIAA Preseason Men's Coaches Poll
1. Missouri Southern (8) 64
2. Southwest Baptist 53
3. Central Missouri (1) 48
4. Nebraska-Kearney 41
5. Northwest Missouri 36
6. Pittsburg State 31
7. Fort Hays State 28
8. Lindenwood 15
9. Emporia State 8
2014 MIAA Preseason Women's Coaches Poll
1. Southwest Baptist (5) 91
2. Pittsburg State (1) 86
3. Missouri Southern (3) 85
4. Nebraska-Kearney (2) 83
5. Central Missouri 63
6. Northwest Missouri 51
7. Fort Hays State 47
8. Central Oklahoma 36
9. Lindenwood 31
10. Lincoln 20
11. Emporia State 12
Huskers Host Top-15 Teams in Season-Opening AVCA Showcase
The seventh-ranked Nebraska volleyball team opens its season this weekend with a pair of top-15 showdowns at the Bob Devaney Sports Center as part of the 2014 AVCA Showcase. The Huskers face 13th-ranked Florida State on Friday at 7 p.m., before taking on No. 3 Stanford on Sunday. In a change from the original schedule,Sunday's match will start at Noon and will be televised live by the Big Ten Network.
Facing ranked opponents will be a common theme for Nebraska this season in the 40th anniversary of volleyball becoming an official varsity sport at NU. The Huskers will play 13 of their 29 regular-season matches against teams ranked in the preseason poll, the second-highest total nationally. Nebraska also will see its share of successful postseason teams, as NU will play 12 matches against teams that advanced to a 2013 NCAA Regional (round of 16) or further. Nine of those 12 matches will come during the Big Ten Conference season, while the Big Ten also has eight programs ranked among the top 16 teams in the preseason poll.
Before the Huskers turn their attention to the competitive conference season, a young Nebraska squad has a chance to make an immediate splash on the national scene this weekend. NU is the only top-10 team facing a pair of ranked opponents in the opening weekend. Sunday's match-up with No. 3 Stanford is the lone top-10 match-up of the opening weekend.
Nebraska is opening the season against a ranked opponent for the first time since a sweep of No. 14 Kentucky in the 2010 AVCA Showcase at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha. The Huskers will be facing a ranked opponent in the season opener for the eighth time in Head Coach John Cook's 15 seasons. Nebraska is 6-1 when facing a ranked opponent under Cook in the season opener. With two wins this weekend, the Huskers would open the season with consecutive victories over ranked opponents for the first time since 2008 and just the fourth time in program history.
Nebraska returns all but one starter from last year's team, which finished with a 26-7 record and a No. 7 national ranking after a second consecutive trip to an NCAA Regional Final. The one loss is a big one, as outside hitter Kelsey Robinson was the Big Ten Player of the Year, a first-team AVCA All-American and a finalist for the Honda Award. While Robinson's production will be missed, the Huskers still return the vast majority of their production from a season ago. Nebraska returns 96 percent of its assists from 2013, 73 percent of its blocks, 71 percent of its digs and 67 percent of its kills.
The Huskers also bring back 2013 third-team All-American Kadie Rolfzen, along with honorable-mention All-Americans Mary Pollmiller and Meghan Haggerty. Pollmiller is the lone senior on a 16-player Nebraska roster that features 11 freshmen and sophomores. NU's one senior ties for the fewest in school history, while the 11 underclassmen tie for the most. Nebraska is also the only ranked team with fewer than two seniors.
As the lone senior, Pollmiller is one of three Husker captains for the 2014 season, along with junior outside hitter Alicia Ostrander and sophomore libero Justine Wong-Orantes.
Nebraska-Kearney track & field team members Kevin Carder, Dillon Schrodt and Jackie Ziemke have been selected to the 2014 Capital One Academic All-District 7 teams, as selected by CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America).
To be eligible for this squad, a student-athlete must carry a 3.30 cumulative GPA, be a starter or key reserve and been at his/her current school for one academic year. Finally, sports information directors (SID's) vote on the makeup of the Academic All-American and All-District teams.
District 7 includes schools from the MIAA, NSIC (Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) and GAC (Great American Conference).
This is the second year of the expanded Academic All-America program as CoSIDA moved from recognizing a University Division (Division I) and a College Division (all non-Division I) and has doubled the number of scholar-athletes honored. The expanded teams include NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III participants, while the College Division Academic All-America Team combines NAIA, Canadian and two-year schools.
Carder maintains a 3.99 GPA as Political Science major. Currently running across Europe, the Albion native was the Lopers team MVP in cross country in each of the past two years while being an NCAA provisional qualifier at 10,000 meters this spring.
In the ring, Ziemke (Waco) earned All-American honors in the shot this past March thanks to a third place finish. Also qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Championships, she has a 3.93 GPA in Business Administration.
A junior from Lincoln North Star, Schrodt was an All-American in the heptathlon at the NCAA Indoor meet with a third place finish. At last week's NCAA Outdoor meet, he placed ninth in the decathlon and also was a qualifier in the 110 hurdles. He maintains a 3.86 GPA in Math (grades 7-12).