I meant to do a season preview on Nebraska volleyball, but it just didn't work out, so here we are. Lots of things going on in Husker volleyball.
Sarah Pavan, arguably the greatest athlete in Nebraska athletics history, so many awards we can't list them. AVCA Volleyball player of the year twice.
Christina Houghtelling - AVCA Player of the Year, gobs o' awards.
Tracy Stalls - blocking machine, hitting machine, two-time All-American.
Rachel Holloway - quit volleyball and moved somewhere else, never to be heard from again.
Jessica Yanz tried to transfer this past season from perennial volleyball power Penn State (even after PSU won last year's national title). Penn State refused to release her from her scholarship, so she has to sit for a season. This kind of stuff happens frequently in lower profile sports like volleyball or baseball. It's just irritating, isn't it? Those Penn State bastards!
- NEW FACES - NEW STARS!
Setter Sydney Anderson, hasn't placed since 2006. Transferred from Utah, where she lead the Utes to a 28-4 record.
Jordan Larson isn't a new star by any means. On any other team, last season she would have won a gob of major awards. This year, this team, it's Larson's time to shine.
Tara Mueller is key because her play keeps other teams from keying on Larson.
Same goes for Lindsey Licht, another hitter that should have a huge season.
Rachel Schwartz - It's time for her to shine. Libero-setter, whatever she plays. CN is rooting for you for your senior year!
Junior Kori Cooper, sophmore Kayla Banwarth and senior Amanda Gates are gonna be big-time players as well.
Last season, with Houghtelling, Pavan, Stalls, on the team, everyone expected the greatest team in the history of college volleyball. Didn't happen, Nebraska lost before even making the Final Four, going 32-1. This season the pressure is off.
Or is it? Volleyball season tickets sold out in 10 Minutes! Holy Cow! Is that about expectations or not?
This year volleyball has gone from a 30 point game to 25 to align more with, like, international rules or something.
They're wearing bikinis! Okay, I'm kidding, although Nebraska is one of the schools that is advocating sand/beach volleyball for obvious reasons.
Nebraska volleyball started the season last night at the Runz/AVCA Showcase tournament in Omaha, a tournament that features Nebraska, #2 Stanford, #3 Texas, and #4 USC. Unlike football where everyone good starts with patsies, volleyball begins with a real challenge.
Nebraska comes into the season ranked #7, then started the season by sweeping the Cardinal 25-17, 25-19, 26-24, including coming back from a five point deficit in game three. It's a great start to a team that's seen it's share of adversity already, before the season had even started.
If you're a VB fan, I'd love to hear some comments on the setter position. I think with Larson and Mueller and Licht, we're not going to see the drop off that we thought we would, but I'd love to hear about the team.