Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cook controls himself

Nebraska coach John Cook has learned a few things over the years. The Huskers don't yet know if they will host first- and second-round NCAA Tournament matches or if they will have to go on the road. When asked if he thought it was fair that his 26-2 team might have to go on the road, Cook said, "I figured out it really doesn’t matter what I think. I just tick people off when I say what I feel.”

Cook did go on to say that he thought only places that have good attendance should get to host NCAA Tournament matches.

“I see some of these places that host and there’s nobody there,” Cook said. “Why are they hosting? They shouldn’t be rewarded with that.”

That's why the Huskers likely will get to host first- and second-round matches because the NCAA knows the NU Coliseum will sell out. On the other hand, Cook has been hearing things about money, travel and air flights. Cook is going to try and not worry about it. We'll know Sunday night where the Huskers are headed.

“They have things they have to deal with when they set this tournament up, so there’s no sense worrying about it,” Cook said.

Posted by Bob Hamar @ Wednesday, November 26, 2008 || 0 comments

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Loss at Texas no surprise

I don't think anyone can be surprised that the Huskers lost at Texas on Wednesday night. The Huskers just didn't match up very well athlete for athlete with the Longhorns. That being said, they did battle to the very end. They played extremely well at times, but those 33 hitting errors were just too many.

The Longhorns had just 13 hitting errors. That's a difference of 20 points in that category alone. That margin needed to be much lower for the Huskers to win the match.

Texas' Destinee Hooker is certainly a special athlete. She's been great in the front row her whole career. Now she's worked hard on her defense and that certainly showed up against the Huskers. Hooker had a number of impressive digs that helped the Longhorns prolong rallies, several of those they turned into points.

The big news though, is the possible loss of Kori Cooper to a knee injury. We'll know more soon, but it doesn't look good. That means redshirt freshman walkon Jordan Wilberger will have to fill in for the rest of the year unless John Cook pulls freshman Allison McNeal out of her redshirt season. I hope that doesn't happen. McNeal is loaded with potential and it would be a shame for her to lose a year of eligibility for just a handful of matches.

On the other hand, if McNeal can help the Huskers to the Final Four maybe it would be worth while. It's a tough call to make. That's why Cook gets paid the big bucks.

Posted by Bob Hamar @ Thursday, November 20, 2008 || 0 comments

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Coaches make family sacrifices

Nebraska volleyball coach John Cook will watch his daughter, Lauren, play for Lincoln Pius X in the Nebraska State Volleyball Tournament Thursday. But if the Thunderbolts advance to the Class B finals, Cook won't be there. He'll be in Lawrence, Kan., for a 7 p.m. match against the Jayhawks.

That's just one of the huge drawbacks that coaches face. No doubt John Cook would like to be watching his daughter throughout the state tournament. Cook joked Tuesday that he thought about call the NSAA and asking them to change the 7 p.m. starting time of Saturday's match so he could watch.

“It’s just part of it,” Cook said. “I look at the football coaches with their kids. They have to make the same decisions and go through the same things. It’s just part of being a coach. My kids understand that.”

Posted by Bob Hamar @ Thursday, November 13, 2008 || 0 comments

Friday, November 07, 2008

NU's Licht looking for consistency

Nebraska sophomore Lindsey Licht is third on the team in kills with 2.52 per game. The potential for the 6-foot-5 left handed rightside player is obvious. She hits the ball as hard as anyone around.

But consistency has been a problem. That’s evidenced by her.221 hitting percentage. Obviously coach John Cook would like to get that up closer to .300.

He would like to see the same production as he saw on Sept. 20 when Licht hammered 17 kills and hit .500 in a 3-1 victory over Texas. In the match before that she hit a negative .040. In the following match she hit .143.

Cook just wants a little consistency.

“Now she thinks every night should be like Texas,” Cook said. “As a coach, you have to continue to remind them that the great players are good over a long period of time. Sure somebody can have a great night one night, but can you do it over a long period of time?

“That’s what we try to do is have that consistent level of performance so we know what we’re going to get every night out.”

Posted by Bob Hamar @ Friday, November 07, 2008 || 0 comments

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Huskers to sign four next week

The college volleyball signing period begins on Nov. 12. The Huskers are expected to sign four players in Ewing middle blocker Haley Thramer, outside hitter Gina Mancuso of Papillion-LaVista, outside hitter Hannah Werth of Glenwood, Ill., and libero Megan Pendergast of League City, Texas.

This class will continue a trend of smaller, more defensive-minded outside hitters. Werth and Mancuso are both around 6-foot. They'll join Tara Mueller, another 6-footer and the 5-11 Kaitlynn James, who has missed all of this season so far after shoulder surgery. Of course coach John Cook will continue to look for the 6-5 left handed right side players like current Husker Lindsey Licht and former NU All-American Sarah Pavan.

By the way, Hannah Werth is a younger sister to Jayson Werth, an outfielder who helped the Philadelphia Phillies to their first World Series championship since 1980.

Posted by Bob Hamar @ Tuesday, November 04, 2008 || 1 comments

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