Saturday, April 17, 2010

Bay Area Husker ENews 4/16/10

Hey Bay Area Husker Fans!

Can you feel it? Yup that’s your football senses kicking into gear to let you know that the Huskers are playing their annual Red vs. White Spring Game tomorrow. Even though you can’t be there in person to join the more than 70,000 Husker fans who bought tickets to the game, you can catch all the action at www.huskers.com . The game starts at 11 a.m. our time but there is a lot going on in Lincoln tomorrow (see schedule and articles below).

There are a couple of good articles from Randy York below about the new Nebraska Football Experience Room in the Osborne Center and don’t miss the video link in the article.

There is also a link below to an ESPN video about Ndomakong Suh’s preparations for the NFL draft. Amazing speed and power…I definitely wouldn’t want to be the mannequin dressed up in the QB uniform when he hits it…ouch!

Our chapter held its annual Founders’ Day brunch last Sunday and it was a huge success. Our guest speaker, Keith Zimmer, gave a fascinating presentation about the Athletic Department’s Life Skills program…made everyone proud to be a Husker Fan! All in attendance enjoyed great food, fun, fellowship and a fund-raising raffle for our scholarship program. Thanks again to Dave and Mac for making it happen!

Enjoy the rest of the reading material below. And don’t forget to check out our fantastic chapter website with lots of other Husker news and info: www.BayAreaHuskers.org.

Go Big Red (White and Blue),

Carl
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SATURDAY HUSKER ACTIVITIES IN LINCOLN…(all times central)

Saturday, April 17 Events
9 a.m. - Huskers Authentic Team Store Open
9 a.m. - Ticket Office Open
9 a.m. -- Husker Nation Pavilion Open
9 a.m. -- Osborne Athletic Complex Lobby Open (Playing Game-Day Experience Video only)
9:30 a.m. - NU Soccer vs. Minnesota, exhibition (Nebraska Soccer Field)
11:30 a.m. - Gates open at Memorial Stadium
1 p.m. - Red/White Spring Football Game
3 p.m. -- NU Softball vs. Baylor (Bowlin Stadium)
4 p.m. -- NU Baseball vs. Kansas (Hawks Field)
7 p.m.-- NU Volleyball vs. Illinois, exhibition (NU Coliseum)
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SPRING GAME ROSTERS ANNOUNCED…

Red-White Spring Game Rosters

The rosters for Saturday's Red-White Spring Game have been announced, and like Coach Bo Pelini's first two seasons, the teams appear to be fairly evenly divided.

The White team will be quarterbacked by sophomore Cody Green and senior Latravis Washington. The offense will have plenty of firepower with I-backs Roy Helu Jr. and Dontrayevous Robinson, along with receiving targets Niles Paul, Mike McNeill and Dreu Young. Up front, center Mike Caputo and tackle D.J. Jones are the leaders of the White offensive line.

Defensively, the White squad boasts a number of players with significant starting experience, led by junior defensive tackle Jared Crick and senior end Pierre Allen. Sean Fisher heads the linebacking corps, while the secondary features Alfonzo Dennard, DeJon Gomes and Rickey Thenarse.

Offensive coordinator Shawn Watson leads the White coaching staff, along with Barney Cotton, John Papuchis, Marvin Sanders and offfensive graduate assistant Curt Baldus.

Redshirt freshman Taylor Martinez and sophomore Kody Spano will quarterback the Red unit, while redshirt freshman Ron Kellogg III is expected to see action on both teams. Keith Williams and Marcel Jones lead the Red offensive line, with I-back Rex Burkhead and receivers Brandon Kinnie and Curenski Gilleylen among the top offensive weapons.

Defensively, sophomores Baker Steinkuhler and Cameron Meredith lead the Red front four, with Will Compton the most experienced linebacker on the Red squad. Veterans Eric Hagg, Prince Amukamara and Anthony West will patrol the Red secondary, while all-conference place-kicker/punter Alex Henery heads up the Red special teams.

Defensive coordinator Carl Pelini heads up the Red coaching staff, along with Tim Beck, Ron Brown, Mike Ekeler, Ted Gilmore and defensive graduate assistant Ross Watson.

Kickoff for Saturday's spring game is set for 1 p.m. at Memorial Stadium. Tickets remain available at Huskers.com today and can also be purchased at the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office in the Stadium Drive Parking Garage. Ticket sales on Saturday will begin at 9 a.m. at Gate 10 (West Stadium), Gate 20 (East Stadium) and the Ticket Office outside ticket windows. Tickets for the spring game are $10 each.

In addition to the Red-White Spring Game, several other activities will take place surrounding Saturday's contest. The Husker Nation Pavilion will be open to fans beginning at 9 a.m. During pre-game ceremonies, the 2010 Brook Berringer Citizenship Team will be honored, along with players who earned their first varsity football letter in 2009. A special announcement including Ndamukong Suh will occur during the first quarter of Saturday's game, and the annual Drug Free Pledge for youth and their parents will take place at halftime on the Memorial Stadium field.
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CRICK NAMED TO LOTT TROPHY WATCH LIST…

Nebraska junior defensive tackle Jared Crick is one of 42 players who have been named to the 2010 Lott Trophy Watch List.

The watch list is made up of 42 of the nation's top defensive players who have had the biggest IMPACT on their teams on and off the field. IMPACT stands for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.

Jared Crick racked up huge numbers in 2009, despite playing alongside senior All-American Ndamukong Suh. Crick had 9.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss as a sophomore and earned First Team All-Big 12 honors from the league coaches. He set a school record with five sacks in Nebraska's 20-10 win at Baylor on Oct. 31.

Named after Hall of Famer Lott, The Lott Trophy is awarded to college football's Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. Now in its seventh year, The Lott Trophy is the only college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player.

The winner, who will be announced at the annual black-tie gala in December, receives $25,000 for his school's general scholarship fund. The 2009 recipient was TCU's Jerry Hughes, while Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh was a finalist.

Voters for the award include selected members of the national media, previous finalists, members of the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation Board of Directors, the Legends Coaches and distinguished alumni of various schools around the nation.
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SURROUNDED BY TRADITION, TROPHIES, BO TELLS RECRUITS THIS IS NEBRASKA FOOTBALL!

Go to the website and watch the video: http://www.huskers.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=173&SPID=41&DB_OEM_ID=100&ATCLID=204929501

You're standing outside the Nebraska Football Experience Room in the newly redecorated Tradition Lobby that welcomes Husker football players, staff and fans to the Osborne Athletic Complex. The doors are shut, but you know something big is about to begin.

You know because a certain reverberation is emerging from a surround sound system that's starting to shake right next door to Nebraska's massive strength and conditioning facility.

Suddenly, you hear a voice you recognize immediately.

"THIS is Nebraska Football!" bellows Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini, sounding every bit as impressive as John Facenda, the hall-of-fame broadcaster who achieved national fame as the narrator of NFL Films and was often called "The Voice of God" by his countless fans.

You can't help but stop in your shoes, cock your head a bit and wait to hear what you still can't see.

Pelini follows his "THIS is Nebraska Football!" exhortation with a brief pause, then a powerful description: "... a tradition filled with Passion ... Loyalty ... Excellence ... Accountability ... and most importantly - Family!"

We go into overdrive to capitalize every word in that authoritative delivery. Once you hit the play button above and watch the video highlight imbedded in this column, you'll understand why.

Pelini breathes life into every word because he means every word. In fact, he climbs on those five words with so much intensity that you know it's coming from deep within his soul. So you hang in there, stay in your tracks and wait patiently for the punch line.

Buckle Up: It's Game Day at Nebraska

"It's Game Day at Nebraska!!" Pelini says with his patented passion that's usually reserved for a locker room quiet enough to hear a pin drop.

Rest assured, Bo's punch line scores another 10 on the Facenda-Meter.

And not surprisingly, the next seven-plus minutes are a seven-course meal of cinematography and music and slow-motion footage and football ritual that tell you something you already know - there is no place like Nebraska.

Yep, 28½ months after Bo arrived as head coach, he's surrounded by the all the tradition and trophies and pictures and murals and special walls that he's always wanted and are now in place for 34 recruits who will visit Nebraska this weekend for the Spring Game.

"When I was hired here, I thought the one thing that was missing in this building was the chance to celebrate the tradition, which is Nebraska football - the conference championships, all the things that we've accomplished in the post-season," Pelini said this week, standing in front of some of that newly installed hardware.

"Tradition is what makes this place special and makes it unique and different than any place else in the country, in my opinion," he said. "By displaying it to everybody who's out there - everybody who's in and out of this building, be it our players, fans, recruits, whoever it may be - at the end of the day, everybody needs to see and celebrate the traditions and everything that's been accomplished in this program over all these years."

Osborne: Pelini Wise to Embrace Tradition

Nebraska Athletic Director Tom Osborne is well aware of that fact and supports the Traditions Lobby that Pelini helped drive as head coach. "I think Bo did something fairly wise when he came here," Osborne said, agreeing to stand in front of the five national championship trophies that Pelini wanted players and fans to see the minute they walked in the North Stadium's front door.

"We have a good tradition and a good base to build on, and Bo thought it was a good idea to take advantage of that," Osborne said, pointing out that Bob Stoops and other coaches have embraced history and tradition in a similarly advantageous way

"Sometimes," Osborne said, "people want to build their own legacy, and they almost want to deny the past. Bo has not done that. So he's been involved from day one in putting this project together. He's asked his other coaches as well because they have some idea of what recruits are looking for. We're very grateful that coaches have been a big part of the process and the plan."

The football staff worked diligently with Maggi Thorne, NU's assistant director of Capital Planning. She coordinated Project RED (Recruiting Enhancements Display). A former hurdler on the Nebraska track team, Thorne designed the new recruiting path for football, completing Phase I. She will also coordinate Phase II that will continue through 2011 and enhance the recruiting paths for other varsity sports.

Osborne is pleased that his RED Team decided not to build a separate museum-like structure to showcase Nebraska's championship tradition, choosing instead to maximize the overall impact of the project while using existing space in a cost-effective manner.

Honoring the past, of course, is a great way for recruits to learn what will be expected in the future ... national championships, conference championships, major bowl games, Heisman Trophies and other major individual awards.

Huskers Have Every Major Award Imaginable

"When you're talking about recruiting, you're talking about a bunch of young men who want to come in and accomplish certain things," Pelini said. "They want to achieve. They want to win championships. They want to play at the next level and win awards. They want to have a chance to win a Heisman, a Lombardi, a Nagurski or whatever it may be.

"We have people who have won those awards and still want to come back and help inspire others to win those awards," Pelini said. "We've won three Heisman Trophies and five national championship trophies. We've had major award winners in almost every single category.

"It's important for recruits to see that the minute they walk in that door," Pelini said. "They need to see that we have the resources and know that we have the tradition. We have everything necessary to support what they want to achieve in the long run."

Well, guess what? For the first time in a long time, everything that means anything in Nebraska's rich football history is prominently and properly displayed in and throughout the football complex. The Major Trophy Winners Display is museum quality. The new Heisman video in the Experience Room gets rave reviews just like the Game Day Experience video.

There's a Walk-On Display and a Blackshirt Display outside the locker room walls, which also feature photos of every Nebraska First-Team All-American - something Osborne authorized the first week he was hired as athletic director.

"This place screams tradition, and that's what all the players who played here want," said Joel Makovicka, a two-time Academic All-America fullback who saw the new Tradition Lobby for the first time this week.

"I remember coming to games here when I was six or seven years old and trying to get gloves and touch the players coming out of the tunnel," Makovicka said. "When you grow up in this state, you understand the tradition that comes with the program."

Helu Recognized Makovicka at First Glance

Nebraska's football tradition is alive and well, and current players seem to be immersing themselves in it.

This week, for instance, Makovicka was eating lunch with Doak Ostergard at the NU Training Table when the Athletic Department's Director of Outreach waved his arm for Roy Helu to come over two tables and meet someone.

"This is a history lesson," Ostergard told Helu when he sat down. "Do you have any idea who this guy is?"

"Makovicka," Helu said with a smile. "I rented a video of that 1995 national championship team. You were a freshman on that team, weren't you?"

A surprised Makovicka nodded affirmatively.

"Didn't you hit someone from Florida (Jacquez Green) so hard on special teams that you took him out of the game?" Helu asked. "I remember you because the announcers talked about how you were only a freshman and that hit was a sign of more things to come."

It was indeed. In his four years as an NU letterman, Makovicka played on teams that won 45 games and two national championships to go with the national title the Huskers won in 1994 when he was a redshirt.

"There's no better place than Nebraska to come and play football," Makovicka said. "If I was a recruit coming in here this weekend, I would feel very special to be asked to get us back in the national championship picture. We're heading back in that direction of competing for the conference championship and the national championship, and the guys they're recruiting now can help set the tone. What an opportunity they have."

Only a Championship Will Satisfy Pelini

This weekend's recruits will be the first group to watch the Game Day Experience video, then they will get to see the next closest thing to the real deal in Saturday's Spring Game.

"People made a big deal about me saying we were back," Pelini said this week. "I mean, I'm happy with the point we're at right now. The kids in our program are high character. They're representing us well on and off the field. It's all part of the tradition we believe in - in this athletic department, this football program and this university."

But Pelini still wants to make one thing perfectly clear.

"We won't be back football-wise until we win a championship," he said. "I came here not only to win a conference championship, but to win a national championship. That's what will put us over the top. Not until then will I say we're fully back. But I do believe we're at that point in the program right now where we can compete with any football program in the country and do so in such a way that we're doing things the right way on an everyday basis. Our kids are working their tails off to become the best they can possibly be. They want to be a big part of this great tradition."
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OSBORNE ATHLETIC COMPLEX TRADITIONS LOBBY A SHOWCASE FOR RECRUITS AND FANS…

Nebraska's Osborne Athletic Complex and the newly named Traditions Lobby is now a stunning showcase for recruits and fans to enjoy.

Phase I of the Recruiting Enhancements Display (RED) Project is completed, and fans are invited to view the new trophy displays, kiosk and Nebraska Football Experience Room now available to recruits and fans inside the Osborne Athletic Complex. Phase I enhanced displays are the recruiting path for football. Phase II will continue through 2011 and will enhance the recruiting paths for other Husker varsity sports.

Athletic Director Tom Osborne said he is confident that fans and recruits will enjoy perusing the new displays that feature Nebraska's great football traditions.

"We believe that the Traditions Lobby is now an impressive front entrance for our football program," Osborne said. "While we decided not to build a separate museum-like structure to showcase our championship tradition, we believe the lobby gives fans and recruits a good taste of our rich history."

The Nebraska Football Experience Room a Must-See

The Osborne Athletic Complex (OAC) Traditions Lobby and Football Level 2 RED Displays include the Nebraska Football Experience Room. Located just inside the entrance of the Osborne Athletic Complex, the room features two new videos.

The first was unveiled on Nov. 6, the night before the NU-OU game with all three of Nebraska's Heisman Trophy winners on hand, "The Heisman Video" features signature plays, live announcement moments captured on video, surround sound, creative graphics and a unique technical presentation of Heisman artwork and trophies.

The Game-Day Experience Video" is the newest video available for viewing in the Experience Room. Fans will enjoy this all-new HD presentation that is much more than a video...it's an Experience! With opening sound from Coach Bo Pelini and never-before-seen footage, graphics and surround sound, this video is a must-see for all Husker fans.

All new footage, production and editing for both videos were provided by Daake Design and Great Plains Motion Picture Company of Omaha. Daake and Great Plains each made a generous donation of their time and talents toward the making of The Game-Day Experience Video.

Space to view the video is limited to 15 to 20 fans, and video lasts approximately 5-8 minutes, so fans may not be able to be immediately admitted, particularly on game day.

Five separate displays featuring football trophies also have been created for viewing from the Traditions Lobby, including:

1) NU's five national championship trophies are proudly displayed just inside the front doors.

2) Husker BCS trophies and memorabilia, including bowl trophies from Nebraska's national championship games.

3) Other assorted bowl trophies and memorabilia from many of Nebraska's 46 bowl games.

4) The most recent bowl display featuring the championship trophy and memorabilia from the Huskers' 33-0 win over Arizona in the 2009 Holiday Bowl.

5) The Conference champions trophy display is located on Level 2 just outside at the entrance of the Nebraska Football offices. The conference trophies are viewable from the lobby.

A Mural, a Kiosk, Donor Walls and Hallway Displays

Other Traditions Lobby Features include:

The Mike Sullivan Football Mural, which is a stunning art tribute to Memorial Stadium's NCAA-record consecutive sellout streak. Located on the west wall of the Traditions Lobby, the 22x28-foot themed mural is believed to be the single largest sublimated ceramic tile mural that has ever been created in North America. The mural embodies the Cornhuskers' legendary football past and was unveiled on Sept. 24, 2009, as part of the Huskers 300th consecutive sellout celebration.

The Traditions Lobby Kiosk features the names of donors who gave to the OAC project, as well as stats, videos and pictures of each of Nebraska's 46 bowl games and current and former NFL players. Fans will enjoy reliving their favorite moments from NU's storied bowl history and following the pro careers of their favorite Huskers.

The Donor Wall Acknowledgements feature two donor recognition displays in the lobby. One lists the names of every $100 to $999 donor that gave to the Osborne Athletic Complex fund. It was created and placed in the Northwest corner of the Osborne Athletic Complex in 2006. The second donor display acknowledges those who gave $1,000 or more to the OAC project. To ensure that the trophies, kiosk and donor acknowledgements were each properly displayed in the Traditions Lobby, the second donor wall was redesigned and moved to the northeast corner of the OAC Lobby. The kiosk includes a name-finder feature so that all donors can easily find their names on the wall.

Tunnel Walk Hallway Displays: The following displays are located just beyond the OAC Traditions lobby on the way to the Nebraska football locker room and along the Tunnel Walk leading the Huskers out of the stadium. It is viewed by current Husker players each and every day. Each of these displays can be viewed when fans take guided tours. Guided tours are free and available to the public on Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 8:30 - 11:30 a.m. by appointment only. Please call (402) 472-3333 to schedule a tour or email kcook@huskers.com.

The Major Trophy Winners Display features the trophies, portraits and awards earned by each of Nebraska's 15 major trophy award winners, including Ndamukong Suh.

The Walk-on Display features facts and photos of NU's most famous walk-ons, including those who became academic All-Americans and those who played in the NFL.

The First-Team Nebraska All-America Display has a painted portrait of each All-American displayed in the hallway leading to the Tunnel Walk entrance.

The Blackshirt Display explains the history behind Nebraska's top defensive units since the 1960s.

The Current Players-of-the-Game Display is updated after each game and is displayed in the Tunnel Walk hallway.

Second-Level (Football Floor) RED projects completed include:

The updated Players' Lounge for NU football players includes pictures honoring all current Huskers in the NFL, a tribute wall displaying Nebraska's many NFL traditions, and an interactive NFL kiosk, duplicating the information in the Traditions Lobby.

A football academic excellence display, including Nebraska's NCAA Top Eight Award winners-the Heisman of academic awards - is also featured on Level 2.

Lobby Hours for Public Viewing

Lobby hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except on game days when the lobby usually opens three hours prior to kickoff. The day of the spring game, the lobby will open at 9 a.m., as will the Husker Nation Pavilion.

The RED project was planned and designed by Husker Athletics. In addition to Daake Design and Great Plains Motion Picture Company mentioned above, the University of Nebraska Athletic Department also thanks these construction partners for their assistance in the Traditions Lobby and RED project: The Clark Enerson Partners, Glass Edge, Rogge Construction, SignCoEDS, and Structural Design Group.
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ESPN SPORT SCIENCE: VIDEO SHOWING SUH'S SPEED AND POWER...(Thanks to Shari for sending this along!)

Check this out - the man is a literal freight-train. Faster off the line than backs and receivers, and more powerful than any other NFL lineman they've measured (at 3200 ft/lbs of force).

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=5073955&categoryid=2378529

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HUSKER BASEBALL…

HUSKERS HOST JAYHAWKS THIS WEEKEND…(all times Central)

Kansas (20-13-1, 3-5-1 Big 12)
vs. Nebraska (17-16, 4-8 Big 12)

Friday, April 16 - 6:35 p.m.

Saturday, April 17 - 4:05 p.m.
Sunday, April 18 - 1:05 p.m.

This Week: Fresh off a shutout of Missouri Valley Conference leader Wichita State, the Huskers wrap up a busy week with Kansas coming to town for three games. Friday’s first pitch at Hawks Field is set for 6:35 p.m. with afternoon games slated for both Saturday (4:05 p.m.) and Sunday (1:05 p.m.). Saturday’s start has been pushed back two hours because of the spring game at Memorial Stadium. Sunday’s series finale will be televised statewide on NET Television and simulcast nationally on CBS College Sports Network with Kevin Kugler and Adrian Fiala on the call.

Video: Friday’s game will be available on HuskersNside, while Sunday’s game will be shown for free on Huskers.com. For both events, click on the Audio/Video tab on the top of the main page and go to live events.

Preview: Nebraska (17-16) snapped a two-game losing streak with a 14-0 victory over Wichita State Tuesday evening. Four hurlers combined on a two-hitter, while freshman Tyler Niederklein went five innings for his second win of the season. DJ Belfonte matched his career high with four RBIs to lead a 11-hit attack, while Adam Bailey belted his Big 12-leading 14th round tripper of the season. The Huskers, who will be looking for their first Big 12 series win in 2010, enter the weekend tied for eighth in the Big 12 standings. Kansas comes into the weekend following a 6-4 victory over Missouri State on Tuesday night. The Jayhawks were picked to finish second in the Big 12 race, but are in seventh place at 3-5-1 after being swept at Texas last weekend.

Baseball Schedule
Upcoming Events

4/16 BSB vs. Kansas
4/17 BSB vs. Kansas
4/18 BSB vs. Kansas
4/20 BSB @ Creighton
4/23 BSB @ Baylor
4/24 BSB @ Baylor
4/25 BSB @ Baylor
4/27 BSB vs. Iowa
4/30 BSB vs. Texas A&M
5/1   BSB vs. Texas A&M
5/2   BSB vs. Texas A&M
5/7   BSB vs. Southeast Missouri State
5/8   BSB vs. Southeast Missouri State
5/9   BSB vs. Southeast Missouri State
5/14 BSB @  Missouri

Recent Results

4/16 BSB Kansas
4/13 BSB Wichita State
                W , 14-0
4/11 BSB Kansas State
                 L , 3-8
4/10 BSB Kansas State
                 L , 5-13
4/9   BSB Kansas State
                W , 5-3
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HUSKER IN SPACE…(thanks Mac). Here are some photos of an astronaut who is also a Husker fan making the trip to the International Space Station for a resupply mission…

Git 'er done! With CDR Poindexter in the cupola with a shirt from Larry the Cable Guy. Go Big Red! http://twitpic.com/1g0bdh

Here I am floating in the hatch of the logistics module that we are bringing home҆in my favorite color! http://twitpic.com/1g0lwd
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HUSKER VOLLEYBALL TEAM TAKES ON ILLINOIS SATURDAY NIGHT…

Lincoln - With a full NU Coliseum and a top-10 opponent, it will seem more like fall than a spring exhibition match for the Nebraska Volleyball program when the Huskers take on Illinois Saturday night at 7 p.m.

Over 4,000 tickets have been sold as Saturday's attendance will easily shatter the previous spring best of 2,792, set in 2008 when the Huskers hosted Kentucky. NU Coliseum gates will open at 5:30 p.m. for Saturday's match.

In addition, the match will be carried exclusively on Huskers.com, as the Husker Sports Network will wrap up the busiest sports day of the year with their first-ever broadcast of a spring volleyball match. Matt Coatney and Diane Mendenhall will be on the call as the Huskers play their second of three spring matches this month.

For Nebraska volleyball fans, Saturday's match will be an early preview of the 2010 Huskers. Nebraska welcomes back six starters and 12 letterwinners from a team that went 26-7 and lost in the NCAA Regional final to NCAA runner-up Texas. Nebraska welcomes back six starters from last year, including two-time All-American setter Sydney Anderson and fellow AVCA All-Americans Brooke Delano and Tara Mueller. In addition, the Huskers also return Big 12 Freshman of the Year Hannah Werth along with right-side hitter Lindsey Licht and libero Kayla Banwarth.

While the Huskers will be at less than full strength this weekend (Lauren Cook will not play Saturday because of illness), Morgan Broekhuis is expected to see significant action in her NU Coliseum debut. A 6-foot-5 freshman from Colorado Springs, Colo., she was named the ESPN Rise National High School Player of the Year after leading Colorado Springs Christian to a 30-0 record. As a senior, she totaled .465 kills on .479 hitting and 411 assists in helping the school to its third straight state title. A two-time Gatorade Colorado player of the Year, Broekhuis was the nation's No. 2 recruit by Prepvolleyball.com in 2009.

The Huskers opened their spring campaign with a split at Arizona State, as the team agreed to play only four sets prior to the match.

Illinois, which will return to Lincoln this fall for the Ameritas Players Challenge weekend, will pose a tough test for the Huskers. The Fighting Illini went 26-6 last season and finished 10th in the final AVCA Coaches polls. Illinois, which has played spring matches against both Kentucky (L, 2-3) and Iowa State (W, 3-2), returns six of its top eight players from last year's NCAA Regional semifinalist. UI is led by first-team All-America outside hitter Laura DeBruler, who ranked 13th nationally in kills per set (4.50) last season.
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HUSKER GYMNASTS COMPETE IN NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS…

West Point, N.Y. - The Nebraska men's gymnastics team placed ninth overall at the 2010 NCAA Championships, while five Nebraska gymnasts will move on to compete in the event qualifier on Friday, April 16, at the Holleder Center at 6 p.m. Central in West Point, N.Y.

As a team, Nebraska made a tough push to move into the top-three team qualifiers. However, Nebraska posted a score of 343.100 as a team, which was not quite enough to make the top-six teams to vie for the 2010 NCAA Championship. The Huskers earned a fourth-place finish in the team qualifier, while earning a ninth-place finish in the championships. Michigan topped the qualifier with a score of 359.800, while Oklahoma placed second (356.400) and Cal placed third (355.000). Michigan, OU, California, Stanford, Illinois and Ohio State will all vie for the 2010 NCAA Championship title tomorrow night at 6 p.m. Central.

"We ended ninth as a team," Nebraska Coach Chuck Chmelka said. "We came in seeded 10th, so I think that's a nice improvement. We had to count one miss tonight and had a hit percentage of 77%. We got a little dinged up in warm-ups, which hurt us. I think we did pretty good. We'll just know that next year when we're competing against the best teams we need to stick our landings and be even more prepared."

Although Nebraska will not move on to the finals as a team, there will still be a strong Husker presence at Friday's competition. The top-three event finishers not on a team advancing to the team finals earn the right to continue on to the event qualifier on Friday night.

All-arounders Kyle Shanahan and Andreas Hofer both made the all-around finals and will vie for All-America honors on Friday, April 15, at 6 p.m. Central.

In addition, three other Huskers will represent Nebraska at the 2010 NCAA individual event qualifier, which will be held on Friday at 6 p.m. also. Ringmen Tony Maras and Anthony Ingrelli look to advance to Saturday's event finals on still rings, while senior Daniel Brule earned a spot in the event qualifier on parallel bars for the first time in his career. The event finals will be held on Saturday, April 17, at 6 p.m. Central.
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HUSKERS HOST MINNESOTA SATURDAY MORNING AT NEBRASKA SOCCER FIELD…

Lincoln - The Huskers wrap up the 2010 spring season this weekend as NU welcomes the Minnesota Golden Gophers to the Nebraska Soccer Field on Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. The match will be held during the Husker Nation Pavilion, which opens for the football team's Red/White Spring Game at 9 a.m. Following the morning match, the Huskers will bus to Omaha as they take on the Creighton Bluejays at 4:30 p.m.

Nebraska's return to Lincoln will be very welcoming, as the Huskers have been on the road for its 2010 spring season since late February, taking trips to Georgia, Arizona, Virginia and Wisconsin. The friendly confines of the Nebraska Soccer Field generally provide head coach John Walker's squad with one of the biggest home field advantages in the country. The Huskers have not lost at home since October 2008, including an unbeaten 9-0-2 mark in 2009.

The 2010 Huskers will be led by a pair of forwards in Morgan Marlborough and Molly Thomas. Marlborough, the 2009 Big 12 Offensive Player and Rookie of the Year, has been in Los Angeles over the past week as part of the U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team. Thomas, an All-Big 12 Second Team selection, is headed to Corvallis, Ore., next week to train with the U.S. Under-23 National Team. The duo combined for 29 goals and 14 assists last season as the Huskers finished with an 11-5-4 record and fourth-place finish in the Big 12 Conference. Nebraska returns a total of eight starters this coming fall.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers were 12-5-3 in 2009, narrowly missing a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The Creighton Bluejays finished last fall with a 13-6-2 record and came within one game of an automatic postseason berth, dropping the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title match to Illinois State, 1-0.
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HUSKER SOFTBALL SHUTS OUT JAYHAWKS, 2-0…

Lawrence, Kan. - The Nebraska softball team won its fourth straight road game on Wednesday, as the Huskers traveled to Lawrence, Kan., and blanked the Kansas Jayhawks, 2-0, at Arrocha Ballpark.

The win was also the Huskers' fifth straight overall and eighth victory in the last nine games. Nebraska improved to 25-17 on the year and moved to 4-3 in Big 12 Conference play with its fourth straight conference victory.

Junior right-hander Robin Mackin (11-9) earned the win, scattering seven hits over five innings of work. She added seven strikeouts and walked two. Sophomore right-hander Ashley Hagemann notched her fourth save of the season and her third over the last week. Hagemann pitched the final 2.0 innings, working around a pair of singles, while striking out four. As a staff, Nebraska has now thrown 18.1 scoreless innings, all in conference play.

Alex Jones (5-6) took the loss, allowing two runs on six hits in 5.0 innings. She struck out one and walked two, while hitting a pair of batters.

Despite only two runs being scored in the game, both teams had plenty of scoring chances. The teams combined to strand 19 runners on base, including 11 by the Jayhawks. Kansas out-hit Nebraska 9-7, although four of the Huskers' seven hits were doubles.

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