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Huskers Picked Second in Big Ten Preseason Poll

The Nebraska volleyball team was picked to finish second in the Big Ten Preseason Poll selected by the conference's 14 head coaches. After winning the Big Ten Championship last year, the Huskers were picked behind only Penn State.

Junior outside hitter Mikaela Foecke and senior setter Kelly Hunter were named to the preseason All-Big Ten team. Hunter was an All-Big Ten setter last year while Foecke received honorable mention. Foecke and Minnesota setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson were the only players to earn a unanimous selection to the preseason team.

Behind Penn State and Nebraska in the poll, Minnesota, Michigan State and Wisconsin rounded out the top five. Purdue was sixth and Michigan was seventh. In the bottom half, Ohio State, Illinois and Iowa were voted Nos. 8, 9 and 10, respectively. Maryland, Northwestern, Indiana and Rutgers finished out the poll. Nebraska will play six of its first eight Big Ten matches against teams picked to finish in the top six in the conference.

The Huskers will hold their annual Red/White Scrimmage on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. Tickets are for sale here.

2017 BIG TEN PRESEASON POLL

  1. Penn State
  2. Nebraska
  3. Minnesota
  4. Michigan State
  5. Wisconsin
  6. Purdue
  7. Michigan
  8. Ohio State
  9. Illinois
  10. Iowa
  11. Maryland
  12. Northwestern
  13. Indiana
  14. Rutgers

2017 PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN VOLLEYBALL TEAM

 Ali Bastianelli, Illinois, Jr., MB
Jordyn Poulter, Illinois, Jr., S
Claire Kieffer-Wright, Michigan, Sr., MB
Alyssa Garvelink, Michigan State, Sr., MB
Alexis Hart, Minnesota, So., OH
Molly Lohman, Minnesota, Sr., MB
*Samantha Seliger-Swenson, Minnesota, Jr., S
*Mikaela Foecke, Nebraska. Jr., OH
Kelly Hunter, Nebraska, Sr., S
Ali Frantti, Penn State, Sr., OH
Simone Lee, Penn State, Sr., OH
Haleigh Washington, Penn State, Sr., MB
Danielle Cuttino, Purdue, Sr., OH
Molly Haggerty, Wisconsin, So., OH
Tionna Williams, Wisconsin, Jr., MB
* - unanimous selection

 


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Defense Brings Confidence in 3-4 Scheme

Lincoln, Neb. --- The Nebraska football team practiced for just over two hours on Tuesday outside the Hawks Championship Center on the Ed and Joyanne Gass practice fields in full pads and helmets.

Defensive Coordinator Bob Diaco addressed the media after practice, commenting on the previous scrimmages and the defense’s improvement.

“Everything is positive,” Diaco said. “Every coach is improving. Every player on defense is getting better. We’re a work in progress. We have a whole bunch of players that have never participated in the games but they’re getting ready. They’re working, they’re giving everything they possibly have to give. They are really embracing that and coming to work. No one is disappointed.”

Diaco touched on the uniqueness of the new defensive scheme and how it will bring a sound defense.

“We’re on our own system,” Diaco said. “We built it and 3-4 is a component and a building block and a piece. Like all strong foundations there are other pieces. We’re pleased with where we’re at as it relates to the [installation]. We are about players and players playing the plays. If we can care for each other really well and be fundamentally sound as a position, as a player and then ultimately as a sound defense with our principles, we believe we can defend.”

Coach Diaco mentioned the vital roles of the defensive staff on games days. Diaco will be in the press box relying on the defensive staff on the sideline for communication.

“The defensive staff will [work] to perform at a high level on game day,” Diaco said. “Everybody has a role. We practice those roles. We don’t just talk about the roles. Everybody knows what the roles are in detail and we’llpractice several instances of those roles being executed.”

On sophomore Caleb Lightbourn, Diaco sees improvement and discipline.

“He’s (Caleb Lightbourn) becoming more consistent,” Diaco said. “He’s maturing. He takes accountability more and is coachable. He really spends time inspecting his movement and the things that went wrong. [He] spends time and discipline trying to [make a habit of] his movements. You don’t want to have a lot of moving parts. So you try to duplicate the same thing over and over again. He’s very critical of that sweet spot, that movement that he needs to be in that grove. We’re working hard at it and he is to.”

Diaco discusses his thoughts on the linebackers’ confidence and how it is built.

“You’d be hopeful that a completive mindset is being built that’s real,” Diaco said. “Not false bravado, not fake nonsense, but one that’s real. You work, you do the work, you put the work in and you prepare yourself to try to create an environment that the contest is going to be like and you perform - it should build confidence. Playing in a game is what really becomes a catalyst for this positive spiral upward of habit, preparation, expectation, mindset, confidence and on and on up.”

The Huskers are back on the practice field on Wednesday morning as they wrap up their last before school starts. Check huskers.com for more information.


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Bob Jensen-high school football preview

Grand Island - High school football is back on the KRGI Sports Network starting on Friday, August 25th. Listen to Grand Island on Thunder 99.7 FM. Grand Island Central Catholic on KRGI 1430 AM/106.9 FM. Northwest on 2DAYFM 103.1 FM. Aurora on The Wolf 97.3 FM. St. Paul on Country 96.5 FM. Matt Williams with the KRGI Sports Network caught up with Bob Jensen editor, and publisher of Huskerland Prep magazine, to talk about the up coming season. 

 

Bob Jensen Football Preview


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ADIDAS AND UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA RENEW THEIR LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIP WITH A FOCUS ON COLLABORATION AND CREATIVITY

PORTLAND, Ore. August 11, 2017 – adidas and the University of Nebraska have renewed its long-term apparel and footwear partnership with a heightened collaborative commitment to drive the future of sport and athlete performance. The news falls on the heels of several recent adidas partnership announcements including the National Hockey League (NHL), USA Volleyball, USA Rugby and most recently, Major League Soccer (MLS). The agreement echoes the original terms, in which adidas continues to provide footwear, uniforms, apparel and accessories to the Huskers in all 24 of its varsity sports in the Big Ten Conference. Building on the success of its existing relationship, the new partnership is grounded in the belief that collegiate athletics has great influence over young athletes, the campus, and communities. “College athletics is the heart of sport in America,” said Mark King, president of adidas North America. “With Nebraska, we’re not only focused on products for athletes – we’re looking at the entire world of sport. Through innovation and creativity, we’re finding new ways to move athlete performance forward and shape the future of sport. We’re turning the traditional college partnership on its head and reimagining how a sportswear brand and a college can work together.” One shared goal that Nebraska and adidas are focused on is to make athletes better – all through the work of the state-of- the-art Nebraska Athlete Performance Laboratory (NAPL) to drive the future of sport and athlete performance. Through collaboration, adidas and Nebraska are evaluating new ways of serving the holistic needs of the athlete through product innovation, services and experiences. The 20,000 square-foot NAPL houses cutting-edge technology, including a motion-analysis system, force plates, metabolic testing, IDXA scanner, which is considered the “gold standard” in body composition testing, research-grade ultrasound and bioscience laboratory. The NAPL allows researchers space to conduct advanced research on everything from the biomechanics of elite athletes to athletic and nutrition supplements to biomarkers that measure saliva and recovery time to cardiovascular research to athletic equipment research in footwear, apparel and hardgoods design. "The University of Nebraska and adidas have been tremendous partners for more than two decades and we are thrilled that it will continue for years to come,” Nebraska Director of Athletics, Shawn Eichorst said. “We share core values, a passion for elite performance, competitive excellence, and innovative approaches to technology. We are honored that our programs will continue to be outfitted with world-class adidas footwear, equipment and apparel. Nebraska Athletics and adidas will continue to flourish together, and our boundaries of success are limitless." The new partnership is for 11 years, through June 30, 2028. adidas and the University of Nebraska have been partners since 1995. About adidas: Adidas is a global designer and developer of athletic and lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories with the mission to be the best sports brand in the world. As an innovation and design leader, adidas engineers the best in high-performance products to make athletes better, faster and stronger and creates a range of classic and fresh lifestyle and high-fashion lines.

 


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Huskers Announce 2017-18 Non-Conference Schedule

Lincoln - A December showdown with Kansas at Pinnacle Bank Arena, a tournament in Florida and a pair of conference challenges highlight Nebraska’s 2017-18 scheduled released Wednesday.

“Our non-conference schedule is very strong again this season,” Nebraska Coach Tim Miles said. “We design our schedule with the idea that we want to earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament. We have great home games and challenging road games, but I'm excited to put our team to the test. I think it will prepare us well for conference play.”

The 13-game non-conference slate is highlighted by Kansas’ first trip to Lincoln since 2011, as the Huskers will host the Jayhawks on Saturday, Dec. 16 in the Shelter Insurance Showcase. The Jayhawks are coming off a season where they went 31-5, won the Big 12 regular-season title for the 13th straight season and reached the Elite Eight before losing to Oregon. KU’s trip to Lincoln will be the first by a Big 12 team since the Huskers joined the Big Ten in 2011-12.

Nebraska’s trip to Orlando for the Advocare Invitational includes a strong field, including first-round opponent UCF, which won 24 games and reached the semifinals of the NIT. NU could potentially run into West Virginia in the semifinals. The Mountaineers went 28-9, placed second in the Big 12 and reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2017. The other teams in the field include Missouri, Oregon State, St. John’s, Marist and Long Beach State.

As previously announced, Nebraska will travel to St. John’s for the Gavitt Tipoff Games on Thursday, Nov. 16, and will host Boston College on Wednesday, Nov. 29 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. It is the second appearance for NU in the Gavitt Games and the first since 2015-16. It is the first time NU has played either St. John’s or Boston College.

In all, four of Nebraska’s non-conference opponents (Kansas, Creighton, North Dakota and UCF) reached postseason play in 2016-17.

The Huskers will open the 2017-18 campaign with home games against Eastern Illinois on Saturday, Nov. 11, and North Texas on Monday, Nov. 13. Eastern Illinois is coached by Jay Spoonhour, the son of former Husker basketball assistant Charlie Spoonhour and returns four starters. It will mark the first meeting between the schools since 2000 and the seventh all-time matchup between the schools. The meeting with North Texas will be the first for the Huskers since the 2006-07 season, as the Mean Green is led by first-year Head Coach Grant McCasland.

After the trip to St. John’s, the Huskers return to host a North Dakota squad which won 22 games and reached the NCAA Division I Tournament for the first time in program history after winning the Big Sky Tournament. The Nov. 19 matchup is the fourth between the two programs and the first since 2010-11 campaign.

The Huskers will close November and begin December with a tough stretch, hosting Boston College before starting Big Ten play with two games. Dates and opponents for the conference matchups will be announced at a later date.

Nebraska returns to non-conference action with the annual matchup against Creighton on Dec. 9 in Omaha, as the Bluejays went 25-10 and reached the NCAA Tournament. The Bluejays return a pair of starters, including senior guard Marcus Foster. The matchup with the Bluejays begins a stretch of back-to-back games against NCAA Tournament teams, as the Huskers will host Kansas on Dec. 16 after final exams.

NU will close non-conference play with home matchups against UTSA (Dec. 20), Delaware State (Dec. 22) and Stetson (Dec. 29). The matchups with UTSA and Stetson will bring a pair of former Big Eight standouts back to Lincoln. UTSA is coached by Steve Henson, who played at Kansas State in the late 1980s, while Stetson coach Corey Williams led Oklahoma State to a pair of NCAA Sweet 16 appearances in 1991 and 1992.


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Huskers Ranked No. 5 in AVCA Preseason Poll

The Nebraska volleyball team will begin the 2017 season at No. 5 in the AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll, which was released on Wednesday.

The Huskers totaled 1,313 points in the poll to earn a top-five preseason ranking for the third straight season. Texas took the No. 1 spot with 25 first-place votes, while defending national champion Stanford earned the No. 2 ranking despite having the most first-place votes, 35. Washington and Minnesota were ranked third and fourth, respectively, each receiving two first-place votes.

The Huskers, who finished 31-3 last year and reached the NCAA semifinals for a second straight year, will open the season against No. 18 Oregon at the VERT Challenge in Gainesville, Florida on Friday, Aug. 25. NU will also face No. 12 Florida on Saturday, Aug. 26 in Gainesville.

If the Huskers are to repeat as Big Ten Champions for the first time since joining the conference in 2011, they will have to navigate a loaded Big Ten Conference once again. Eight Big Ten teams are ranked in the preseason poll - more than any other conference - and four teams are ranked in the top seven (No. 4 Minnesota, No. 5 Nebraska, No. 6 Penn State, No. 7 Wisconsin). Nebraska has 14 matches scheduled against preseason top-25 teams, and 10 of its first 18 matches will be against ranked opponents.

Nebraska will hold its annual Red/White Scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.


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Huskers Sign Thorir Thorbjarnarson

Lincoln - University of Nebraska Basketball Coach Tim Miles announced the signing of Thorir Thorbjarnarson (pronounced Thor-EAR thorb-YAR-nar-son) to play basketball at Nebraska beginning with the 2017-18 season.

Thorbjarnarson, a 6-foot-5, 180-pound guard from Akureyri, Iceland, has been playing in the top professional league in Iceland and in his country’s national team program for the past three seasons.

“Thorir is Iceland’s version of Manu Ginobili, as he is a crafty left-hander with a high basketball IQ and terrific skill level,” Nebraska Coach Tim Miles said. “His opportunities to play with older players in the pro leagues and in international competition will help him a great deal as he adjusts to this level. Ali Farokemanish started recruiting him months ago when he was on our staff, and we continued to follow his progress throughout the summer. He also comes from an outstanding family, and we are excited to have Thorir join our Husker basketball program.”

He recently played for the Iceland U-20 National Team at the U-20 World Championships in Greece, averaging 7.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.7 steals per game. At the 2016 FIBA U-18 European Championships, Thorbjarnarson was the third-leading scorer in the tournament, averaging 19.6 points per game, including a 39-point effort and three other 30-point games. He also chipped in 6.3 rebounds, 1.8 sand 4.9 steals per game

Thorbjarnarson played for KR Reykjavik in the Icelandic League last year, averaging 10.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game for a team that went 26-8 and won the league championship in the top pro league in the country. He shot 53 percent from the field, including 38 percent from 3-point range last winter. His team has won the title in each of the past three seasons.

Thorbjarnarson also considered Utah, Drake and UMass before signing with Nebraska.


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Veteran Lopers Lead MIAA Preseason Poll

Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska-Kearney volleyball team has been picked first in the 2017 MIAA preseason coaches' poll.

The poll was released today in conjunction with virtual media day.

The four teams that perennial are atop the MIAA standings occupy the first four spots and are separated by just 22 points. The group consists of UNK (120 points; 10 first place votes), Central Oklahoma (105; one first place), Washburn (101; one first place) and Central Missouri (98).

Northwest Missouri State (77) and Fort Hays State (62) are fifth and sixth, respectively.

 

Kearney hosts Washburn on September 22nd and then UCM (Oct. 13) and UCO (Nov. 4) later in the season. The Lopers have to visit Topeka and Edmond but not Warrensburg this fall.

In 2016, UNK won the MIAA regular season (17-1) and tournament titles. Washburn (16-2) was second in the regular season and fell to the Lopers in the MIAA tourney finals.

 

Head coach Rick Squiers has five starters and a libero back from a squad that went 35-2 in 2016 and finished the year ranked fifth nationally. UNK is aiming to make a 19th straight NCAA Tournament; only the University of Tampa has a longer active streak (29 years).

Kearney begins fall camp on Monday, August 14th with the season opener set for September 2nd in Hawaii. The preseason AVCA national D2 poll will be released on August 14th.


1. Nebraska-Kearney (10) 120
2. Central Oklahoma (1) 105
3. Washburn (1) 101
4. Central Missouri 98
5. Northwest Missouri State 77
6. Fort Hays State 62
7. Missouri Western State 57
8. Emporia State 55
9. Lindenwood 49
10. Pittsburg State 35
11. Missouri Southern State 18
12. Southwest Baptist 15


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Offense Progressing and Moving Forward

Lincoln, Neb. --- The Nebraska football team completed its fifth day of fall camp on Thursday, practicing outside the Hawks Championship Center on the Ed and Joyanne Gass practice fields for just over two hours. The Huskers practiced in helmets and full pads for the first time this fall.

Offensive Coordinator Danny Langsdorf addressed the media after practice.

“We’ve thrown a lot at them, mostly review and a couple tweaks,” Langsdorf said. “For the most part, they’ve handled it pretty well. As a group we’re way further along than the last couple of years. The experience with some of the veteran guys has been able to push that thing ahead quickly and it’s looked pretty good.”

Langsdorf briefly touched on the new additions and how they’ve progressed.

“In general as a group, the veteran guys have been able to challenge them a little bit,” Langsdorf said. “There are a few new faces, you talk about [quarterback] Tanner [Lee] being a new guy but he’s been around all last year. He hadn’t played much for us but he’s been around. We’ve been able to challenge those guys with a lot of information. They’ve responded well.”

Langsdorf also commented on the running back group.

“It’s been a good rotation between [Mikale] Wilbon and [Devine] Ozigbo,” he said. “We’ve been able to get Jaylin Bradley some work and that’s been kind of fun to see. [Tre] Bryant has gotten a lot of good reps. There’s a fuller four-man rotation there, which is heavy but I like the way we’ve been able to hit some inside runs. They’ve increased a few things. Jaylin Bradley has done really well at catching the ball in the backfield which has been fun to see. We’ve got some good, hard runs from Tre [Bryant] and Devine [Ozigbo]. As a whole, it’s a good group, really solid group.”

Langsdorf made additional comments regarding freshman Jaylin Bradley.

“He’s really athletic and talented, which has stood out to me,” Langsdorf said. “He has a ways to go and understanding what we’re doing but he’s working on it. When he has the ball in his hands, he’s explosive and fun to see. He’s had a couple of really nice runs, a lot of screening and came out of the backfield nicely, so he’s doing a good job of showing what he has talent wise. He just has to continue to learn but he’s been pushing this group. It’s been fun seeing how quickly he’s picked it up.”

The Huskers take tomorrow off, but will be back on the practice field on Saturday morning as they continue their first week of training camp. Check huskers.com for more information.


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Defense Locked in to Fall Camp

Lincoln, Neb. --- The Nebraska football team completed its second day of fall camp on Tuesday, practicing outside the Hawks Championship Center on the Ed and Joyanne Gass practice fields in helmets and jerseys for just over two hours.

Defensive coordinator Bob Diaco addressed the media after practice.

"The guys are on fire for what they're doing. It's very important to them," Diaco said of the defense's focus. "They stay focused, they come to the meetings prepared, and they're able to translate the information from the meeting to the field."

On Chris Jones' injury, Diaco stated "How I felt was sad for Chris. I know Chris will be fine, Chris just has a process of time, but he'll be good as new soon enough. I feel badly that he was preparing very hard for him, but he'll be back 100 percent surely."

Diaco commented on the progress of Nebraska’s group of cornerbacks, including sophomores Eric Lee Jr. and Lamar Jackson.

"They're all working hard. We're very excited," Diaco said of the cornerbacks. "There's a lot to still do and evaluate, but the guys are working hard."

Senior Joshua Kalu is lining up at safety in 2017, after working at cornerback in his first three seasons. Diaco commented on Kalu’s natural ability at numerous positions.

"Joshua Kalu could play a myriad of different positions really, really well. We all collectively believe safety is his natural position. He would be a very good corner, maybe even a great corner, but there is no doubt in my mind that he is, and or will be, one of the best safeties in the country, if not the very best safety in the country."

"The safeties are our quarterback," Diaco said of the importance of the position. "When the safeties talk, everybody listens and they have that in our group. Their expectation is that much with our group."

On the defensive line, Diaco said "With Mick (Stoltenberg), there have been strides there intangibly. He's really developing as a leader for the unit, if not the team. Really appropriate sights and sounds, and that's consistent, that's day to day. He's cleaned up his fundamentals, he's improved in all areas."

The Huskers are back on the practice field on Wednesday morning as they continue their first week of training camp.


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