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Lincoln - The Nebraska women’s basketball team will face a loaded nine-game Big Ten home schedule this season, beginning with its league opener against defending conference tournament champion Iowa on Saturday, Dec. 28.

Nebraska’s Big Ten tip-off against the Hawkeyes, who advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight a year ago, was the first of 18 conference dates for the Huskers announced by the Big Ten office and the Big Ten Network on Friday as part of the unveiling of the league-wide men’s and women’s basketball schedules for 2019-20.

No game times or television information were announced for any conference games. Those designations will come from the Big Ten at a later date.

Season tickets for Nebraska women’s basketball are on sale now at Huskers.com/Tickets and by calling 800-8-BIG-RED during regular business hours Monday-Friday at the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office. Reserved season tickets are just $180 for the Huskers’ 18-game home schedule.

After opening Big Ten play at home against the Hawkeyes, the Huskers will hit the road for a New Year’s Eve clash with another 2019 NCAA Tournament team when they face Michigan State in East Lansing. The Spartans advanced to the NCAA Second Round last season.

The Huskers open January at home with back-to-back games against Minnesota (Jan. 4) and Wisconsin (Jan. 9) before back-to-back road games at 2019 NCAA Tournament teams Rutgers (Jan. 12) and Maryland (Jan. 16). The Big Red then return home for games against 2019 NCAA qualifier Michigan (Jan. 19) and Purdue (Jan. 22).

Nebraska closes January much like it opens the month, with back-to-back games against Wisconsin (Jan. 25) and Minnesota (Jan. 30) - this time on the road - to complete season series with the Badgers and Golden Gophers.

The Huskers will play three of their first four games in February at Pinnacle Bank Arena, beginning with a battle against Ohio State (Feb. 2), before facing 2019 NCAA Tournament qualifier Indiana (Feb. 9) and Penn State (Feb. 13). Those three home games surround a road trip to Iowa City to complete the season series against the Hawkeyes (Feb. 6).

Nebraska closes the regular season with three of its final four games on the road, starting with trips to Northwestern (Feb. 16) and Ohio State (Feb. 19), before closing regular-season home action against Illinois on Saturday, Feb. 22. The game against the Fighting Illini will mark Senior Day for Huskers Nicea Eliely, Kristian Hudson, Grace Mitchell and Hannah Whitish.

The Big Red will conclude the regular season with a road trip to Bloomington to complete the regular-season series with Indiana (Feb. 27), before returning to the Hoosier State for the Big Ten Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis (March 4-8).

Coach Amy Williams, who enters her fourth season at the helm of the Huskers, returns five starters and each of the team’s top seven scorers from a year ago. The 2018 Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year will lead a team that features three-year starters in seniors Nicea Eliely and Hannah Whitish along with returning starters in juniors Kate Cain and Taylor Kissinger. A strong group of four sophomores also returns for the Huskers, including Leigha Brown, Sam Haiby, Ashtyn Veerbee, and returning starter Kayla Mershon, who each played in all 30 games for Nebraska in 2018-19.




Lincoln – Five weekend Big Ten home games, including matchups with Purdue, Indiana and Wisconsin, highlight Nebraska's 2019-20 men's basketball conference schedule released Friday morning.

The five home games include the Big Ten home opener against Elite Eight qualifier Purdue on Sunday, Dec. 15, as well as contests with Indiana (Jan. 18), Penn State (Feb. 1),  Wisconsin (Feb. 15) and Northwestern (March 1).

The 20-game slate begins with a pair of conference matchups in mid-December, as Nebraska will open Big Ten play at Indiana on Friday, Dec. 13, before hosting Elite Eight qualifier Purdue two days later.

Following non-conference action, the Huskers open 2020 at Pinnacle Bank Arena with matchups against Rutgers (Jan. 3) and Iowa (Jan. 7).  The remainder of January features home games with Indiana (Jan. 18) and Michigan (Jan. 28). The meeting with the Wolverines will feature the Big Ten's newest head coaches in NU's Fred Hoiberg and Michigan's Juwan Howard. The rest of NU's January schedule includes road tilts at Northwestern (Jan. 11), Ohio State (Jan. 14), Wisconsin (Jan. 21) and Rutgers (Jan. 25).

The February slate is highlighted by a visit by Final Four qualifier Michigan State, which will be likely open the season as the No. 1 team in the country, on Thursday, Feb. 20. It is one of three home games against NCAA qualifiers that month, as NU also hosts Wisconsin (Feb. 15) and Ohio State (Feb. 27) as well as Penn State (Feb. 1). NU also makes road trips to Iowa (Feb. 8), Maryland and Illinois (Feb. 24) in February.
NU's only home game in March is a Senior Day matchup with Northwestern on March 1, before the Huskers close out Big Ten play at Michigan (March 5) and Minnesota (March 8). The Big Ten Tournament takes place at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis from March 11-15.

Start times and television information for all Big Ten games and non-conference matchups will be announced at a later date. All of the Huskers' Big Ten games, as well as the 2020 Big Ten Tournament, will be televised by one of the conference television partners, as the Big Ten has contracts with FOX Sports (Fox and FS1), ESPN (ESPN and ESPN2), CBS as well as BTN.

Season tickets for the 2019-20 season are completely sold out, while details on any remaining single-game tickets, including games over Holiday break, will be announced at a later date on Huskers.com/Tickets.




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The Grand Island Senior High Softball team split with Lincoln East in the 2019 season opener. Alondra Martinez went the distance in the opener as the Islanders held on 4-3. Rya Chavez went 2-3. Stacy Wells scored a run and knocked in another. Andrea Palma homered

Lincoln East scored four runs in the second inning of game two on the way to a 9-1 run-rule win. 

The Islanders host Norfolk on Saturday. 

Listen to the postgame with KC Hehnke

GICC pounded Columbus Lakeview 14-2 in three innings. The Crusaders will be at the York tourney on Saturday.

Northwest opens the season, hosting a triangular with state ranked Hastings and Beatrice on Saturday. Get a preview of the Vikings from Jake Ritzdorf




KC Hehnke

Jake Ritzdorf

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The Nebraska volleyball team begins another season with the annual Red-White Scrimmage this Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Devaney Center. As of Thursday morning, a limited number of tickets and standing-room only are still available and can be purchased at Huskers.com/tickets. The Husker players will sign autographs following the scrimmage on the northwest concourse of the Devaney Center. 

The match will be broadcast on Husker Sports Network radio affiliates, including 107.3 FM in Lincoln and AM 590 in Omaha. A live audio stream will be provided at Huskers.com, on the official Huskers app and the TuneIn app. John Baylor is in his 26th season doing play-by-play for the Husker volleyball program. Lauren (Cook) West, a former All-America setter for the Huskers, will provide color commentary. 

Nebraska is coming off its fourth straight NCAA Semifinals appearance and returns 10 players from its 2018 NCAA runner-up squad. For the first time in school history, the Huskers will have no seniors on their roster. 

All-American Stivrins and Setter Hames Lead Huskers into 2019 Season
• Nebraska's two captains for the season are All-America junior middle blocker Lauren Stivrins and sophomore setter Nicklin Hames, who was an All-Big Ten Freshman pick and earned All-America honorable mention in 2018. The young duo will guide a Nebraska team that has no seniors on its roster for the first time in program history. 
• Stivrins, a Scottsdale, Arizona native, had a breakout sophomore season to earn first-team All-Big Ten and first-team AVCA All-America honors. She averaged 2.36 kills per set and had a hitting percentage of .421, the third-highest mark in school history and the No. 3 mark in the nation last season. As a junior in 2019, Stivrins will aim to hunt down Tracy Stalls' single-season school-record hitting percentage of .473 in 2007.
• Stivrins was selected to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team in 2018 after a career-high 19 kills on .615 hitting in the championship match against No. 1 Stanford. 
• Hames, a sophomore from Maryville, Tennessee, set the Huskers to the NCAA Championship match as a true freshman. She finished the season with 10.49 assists per set and 3.32 digs per set, along with 40 service aces, second-most on the team. 
• Hames had 25 double-doubles during the 2018 season, which broke Jordan Larson's school record for double-doubles. She tallied a career-best 62 assists in the NCAA final against Stanford with 12 digs.

"29,029" and "To Be Continued..."
• The 2019 Nebraska volleyball team has taken on two mantras for the season: 29,029 and To Be Continued...
• 29,029 is the elevation in feet of Mount Everest. The Huskers, who nearly reached the peak of college volleyball in 2018 before coming up three points short against Stanford, are using the memory of that defeat to motivate them in 2019. The Huskers will play 29 regular-season matches, and Head Coach John Cook said the hardest part of climbing Mount Everest is the final 29 feet. "Many people say the elevation is 29,000 feet, forgetting the final 29 feet. We got to that 29,000 (in 2018). We didn't get that last 29 feet. All the bad things happen in the last 29 feet. People mentally let go, they're exhausted, they get stuck. Our whole theme is we've got to figure out how to get the last 29 feet." 
• The Huskers also have a team slogan of "To Be Continued..." in 2019. The slogan references the Huskers continuing what they couldn't quite finish in 2018 - winning an NCAA Championship. It also means carrying on the recent success of the program (four straight NCAA Semifinals appearances) and preparing to bring back the entire team for the 2020 season. The Huskers have no seniors on their roster for the first time in program history. 

Foecke and Maloney Leave Big Shoes to Fill
• This year, the Huskers will be without two players who led the program to four straight final fours from 2015-18 in Mikaela Foecke and Kenzie Maloney. The All-Americans both graduated, leaving big production to replace at outside hitter and libero. Foecke and Maloney won two NCAA titles, two Big Ten titles and won more postseason matches than any other player in Husker history. 
• Stivrins and Hames are among 10 returning players who will be counted on to step up for the Huskers. Juniors Lexi Sun and Jazz Sweet return to lead the Huskers on the pins, and sophomore Callie Schwarzenbach is back after breaking the Nebraska freshman record for blocks last season with 177. Sophomore hitter Capri Davis played a big role last year coming off the bench, and sophomore Megan Miller and junior Hayley Densberger both have a plethora of experience in the back row. 
• A group of six freshmen will help offset the loss of the most decorated senior class in school history. Three of the six newcomers - outside hitter Madi Kubik, middle blocker Riley Zuhn, libero Kenzie Knuckles - were PrepVolleyball.com All-Americans and ranked among the top 40 prospects in the 2019 class. The Huskers' incoming class was ranked No. 2 by PrepVolleyball.com.  

Huskers Visit Asia in Summer of 2019
• The Nebraska volleyball team took a 17-day trip to Japan and China over the summer. The Huskers took on top professional teams from the two countries during the trip, winning about half of the sets they played. Head Coach John Cook called it "by far the best" of the five trips his teams have taken to Asia in his 20 years at Nebraska.
• In addition to the highly competitive matches, the Huskers also toured numerous sites in Asia, including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall of China. With six newcomers and no seniors on the roster for the 2019 season, the trip was a great opportunity for the team to bond on and off the court, a team that will spend the next two years playing together. 
• The NCAA allows a team to take a foreign trip every four years, and Cook has made it a habit to take his team to Asia. Previous trips have usually paid off with successful seasons. In the last four seasons following a Cook-led foreign trip, Nebraska has responded by winning three conference titles and two national championships.
• Cook took his first team to Asia prior to the 2000 season, his first as Nebraska's head coach. The Huskers responded with a 34-0 season and the program's second national championship.
• In 2006, Cook took his team back to Asia and the results were the same: another national championship. The Huskers went 33-1 following their international trip and capped the national title with a 3-1 victory over Stanford in front of 17,209 fans at the Qwest Center in Omaha.
• Nebraska went back to Asia in 2010. Although NU did not win the national title that year, it did put together a 29-3 season that included a Big Ten title. Nebraska took a No. 3 ranking into the NCAA Tournament but was upset in a four-set loss at No. 11 Washington in the NCAA Regional Semifinal. 
• The Huskers' last Asia trip in 2014 with only one senior was followed by a 23-10 season. But the following year saw that young group go on to win the program's fourth national title. 

Nebraska Fans Continue Record-Setting Consecutive Sellout Streak
• Nebraska volleyball holds an NCAA women's record 253 consecutive regular-season sellouts. 
• Nebraska led the nation in attendance in 2018 for the sixth straight year since moving into the Bob Devaney Sports Center in 2013, averaging 8,205 fans per match.  
• Nebraska has ranked in the top three nationally in attendance every season since 1990 (28 straight seasons).

Huskers Ranked No. 2 in AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll
• Nebraska is ranked No. 2 in the AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll. NU began and ended last season at No. 2.
• The Huskers have been ranked No. 1 in 99 all-time polls, the most in NCAA history.
• The Huskers have been ranked in the top 10 a total of 487 times, which is also the most in NCAA history.
• Nebraska has appeared in all 542 AVCA Coaches Polls since it was established in 1982. Nebraska and Stanford are the only two programs to be ranked in every poll all-time.

AVCA Hall of Fame Head Coach John Cook Enters 20th Season at Nebraska
• Nebraska head coach John Cook is in his 20th season as the Nebraska volleyball head coach in 2019. He has led the Huskers to four national championships, nine final fours, 12 conference championships and 17 top-10 final rankings since 2000. Cook has 721 career wins and is one of the all-time winningest coaches in NCAA history. 
• Since taking over the program in 2000, Cook has led the Huskers to a nation-leading .881 win percentage in that time (560-76). 
• Under Cook, the Huskers have achieved 55 AVCA All-Americans and 19 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, both among the best in the nation. He is a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year, earning the prestigious honor in 2000 and 2005, and a seven-time conference coach of the year, including Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2016 and 2017, his first and second Big Ten honors with the Huskers in their Big Ten era (2011-present).
• Cook is one of only four active coaches - and one of six all-time - to be a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year and was honored in 2008 by USA Volleyball, receiving its All-Time Great Coach Award.
• Cook was inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame in 2017, joining former Husker volleyball coach Terry Pettit in the hall. 
• Cook became the ninth active Division I head coach to reach 700 career wins in 2018.




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Local High School Golf teams open the season today. GICC and Northwest are at the Central City Scramble. Grand Island Senior High is hosting a triangular at Jackrabbit run. Here's a preview of the Crusaders. 



GICC Golf Coach Dee Hanssen

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The Grand Island Senior High Softball Team tangles with Lincoln East to open the 2019 season. Pre-game 4:45 on Thunder 99.7 and www.thunder997.com. Let's hear from a couple of the seniors. 



Stacy Wells

Rya Chavez

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Lincoln, Neb. -- The Nebraska football team practiced for just over two hours Wednesday morning inside the Hawks Championship Center and outside on the Ed and Joyanne Gass practice fields, concluding practice with a brief walk-through on Tom Osborne Field in Memorial Stadium.

Offensive Coordinator Troy Walters spoke with the media after the conclusion of practice and talked about if he sees any separation in the wide receivers he coaches.

"Yeah we're putting guys in different situations,” Walters said. “Playing a lot of guys in different positions because we want that depth. This past week we've had a couple of scrimmages, a couple of game day simulations just to see how guys react. Definitely guys are separating themselves but I feel good about the depth that we have. I feel good about the guys understanding the offense so that we can move guys around, JD Spielman doesn't always have to play in the slot, we can move him outside if we need him. So we're very pleased with how things are coming and the depth of the group."

Walters went on to discuss how deep he would like to have his group on game days.

"You'd like to be at least two deeps, so that gives you six,” Walters said. You'd like to have six to seven guys that you believe in, that you can put in at anytime. One of the focuses this season is playing fast and selling out so I don't want guys to hold things in and be on cruise control because they're tired. They don't want to get tired. We want guys to go full speed and when you get tired we'll sub and get some other guys in and we feel like we have some depth where we can get guys in and play just as fast. We'd like to play six, seven, maybe eight."

Walters also commented on how the true freshmen have fared doing during camp.

"They're doing a good job,” he said. “What I'm pleased with is some of the other guys that have stepped up. So they've made it harder for those freshmen, they kind of ‘overshined’ the freshmen. They've done a good job but some of the other guys, (Jaevon) Mcquitty, Mike Williams, Andre Hunt have stepped up and their game and are doing well. The freshmen, they have a battle on their hands, but they've stepped up we'd like for them to play this season, get some experience under their belt. How much? Really just depends on the season and how things kind of shake out."

Walters finished his comments by speaking on moving toward game day preparations for South Alabama and what he will look for from his offense.

"Competition against the defense has been awesome,” Walters said. “Going against them every day has been awesome so we don't want to lose that. We don't want to lose that ‘good on good’, or that ‘iron sharpens iron’. So we'll still go against our defense ones versus ones, twos versus twos, but now the focus shifts to getting a jump on South Alabama. Understanding their tendencies and what we're going to see defensively.

“Now first game, you're never sure what you're going to see. We're going to go into that game plan, doing what we do. The good thing about our defense is that it is very similar to South Alabama so we'll be able to adjust to whatever they throw at us, and now we're trying to simulate game day atmosphere, game day situations so the guys have to be focused, dialed in and the extra days of going against South Alabama (in practice) will help us next Saturday."

The Huskers will continue preparations for South Alabama on Thursday. Kickoff for the season opener is scheduled for August 31, at 11 a.m. at Memorial Stadium with television coverage provided ESPN.




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Lincoln -- Nebraska sophomore quarterback Adrian Martinez garnered another watch list spot, as the Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, announced its 30-player watch list on Wednesday.

Martinez is one of three sophomores on the Manning Award Watch list, which is presented to the top quarterback following the conclusion of the 2019 season, including bowl games.

Martinez returns to pilot the Husker attack after a record-breaking freshman year in 2018. The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder set 11 school records after becoming the first true freshman quarterback to start an opener in school history.  On the season, Martinez completed 224-of-347 passes for 2,617 yards and 17 touchdowns, while also rushing for 629 yards and eight scores en route to All-Big Ten and Freshman All-America honors.

Martinez ranked 12th nationally and led all freshmen nationally in total offense per game (295.1 ypg) while also setting school marks for 300-yard total offense (seven) and 400-yard total offense (three) games in 2018. Martinez set freshman records for completions, completion percentage, passing yards, passing touchdowns, total offense and total touchdowns (25), and he was fourth nationally among all freshmen in passing yards per game at 237.9 yards per game.

Martinez threw for a season-high 384 yards and two touchdowns against Wisconsin, while his best game of the year came against Minnesota, when he completed a school-record 86.2 percent of his passes (25-of-29) for 276 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for a career-high 125 yards and a score on 15 carries.

Martinez and the No. 24 Huskers open the season on Saturday, Aug. 31, against South Alabama. Kickoff for the ESPN televised contest is set for 11 a.m. (CT).




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Season tickets for an action-packed 18-game schedule of Nebraska women's basketball at Pinnacle Bank Arena go on sale Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 10 a.m. (CT) through Huskers.com and the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office. Nebraska's 18-game home schedule (including a preseason exhibition game) features eight non-conference games in November and December, including marquee match-ups with Duke and Creighton, before facing a nine-game Big Ten home schedule with clashes against Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State, Minnesota, Purdue, Indiana, Penn State, Illinois and Wisconsin.

Husker women's basketball has long been one of the hottest tickets in the nation, with Nebraska ranking among the top 25 teams in average home attendance in each of the past 10 seasons. Reserved season tickets are available for $180 - that's just $10 per game - while general admission adult season tickets are $90. General admission season tickets for youth and senior citizens are just $54. Visit Huskers.com/Tickets or call 800-8-BIG-RED.





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The Grand Island Legion program is seeking coaches for two of its programs for 2020. Jake Ritzdorf is stepping down for family reasons as head coach for the Home Federal Seniors. Josh Redman will be moving back to Kearney. He coached the 5 Points Bank Juniors. The Legion is taking applications till August 31st. 

Let's get the perspective of Jake Ritzdorf. 




Jake Ritzdorf

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