Monday, December 14, 2009
The UNO men's basketball team improved to 8-1 overall when they defeated York (Neb.) 90-72 Sunday night at Sapp Fieldhouse.
The win comes after the Mavs scored an impressive 104 points in the victory against Northwest Missouri State on Saturday.
Junior guard Tyler Bullock led the Mavs with 19 points. UNO lost their small lead midway through the first period, but they quickly got it back and never lost it again.
While I didn't get a chance to talk with head coach Derrin Hansen afterwards, I do have some highlights from the game. I'm looking to have an interview with wrestling coach Mike Denney later on in the week, so check it out.
Friday, December 11, 2009
I plan on actually having some video! Hooray! I will be interviewing UNO women's basketball coach Patty Patton Shearer and men's basketball coach Derrin Hansen on Sunday. Along with talking about their teams, I'll ask both of them about their playing careers and what got them into coaching basketball. Will they both bare all for the cameras? Or will a personal revelation be revealed? Tune in Monday to find out!
In the meantime, here's a quick-hitter of things that have happened recently around town:
- The Huskers almost beat Texas in the Big 12 Championship game. Texas' QB Colt McCoy and head coach Mack Brown almost gave the game to Nebraska when they decided to snap the ball with 7 seconds left and one timeout. Still, had Nebraska's offense been able to score one touchdown things could have been different. Once again, the offense embarrassed the entire state with their inability to gain anything. 106 yards of total offense for the game? Really? For a division champion? Flat-out pathetic.
- Of course, the only reason Nebraska was in the game was because of the defense, most notably Ndamukong Suh. What a player. There hasn't been a defensive presence like this since Warren Sapp with Tha U, but even then, I don't think Warren can match up with Suh. Suh finished with 4 1/2 sacks and 7 tackles for loss, in a single game. Most defensive tackles don't get those kind of numbers in a season. Simply put, he's been the most dominating player we've seen on defense in decades.
- UNO's Ellen Thommes was named a second team All-American by the AVCA the other week. She's had an amazing career at UNO, and her hammering kills and blocking ability will be sorely missed in the following years. It's unfortunate she sustained an injury to her knee toward the end of the season. Thommes at 100% could have made a difference in the Mavs' first-round playoff loss.
- UNO wrestling head coach Mike Denney hosted the Kaufman-Brand Open on Nov. 21. The tournament is one of the largest in the nation, if not the largest. More than 500 wrestlers from more than 30 schools competed on 12 mats in UNO's Sapp Fieldhouse. Denney told me that he loves hosting these tournaments in Omaha because it provides the sport plenty of exposure. He uses the Open to market not just wrestling but Omaha and the UNO campus. It's safe to say that Denney makes a fine ambassador for the sport of wrestling and UNO.
- The UNO football team lost in the inaugural Kanza Bowl to West Texas A&M 31-25 on Dec. 5. The thing is, I don't really know how they did it. UNO had more total yards, way more offensive plays (92 vs. 48), one less turnover AND they dominated the time of possession (43:10 vs. 16:50)! Certainly this was a game that should have been won by the Mavs.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Ellen Thommes got her 1,000th kill on Sept. 11 in the victory against Drury.
Okay, so nothing's been officially released yet, but the big news right now is that UNO volleyball's senior Ellen Thommes has been honored as a member of the Division II Volleyball All-American second team.
That's what her coach, Rose Shires, told me yesterday.
I'm still checking themiaa.com and other DII volleyball sites for any official updates, but Shires' words are about as solid as carbon nanotubes.
The All-America team would be another honor for Thommes. The Omaha Marion product earned a spot on the American Volleyball Coaches Association first team and was named to the Daktronics second team. This after Thommes was already selected for the MIAA first team.
I will be looking to get an interview with Thommes and, if we're lucky, I may have it on video. It'd be nice to hear what one of the better UNO volleyball players in school history has to say about her season and her individual accolades.
Huskers have their work cut out this Saturday
If that's not an understatement, then I don't know what is. Nebraska has a HUGE challenge ahead as they prepare to take on the Texas Longhorns in the Big 12 Championship Game in Arlington, Texas. It's tough enough that the game is taking place in Tejas' backyard (in Jerry's Palace, as some are calling it), but when you begin to break down each team's strength and weaknesses, you find it's going to be very hard for the Huskers to pull this one out.
Nebraska's problem is the offense. Nebraska sucks on offense, frankly put. I haven't seen a Nebraska offense struggle like this since the days of Dailey Doubles. I think there's a newspaper article that says they found a mysterious white substance in Memorial Stadium, and the offense was unable to go near it - it was later determined that the white substance was actually the end zone (I know it's unoriginal, but still funny if you haven't heard it).
With Nebraska struggling on offense, you have to wonder how they are going to score on Texas' defense. It's true that Texas' defense has been gashed at times this season, including last week against Texas A&M, but Nebraska doesn't have those kind of weapons. Nebraska doesn't have a Jeff Fuller.
So how can the Huskers score some points?
- Short field. Most of NU's points this season (other than the Sun Belt teams) have come on short fields, either after turnovers or from the leg of Alex Henery. Nebraska will have to take advantage of every short-field opportunity that will be available.
- Turnovers. A pick-6 or a fumble return for a touchdown would not only add some points to the board, but it would also give Nebraska unbelievable momentum during the game.
- Special Teams. The ST has been playing very well the last few weeks, most notably Henery and Paul. Paul has made some nice returns, including returning a punt for a touchdown last week against Colorado. And we all know how important Henery has been - he's probably the team's MVP right now. The point is that Nebraska needs to score at least one non-offensive touchdown if they hope to keep up with the Longhorns.
- Actually taking some deep shots. Texas' secondary has proven this year that it can be burnt deep in the vertical passing game. Texas A&M showed that quite wonderfully last week. The thing here is that Watson has been very conservative with his playcalling and hasn't really let the ball fly. If he does, it's almost always to Paul. Nebraska needs big plays, like Mo Purify's touchdown in 2006, if they are going to score. The offense is just not capable of 10-play, 80-yard drives against Texas, let alone Baylor or Colorado.
My prediction? A 31-13 loss for Nebraska. Texas is on a mission for the BCS National Championship Game, so I'm not expecting any sort of letdown. Will Muschamp will be in his defense's ear all week in practice after their performance against A&M, and I expect we will see a more rejuvinated and passionate Longhorn defense. Of course, it could look that way regardless because of Nebraska's inept offense.
UNO men's basketball off to a hot start
When Mitch Albers decided to transfer to Nebraska over the offseason, the Mavs were faced with having to replace three of their top scorers from the previous year.
Before the season, I wondered who would step up and take on the scoring responsibilities for this team. After 5 games, it appears the Mavs will have many offensive options throughout the season.
Leading the way right now is junior Tyler Bullock. He's led the Mavs in scoring in 4 of the 5 games so far. He averages 19 ppg and leads the team in free throw attemps and makes. His ability to drive to the basket and draw fouls or kick it out is proving to be a strong offensive weapon.
When Bullock drives the lane and draws in defenders, he usually passes out to junior Jeff Martin. Martin is a 3-point artist, and has been since high school (Oh, how I remember those Central-Bellevue West rivalries). He leads the team in 3-point attemps (33) and makes (17). With a 3-point shooting percentage over 50%, Martin provides a deadly complement to Bullock's ability to drive the lane.
The real competition begins now as they begin MIAA competition on Wednesday. We'll see if the offense can stay in a high gear.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Let's catch up with a rather busy week in sports, shall we?
Class A State Football
It's that time again for high school football around the state.
Actually, it's been that time for the last few weeks. Championship games are being determined throughout the state, but we already know the most important game: the Class A Championship between Millard South and Millard West. Again.
The two teams met in 2008 for the Class A State Championship, with the Wildcats of Millard West pulling out a 21-8 victory. Millard South will have their chance at redemption Nov. 23rd at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln.
Millard South goes to the state title game after defeating Elkhorn 36-17 on Saturday. Millard West defeated Lincoln Southwest 35-14 in their semifinal game.
The Patriots of Millard South are undefeated and are poised to win the title behind one of the most dominating offenses in recent memory. Senior quarterback Bronson Marsh is having one of the better years for a Nebraska quarterback.
I tend to think that the Patriots' offense gives them the edge in the title game, but there's no guarantees in a state championship game, especially between two rivals. It should be a fun one.
It's an All-Millard championship game for the second year in a row, but, while I'm not a big fan of that, Millard is where the premier Metro talent is right now. Until the Omaha Public Schools' middle school football programs kick in for a few years, I'm expecting more championship games without any OPS schools.
UNO's soccer season ends in first-round playoff loss
The Mavericks' soccer team had an impressive season come to an end on Friday when they lost in the first round of the NCAA Division II Tournament 1-0 to conference rival Truman State.
UNO finished the year 13-6-2 overall and 12-2-2 in the MIAA.
The Mavs were fortunate to gain a postseason berth after losing in the season-finale to Central Missouri. UNO had a chance to win the conference outright, but they lost to the Jennies 1-0.
When asked why the Mavs' offense struggled, head coach Don Klosterman told me that, while Truman played good defense, the field itself was more narrow than the fields UNO played on throughout the season.
That's right. Somehow, the NCAA rules allow fields to be widened or shortened at the whim of...who knows? Don wasn't quite sure, and I'm still not sure. Why would anyone want to make the field more narrow?
Whatever the reason (I'm siding with a conspiracy against UNO, by the way), the Mavs were unable to get any offensive continuity. They finished with only two shots in the game and, according to the stats, only had 1 corner kick. They were also never flagged for offsides which, in my opinion, is a sign that the offense was never really threatening.
Despite the loss of four seniors, including forward Jessica Powers (who finished 2nd on the team in goals and assists), the Mavs will return plenty of playmakers for next year, including the 2009 MIAA Player of the Year Nicole Baier.
Volleyball heading to the NCAA Tournament
Despite losses in their last three games, the UNO women's volleyball team will be participating in the NCAA Division II tournament.
The Mavs earned a #7 overall seed in the South Central Region after a 20-13 season overall and a 10-10 conference campaign.
The volleyball team will be making their 6th straight appearance in the NCAA tournament and their 19th overall. The Mavs won the national championship in 1996.
The Mavs came up short in their final regular-season game, losing to #5 Central Missouri 3-2 in what was one of the better-played games of the season. UNO fell behind 2-0 but battled back with impressive wins in sets 3 and 4 to tie the match. The Mavs went on to lose in the 5th set by a 15-10 score.
UNO will now play MIAA rival Washburn in the tournament beginning Nov. 19. The Mavs are 1-1 against Washburn this year, with a 3-2 victory coming at home on Sept. 23 and a 3-0 loss on Oct. 28.
Midnight Madness for Men's Basketball
The UNO men's basketball team opened the season at 12:01 a.m. Sunday morning against Doane. That's right, tip-off was after the stroke of midnight. The NCAA allowed teams to begin regular-season competition on Sunday, so UNO took advantage by playing the first minute they could - kind of like how I waited in line and bought Modern Warfare 2 after midnight this Tuesday (me and 23857293857329 other people. That game's insanely popular..)
UNO had a slow start, but they eventually overcame their shooting slump to win the game 96-67. They shot a sizzling 60% in the second half, including making 8 of their first 9 shots.
Jeff Martin led the Mavs with 18 points, going 5-9 from beyond the 3-point line. It appears Martin will be a major factor in the Mavericks' offense, especially after the transfer of 2008 leading scorer Mitch Albers.
Hockey splits another series, this time with Lake Superior State
The Mavs split their series with Lake Superior State this past weekend, going 1-1 against the Lakers at Qwest Center Omaha.
UNO has yet to sweep a 2-game series with wins this season. They either win a game and tie the next, or they lose a game and tie the other. The Mavs are 5-2-3 overall and 2-2-2-1 in the CCHA.
Despite the series of ties, wins and losses, the Mavs are still ranked nationally. They are #12 in both the USA Today Hockey poll and the USCHO.com poll. Insidecollegehockey.com ranks the Mavs #10 in their weekly power rankings. Not bad, but the season is still young.
One player emerging offensively this year is Rich Purslow. He leads the team in goals (7) and points (10). The junior has become a long-range threat for UNO offensively.
Monday, November 2, 2009
UNO's football and soccer teams both played their final home games of their respective regular seasons this past week, and both teams came away with wins, but in rather different fashions.
The Mavericks' football team won on Saturday in an overtime thriller against Pittsburg State 31-28 in what was only the second overtime game in Caniglia Field history.
The Mavs got off to a sluggish start in the first half, falling behind 14-9 at halftime.
"I thought we were a little lethargic in the first half and I couldn’t quite understand that, it was a five-point ballgame," head coach Pat Behrns said. "We should have had 14 points, but obviously didn’t."
The Mavs came back in the second half to take a 25-22 lead late in the 4th quarter, but a long drive by Pittsburg State chewed up the rest of the clock before the Gorillas kicked the game-tying field goal with 8 seconds left.
It was a sign of good things to come when the Mavs won the coin toss. UNO deferred the ball to PSU, and the Gorillas went three-and-out and settled for a field goal.
The Mavs moved into scoring position when the Gorillas were flagged for a roughing the passer penalty, moving the ball to the PSU 6-yard line. On the next play, senior quarterback Greg Wunderlich found junior TE Mike Higgins in the back of the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.
The players stormed the field and celebrated their final home game with a win. More importantly, the seniors got to go out the best way possible.
"It’s sad that I’ll never be able to play here again," Wunderlich said. "If there’s a way to go out, this is the way - beating a team that’s caused a lot of pain for us over the last 12 months. It feels good to get this win."
"It was a pretty exciting game," senior defensive tackle Zac Keller said. "I’d probably have liked to have it put away a little earlier than that. Nonetheless, our guys fought hard and we never gave up, so it was an exciting game."
The Mavs improve to 6-4 overall and 5-3 in the MIAA, and while a playoff berth was all but out of reach for the Mavs, it was still a contest worth winning for the seniors on the team.
"I think it was huge, really to save those seniors," Higgins said. "It was great to send those guys out with a win here at home. I think that’s really the biggest thing."
The soccer team, meanwhile, had a less thrilling result to their game. Instead, the Mavs dominated their opponent from the outset once again and won their final home game 1-0 over Missouri Southern.
The game wasn't a true home game in the sense that it was played somewhere other than the UNO soccer field. Because of the rainy weather throughout the day, the game was moved to Creighton's Morrison Stadium where the field conditions were much better.
To be honest, I was glad the game was moved, because that facility is gorgeous. It was my first time being there, and it's an amazing place to watch futbol. Talking with head coach Klosterman after the game, he said there really isn't any other futbol facility like it in the country for college. Creighton has it good.
The Mavs outplayed the Lions from the start, but were only able to get 1 goal, and even that goal was lucky. Senior Megan Jensen sent a free kick into the box that took a weird, wet and wild bounce on the Lions' goalkeeper and squeezed through for the goal. It was Jensen's first goal of the year, and her second career goal. Not a bad way to go out.
The Mavs outshot Missouri Southern 22-2. UNO had 13 shots on goal, but with only 1 goal to show for it, you had to figure the weather still had a factor.
The Lions' 2 shots were a season-low for the Mavs, and was the 9th straight game that UNO has held their opponent to 10 shots or fewer. It's been an impressive season for the Mavs' defense, which now have 8 shutouts on the year.
The most important thing to come out of the weekend for Klosterman's team was Truman's loss on Halloween. With that loss, the Mavs regain control atop the MIAA standings with a 12-1-1 conference record. They only have two more games left before the regular season is over, and the Mavs now control their destiny.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Mavs lose two in a row, fall to Central Missouri with bad second half
Thankfully, I attended this game instead of watching the Nebraska game (more on this later), but this one didn't turn out much better.
The Mavs played a great first half but stumbled after halftime, losing to the Mules 49-31 on Saturday at Caniglia Field.
UNO squandered an amazing performance from freshman running back Levi Terrell. The youngster rushed for a season- and career-high 218 yards, including a 64-yarder in the second quarter.
The score was 14-14 at halftime, but if you just watched the game itself you would have thought UNO would have a lead. The Mavs forced two turnovers and executed its offense well at times, but they also made some mental mistakes with penalties and turnovers.
Quarterback Greg Wunderlich completed 19 of 31 passes for 239 yards and a touchdown, but had a hand in one of the biggest turnovers of the game when he threw an interception at the end of the first quarter that was returned for a touchdown. The pick six tied the game at 14.
After halftime, the game was in control of the Mules. They amassed 270 yards of offense in the final two quarters and scored 35 points. UNO's offense still performed well, but they just couldn't get the ball in the end zone. The Mavs put up 515 yards of offense, their second-highest output of the season.
With the loss, the playoffs are all but gone for the Mavs. Still, even if there are no playoffs in sight, a winning record is still attainable. Players have said that its their goal to win out the rest of this season.
Huskers lose...to Iowa State? In Lincoln?
Yes, they did. The Nebraska Cornhuskers, what was once a prideful and tradition-rich football program, have fallen to a new low that even Bill Callahan managed to keep us out of: losing to Iowa State at home.
It's been 1977 since the Cyclones have walked out of Lincoln with a victory. Oh wait, no, it's actually been since Saturday. You see, the Huskers did something nobody thought they would ever do again: LOSE TO FRIGGIN IOWA STATE AT HOME.
You can blame Bo Pelini, Shawn Watson or the Hamburglar. It doesn't matter, this team stinks right now. I'm not sure who you can blame for 8 turnovers. Maybe it's a team mentality thing. But if it is, doesn't that fall under coach Watson and Pelini? Why is this team in a funk? Why does Niles Paul drop and fumble balls? Why does Zac Lee play every snap ?
Thankfully, the only silver lining from Saturday was that I missed watching the Nebraska game, so I was in a much better mental state than everyone else. But I still had to watch that trainwreck of a second half for UNO.
Nicole Baier is my hero
UNO's soccer team is having an extremely successful season so far, with a 12-4-1 overall record and record of 11-1 in the conference. Much of this success has to do with redshirt freshman Nicole Baier.
Baier has been in beast mode for the past, oh, eight weeks now. She has rebounded from her ACL injuries last year to have an unbelievable freshman campaign in 2009.
Through Oct. 19, Baier leads the conference in goals (12), goals per game, shots (66), shots per game, points (34), points per game, and assists (10). Although since then, Baier has scored 4 more goals and registered another assist to give her a conference-leading 16 goals and 11 assists.
The team is currently tied for first in the conference with Truman and are playing great futbol right now. Much of it has to do with the Mavs' impressive defense and the development of the other Mav forwards. There is, however, no denying the impact that Baier has already had in her first year. The future looks bright for this Maverick.
Volleyball team break out of 4-game slump
The Mavs finally woke up from their worst losing streak in the season. They lost 4 games in a row from Oct. 10 through the 23rd, three of those in five-game sets.
I went to the Truman State game on Oct. 10, and let me tell you: that heartbreaking loss really demoralized the team. Head coach Rose Shires had a long postgame talk with the team, but the team went on the road for their next game and lost in another 5-game set to Central Missouri.
The Mavs returned home on Oct. 21 to face Missouri Southern State, but the team lost in yet another 5-game set. This time, there was no speech on the court. The team went immediately to their locker.
Two days later, the Mavs lost in 4 sets to Pittsburg State. The Mavs finally rebounded on Oct. 24 to beat Southwest Baptist 3-0.
Let's see if this team is capable of regaining their compsure. They're still in good shape at 18-8 overall and 8-5 in the conference, and the team has plenty of talent to make a run in the playoffs.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Head coach Pat Behrns had a great quote after the game.
"One thing I wanted to make sure when they went out on that field was that they didn’t forget who we are,” he said. “We’re a good program and we’re a good team also.”
The game itself was a game of two halves - offensive fireworks in the first and stout defense in the second.
Washburn came into the game ranking first in the conference in three offensive categories, including total offense and points per game, and they sure played like it in the first half. QB Dane Simoneau made a lot of great throws and his receivers made some fantastic catches to move the ball at will on the Mavs' defense in the first two quarters. After each team had the ball, the score was 14-14.
“You kind of shake your head and wonder when [the scoring] is going to slow down a little bit,” Behrns said. “I thought we played the first half on defense to keep from getting beat instead of playing to win. You cannot play defense cautiously and that’s what we did.”
Eventually, UNO's defense made some stops and the Mavs got a 28-14 lead, thanks to two touchdown receptions by junior tight end Mike Higgins. But Washburn battled on their last offensive possession of the first half and scored a touchdown with less than a minute left in the half to cut UNO's lead to seven.
After the break, however, both teams made adjustments on defense and both offenses were incapable of scoring. The only score was a 29-yard field goal by junior Greg Zeurlein early in the third quarter to give UNO a 31-21 lead.
UNO made many defensive stops in the second half, including stopping Washburn on 4th-and-1 when the Ichabods were at UNO's 9-yard line.
Defensive tackle Nate Wissink talked about the defense's effort.
“I feel like we came out and did what we wanted to do, and that was stop the run,” junior defensive tackle Nate Wissink said. “I think we took a major step today.”
It was a great win for UNO, and it gives the Mavs three in a row in the conference. I expect a top 25 ranking rather soon, as this team seems to be taking shape into a playoff-caliber team right before our eyes.
The Mavs just keep on winning.
The UNO soccer team won two more games this week, defeating Emporia State 5-0 on Thursday and winning 1-0 against Washburn yesterday.
The offense exploded for four goals in the second half against Emporia State, including two goals by redshirt freshman Nicole Baier.
“It had been a while since I had scored, so that was exciting,” Baier said after the game.
Baier talked about how the team is coming together over the season.
“The whole team is playing as a whole, unlike we were at the beginning” she said. “It’s changed, black and white, from game one to game 13.”
On Sunday, the defense shined in the victory against Washburn. The Mavs allowed only three shots total for the game, including one in the first half.
“[The defense] has been amazing,” head coach Don Klosterman said. “[Lauren Fox] has been awesome, the fullbacks have been awesome. They’ve really come together.”
Lauren Fox recorded 1.5 shutouts in both games. She shared the shutout against Emporai State with senior Elizabeth Odorisio. Fox is now 7-1 on the year.
UNO is now 9-4 overall and 8-1 in the conference. However, the Mavs will play 6 of the next 7 games on the road. It will be interesting to see where this team is at when the regular season comes to an end.
The Mavs volleyball team suffered a devastating 3-2 loss to No. 21 Truman on Saturday afternoon in front of a shocked and quiet crowd at Sapp Fieldhouse.
UNO played sloppy in the first two sets and fell into an early 0-2 hole. Head coach Rose Shires was not happy with the play in the first two games.
“We played very poorly, very uninspired in games one and two,” Shires said. “We played very separated and isolated.”
After the intermission between sets 2 and 3, UNO came out looking like they were capable of playing. They took the next two sets in impressive fashion, evening the match at 2-2.
“We just said it’s enough,” senior hitter Kelli Goeser said. “We knew we couldn’t have the attitude we had in games one and two. We knew we had to play with heart instead of playing individually.”
With the match tied at 2-2 going into the pivotal fifth set, momentum was clearly on the side of the Mavs. The girls were fired up and the crowd was rowdy and cheering loudly.
UNO took a 12-9 lead (remember, the fifth set has match point of 15) and appeared on the verge of winning the match. Truman took a timeout, but came back and scored 6 straight points to take the set 15-12 and win the match. Shires talked about what happened at the end of the set.
“At the end we became more passive, and that allowed them to be back in the game,” Shires said. “It cost us.”
It certainly did. The Mavs are now 17-5 overall and 7-2 in the conference. Despite the setback, Rose was proud that her team battled back after a slow start to tie the match. It showed character, and while this is a loss that stings now, there is still plenty of season left in front of them.
UNO won the Mutual of Omaha Icebreaker Tournament held at the Qwest Center over the weekend, going 2-0 against Army and UMASS-Lowell.
The Mavs had to rally in both games after finding themselves facing early deficits.
On Friday against Army, UNO entered the third period down 4-3.
“We kind of lost our step a bit in the second period,” senior captain Jeric Agosta said. “But coming into the third, we did a great job coming back and didn't give them anything.”
In the third, UNO scored three goals to win the game 6-4. Head coach Dean Blais talked about the team's mentality going into the third period.
“We wanted to be in the championship game, not the consolation game,” Blais said. “We felt we were going to find a way to win one way or another.”
After the victory, UNO took on UMASS-Lowell on Saturday night for the championship game. The Mavs once again fell behind early, going down 2-1 at the end of the first period. But the Mavs responded in the second, scoring two goals to take the lead 3-2 before each team exchanged goals in the third.
UNO is 2-0 early, and despite the sluggish start, I don't think there's anything to worry about. The team is still learning to play with coach Blais and each other. Expect the team to get better as the season goes on.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Here's a recap of the happenings so far this season:
Head coach Rose Shires looks to have her team poised to make a serious run in the NCAA II tournament. The team is 15-4 overall and 5-1 in the conference. The Mavs are ranked #15 in Division II and are currently on top of the standings in the MIAA.
Shires' team had a nine-match winning streak before Sept. 26's loss at Emporia State, including victories over #6 Washburn and #22 Pittsburg State.
Thommes has been an absolute beast for the Mavs. She leads the team in kills and blocks, with 3.39 and 1.03 per set, respectively. She has 244 kills on the season with 74 blocks.She also became the 17th member of the 1,000-kill club in UNO's history on Sept. 11.
The Mavs are off to a good start to their season. An early-season loss to rival Nebraska-Kearney still lingers, but the team appears to be putting things together very nicely.The team is 4-2 overall and 3-1 in the conference, with the only conference loss coming to Northwest Missouri State on Sept. 19.
One concern for head coach Pat Behrns is the running back position. Duane Bowen, Bryce Hawthorne and Robert Wesley are all banged up with injuries, which left Behrns to play freshman Levi Terrell. Terrell has been a pleasant surprise for the Mavs, however, as he has rushed for 192 yards in back-to-back games along with three touchdowns.
Most Valuable Player (so far..)
Senior quarterback Greg Wunderlich has transformed the way the Mavs play ball. Gone are the days of option-runs. Wunderlich has a cannon, which I believe needs a license in this state.
Wunderlich has completed 102 of 163 passes for 1,500 yards and 14 touchdowns in six games. He has two of the highest passing yards performances in the Behrns era, with 369 yards against Missouri Southern and 332 yards against Northwest Missouri. He's also third in the MIAA in passing yards per game. He's filled in nicely for departed QB Zach Miller.
The women's soccer team had a rough opening schedule with two top-25 opponents in the first three games. But since conference play has started, the Mavs have turned really improved their play.
Since conference play began on Sept. 10 against Missouri Western, the Mavs have won six of the last seven games and have shut out three of their last five opponents.
As of today, they are 7-4 overall and 6-1 in the conference. One important stat is that the Mavs have been the first team to score in all of their conference wins.
Another positive for head coach Don Klosterman is the improvement of junior goalkeeper Lauren Fox. She's started in net for the Mavs since Sept. 12 against Truman State and has helped the Mavs with her 5-1 record. She has 36 saves and 2.8 shutouts, with the other .2 going to senior Elizabeth Odorisio.
She's been the MIAA Offensive Player of the Week once, and is poised for more.
The golf team has performed extremely well this year. They've placed first in three of the five tournaments played so far, and the other two finishes were in second place.
Erin Ommen, Armana Christianson, Rebecca Pollock and Dani Suponchick have all been individual medalists for finishing first individually.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Junior goalkeeper Lauren Fox spent most of her time in the early part of the season waiting on the bench to take her spot in net for the second half of UNO's games.
But against Truman on Sept. 12, Fox started the match in net and played all 90 minutes. She had seven saves while only allowing one goal.
Head coach Don Klosterman kept Fox in the starting lineup for the next two games, and Fox responded to the task by serving back-to-back shutouts and earning the MIAA's Defensive Player of the Week honors.
On Sept. 17, Fox shut out Central Missouri and two days later held Missouri Southern scoreless. She had nine total saves in both games.
Fox did allow one goal during Saturday's 1-0 loss against Truman, but that doesn't change the fact that she's awesome.
Huskers celebrate 300 consecutive sellouts
It was a glorious day on Saturday in the third largest city in Nebraska (on game days).
The Nebraska Cornhuskers celebrated the 300th consecutive sellout of Memorial Stadium with pictures, team reunions and a 55-0 destruction of Louisiana-Lafayette.
Members of the 1962 team, the year that started the streak, were on hand, as was Dan Whitney aka Larry the Cable Guy.
The team also wore sweet throwback jerseys to commemorate the 1962 team, as modeled by Ndamukong Suh and Roy Helu below:
Monday, September 21, 2009
For any Husker fan, what happened on Saturday was a punch to the gut. Actually, it was more like an overhand punch to the chin, after a flurry of body shots
The last few years, Nebraska hasn't been able to win these games. For some reason
The good news is that this team still looked good. Things look bright for the Big 12 season.
Three UNO coaches reach career milestones
Over the last week, three head coaches at UNO celebrated victories with career milestones.
Football head coach Pat Behrns reached 150 wins on Sept. 12. Volleyball head coach Rose Shires got her 400th career win on Saturday. Soccer head coach Don Klosterman got his 175th win on Saturday as well.
Congratulations to these coaches for their long years of service to UNO athletics.
Mavs' Baier and Myers earn Player of the Week honors
It was an impressive week for a couple UNO student-athletes.