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Sports News

Enna Masaki pounded down 24 kills and the Western Nebraska Community College volleyball team defeated McCook Community College in four sets 25-27, 25-20, 25-19, 25-17 in a Region IX South conference contest Thursday at Cougar Palace.

Masaki finished with a double-double of 24 kills and 15 digs as the Cougars captured their 11th win of the season.

“We started off rough in the beginning,” Masaki said. “We actually have a new lineup and going with me and Ana passing in the back. We did a little change-up and it was something to adjust to, but I thought in the end we played well with it.”

Masaki’s offense came alive in the third and fourth sets where she accounted for 15 of her 24 kills. Masaki said she did start slow.

“I feel like for me I have a slow start,” she said. “That is why I need to pick it up. I need to play good from start to finish.”

WNCC did start slow as a team. The first set was back and forth with neither team going up more than two points until McCook 23nt up 21-18. Still, the set went back and forth with the teams knotted at 24 and 25 before McCook won 27-24.

The Cougars woke up in the second set, running to a 9-5 lead. The lead was short-lived as Ashley Carson served for six points to put the Indians up 11-9. McCook led 13-10 before Ana Costas served four points to put the Cougars up 15-13.

WNCC extended the lead to 20-16 on two Kaile Tuisamatatele points and continued the strong service game with two Jayme Commins points for a 23-18 lead. WNCC won 25-20.

The third set was knotted at 13-13 when the Cougars put up a big block for a sideout. Costas followed with six points for a 20-13 lead. McCook cut the lead to three, 21-18, but a Gabby Canavati kill and two Adia Sherbeyn points put WNCC up 24-18. Masaki finished off the set with a kill and the 25-19 win.

WNCC’s strong service game continued in the fourth set. Knotted at 5-5, Masaki pounded home a kill followed by three Tuisamatatele points for a 10-5 lead. WNCC pushed the lead to 16-9 on two Costas points. Sherbeyn added two more points along with two Masaki kills for a 20-14 lead. Commins finished off the match, serving the final four points as Amryi-Grace Paris had the final kill.

Masaki said the way they played in the final three sets was crucial.

“It was really important [to come out strong in the second set] because coach told us we needed to start off strong,’ she said. “I think it sometimes is not how we start off but how we finish.”

WNCC definitely did finish the match against McCook.

Several players stepped up in the match. WNCC finished with match with 55 kills. Masaki led the way with 24 followed by Parris with 13 and Leslie Mamai-Lagafuaina with 11. Canavati put down nine kills while Tuisamatatele had eight.

Masaki and Costas each had a double-double in the contest. While Masaki had 15 digs, she also had three points, and an ace. Costas had 13 digs and 15 points along with three aces.

Commins came close to a double-double, finishing with 51 set assists, nine points, and seven digs.

Also for the Cougars, Camille Esselin had had seven digs and three points; Tuisamatatele had four digs and 10 points; Sherbeyn had nine digs and seven points; Paris had three digs and two solo blocks; and Mamai-Lagafuaina had two solo blocks.

WNCC, 11-6, will look to keep the strong play going this weekend when they host the Wyo-Braska Invite. Action begins Friday at 11 a.m. when Trinidad State takes on Eastern Wyoming. WNCC will play just once on Friday, meeting EWC at 7 p.m. The Cougars will have two games on Saturday, facing Dawson Community College at noon and then Casper College at 4 p.m.


Nebraska has finalized an agreement to play Bethune-Cookman University on Oct. 27 at Memorial Stadium to fill an opening on the 2018 football schedule. The contest will replace the Huskers’ Sept. 1 game against Akron which was cancelled due to severe storms in Lincoln.


Bethune-Cookman plays in the Football Championship Subdivision and owns a 1-2 record in 2018, following a loss at Florida Atlantic last Saturday. The Wildcats compete in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and posted a 6-2 record in league play in 2017. Coach Terry Sims in his fourth season guiding the BCU program.


“Our great fans and our football student-athletes deserve a full schedule, and we are glad to be able to provide an additional game on Oct. 27 against Bethune-Cookman,” Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos said. “We appreciate the patience of our fans through this process. While there may be some conflicts on what was originally a bye week, we know Memorial Stadium will be packed to watch the Huskers on a fall Saturday.


“I would like to thank Bethune-Cookman for their great cooperation as we put this agreement together. Athletic Director Lynn Thompson and Head Coach Terry Sims are excited to bring their team to Lincoln, and we look forward to their visit.”


Nebraska will pay Bethune-Cookman a guarantee of $800,000 for its trip to Lincoln. The game will be part of the Big Ten’s regular television package. Game time and television information will be available six to 12 days in advance of kickoff.


Ticket and Parking Information

Nebraska season ticket holders will receive a new ticket for the Oct. 27 game with Bethune-Cookman, and the original ticket from the Akron game will not be valid for admission. Delivery of tickets for the Oct. 27 game will be via e-mail, and those print at home tickets will be sent the week of Oct. 1. Individuals who do not have an e-mail connected to their account with the Ticket Office will receive printed tickets that will be sent via first class mail the week of Oct. 1.


Husker fans who purchase season parking permits through Nebraska Athletics will also receive a new parking permit for the Bethune-Cookman game. The permits will be sent via first class mail to accounts with season permits. Donors who purchase parking from the athletic department for the downtown garages will have the new game automatically added to their keycard.


Individuals who purchased single-game tickets for the Akron game through Nebraska Athletics will also receive new tickets for the Bethune-Cookman game. There are no refunds or exchanges for fans who purchased single-game tickets for the Akron game and cannot attend the Oct. 27 game. However, those fans can forward the e-mailed or paper tickets to friends or family or sell via Nebraska’s partner StubHub.


More detailed information on ticketing and parking will be posted on, and updated as needed.


Greg Wagner Outdoor Report

There will be plenty to do this week with Western Nebraska Community College athletics as four Cougar teams will have home contests or scrimmages this weekend.

The Cougar volleyball team, who went 4-2 last week in six games including 2-2 at an invite in Las Vegas, Nevada, will host the Wyo-Braska Invite on Friday and Saturday. Before the invite, though, WNCC will play host to McCook Community College on Thursday, Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. in a Region IX South contest.

Thursday’s volleyball match will pit the 10-6 WNCC Cougars against McCook, who is 10-4 on the season. The corporate sponsors for the match will be Arby’s and Bellevue University.

Friday and Saturday will be a busy day of volleyball at Cougar Palace with matches starting at 11 a.m. on Friday and then 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Friday’s compete schedule pits EWC vs. Trinidad State at 11 a.m., McCook against Dawson at 1 p.m., Trinidad vs. Dawson at 3 p.m., EWC vs. McCook at 5 p.m., and WNCC takes on EWC at 7 p.m. Friday’s corporate sponsors include Bluff’s Sanitary and FBG Cleaning Services.

Saturday’s volleyball slate pits EWC vs. Dawson at 10 a.m., WNCC taking on Dawson and McCook against Laramie County at noon, Trinidad State vs. Laramie County and Casper against McCook at 2 p.m., and then WNCC meeting Casper at 4 p.m. to wrap up the invite. Saturday’s corporate sponsors will be B&C Steel and Monument Smiles.

All the volleyball Cougar home games as well as the entire Wyo-Braska Invite will be streamed live on the Internet through the WNCC Cougar Athletics Youtube channel. There will be no radio play-by-play of the four Cougar volleyball matches this weekend.

While volleyball is going on, the WNCC Cougar men’s soccer team will have a Region IX South conference contest at Landers Soccer Complex at 3 p.m. on Saturday when Central Community College-Columbus comes to town.

WNCC enters the soccer match 5-3 overall and 2-1 in conference play, while CCC-Columbus is also 5-3 overall, but 0-1 in conference play. CCC-Columbus will face conference-leading Northeastern Junior College on Friday. NJC is 6-3 overall and 3-0 in the conference.

Volleyball and men’s soccer are not the only teams hosting events this weekend. The Cougar softball and baseball teams will also be home. The softball team will host the Cougar Classic this weekend for three days, playing nine games in the three days.

Friday’s softball schedule has WNCC facing the Utah Cruisers at 5:30 p.m., the Southern Thunder at 7 p.m., and Avalanche at 8:30 p.m.

Saturday’s schedule begins at 8 a.m. with the last game slated to start at 8 p.m. WNCC will face Utah Cruisers at 8 a.m., the Avalanche at 12:30 p.m., and Southern Thunder at 3:30 p.m. Northeastern Junior College will also be here in facing the same teams at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and 2 p.m.

Sunday’s schedule will have WNCC playing at 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1 p.m. at Volunteer Field against the Cruisers, Avalanche, and Southern Thunder, while NJC will be playing the same teams at the Scottsbluff High School softball field.

The baseball team will be at home this weekend. On Friday, Sept. 21, the Cougars will scrimmage McCook Community College in two, 7-inning games beginning at 2 p.m. WNCC will then scrimmage Northeastern Junior College on Sunday, Sept. 23 beginning at 11 a.m. in two, 9-inning games.

Thursday, September 20
  • Volleyball: HOME vs. McCook Community College, Cougar Palace, 6 p.m.
Friday, September 21
  • Volleyball: HOME Wyo-Braska Invite vs. Eastern Wyoming College, 7 p.m.
  • Softball: HOME — Cougar Classic Tourney
                        — 5:30 p.m. -- WNCC vs. Utah Cruisers
                        — 7 p.m. -- WNCC vs. Southern Thunder
                        — 8:30 p.m. -- WNCC vs. Avalanche

  • Baseball: HOME McCook scrimmage, Cleveland Field, 2 p.m.
Saturday, September 22
  • Volleyball: HOME Wyo-Braska Invite
                        ­— noon vs. Dawson Community College
                        ­— 4 p.m. vs. Casper College
  • Men’s Soccer: HOME vs. Central-Columbus, Landers Field, 4 p.m.
  • Softball: HOME — Cougar Classic Tourney
                        — WNCC plays at 8 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m.

Sunday, September 23
  • Softball: HOME — Cougar Classic Tourney
                        — WNCC plays at 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m.
  • Baseball: HOME NJC scrimmage, Cleveland Field, 11 a.m.


The Nebraska baseball team’s recruiting class has been ranked in the top 35 of Baseball America’s recruiting rankings, which was released this week.

After announcing its top 25 recruiting classes last week, Baseball America released its “Next 10” list in alphabetical order this week. NU is ranked between 26th and 35th nationally, along with Arkansas, Duke, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Oregon, Oregon State, Tennessee and Wake Forest. Nebraska is one of two Big Ten teams ranked in the top 35 recruiting classes by Baseball America, along with No. 24 Illinois.

The Huskers welcome 15 newcomers to the 2019 roster, including 11 freshmen, as the entire recruiting class made it to campus.

Two newcomers - Spencer Schwellenbach and Bo Blessie - were drafted in June 2018, but chose to come to Nebraska to play college baseball. Schwellenbach, an infielder/right-handed pitcher from Saginaw, Mich., was selected in the 34th round by the Cleveland Indians. Blessie, a right-handed pitcher from Midland, Texas, was drafted in the 36th round by the Washington Nationals.

Four newcomers - Aaron Palenksy, Trey Kissack, Ty Roseberry and Gareth Stroh – bring previous college baseball experience to NU’s roster.

Palensky is a sophomore outfielder from Papillion, Neb., who spent one season at Southeast Community College. Kissack is a junior right-handed pitcher from Grand Island, Neb., who played one season at UNC-Greensboro and one year at Southeast Community College.

Roseberry is a junior first baseman from Kearney, Neb., who transferred from Nebraska-Kearney. Stroh is a senior left-handed pitcher from Kearney (Gibbon High School), who spent two years at Purdue after spending one year at Coffeyville Community College. In 2017, he earned third-team All-Big Ten honors for the Boilermakers.

Of the 42 student-athletes on Nebraska’s roster, 27 return from last year’s squad, including Big Ten All-Freshman Team selections Jaxon Hallmark and Gunner Hellstrom. Hallmark started 50 games last season and ranked among the top five on the team in several statistical categories, including batting average (.261), hits (48) and RBIs (24). Hellstrom started 19 of his 26 appearances and hit .310, including at least one hit in 11 of his last 17 games with three multi-hit efforts.

Juniors Luke Roskam and Mojo Hagge were also among offensive team leaders in 2018, each ranking in the top four in batting average, hits, doubles and total bases. Senior infielder Angelo Altavilla, who earned third-team All-Big Ten honors in 2017, ranked in the top five of the 2018 team in home runs (5), runs scored (35), RBIs (28) and stolen bases (6).

Senior Matt Waldron led the 2018 pitching staff in ERA (4.26) and wins (6), while ranking second in strikeouts (61). Senior Mike Waldron became a key reliever for the Huskers last season, leading the team in appearances (21) and ranked in the top five of most statistical categories. The 2018 squad also saw double-digit outings from returners Paul Tillotson (16), Nate Fisher (15), Andrew Abrahamowicz (15), Byron Hood (14) and Ethan Frazier (13).






TV - FS1 (Tim Brando, Spencer Tillman, Holly Sonders)
RADIO - Husker Sports Network (Greg Sharpe, Matt Davison, Ben McLaughlin)
SATELLITE RADIO - Sirius Channel 83, XM 384
APP AUDIO - Official Huskers App, TuneIn App


Record: 0-2, 0-0 Big Ten
Last Game: lost to Troy, 24-19
Rankings: NR
Coach: Scott Frost
Career/NU Record: 19-9 (3rd Year)/0-2 (1st Year)
vs. Michigan: 0-1

Record: 2-1, 0-0 Big Ten
Last Game: def. SMY, 45-20
Rankings: 19 AP, 21 Coaches
Coach: Jim Harbaugh
Career/Michigan Record: 88-39 (11th Year)/30-12 (4th Year)
vs. Nebraska: 0-0

The Matchup

Nebraska takes to the road for the first time in 2018, traveling to Michigan for the Big Ten opener. The matchup between two of college football's iconic programs will kick off at Noon ET (11 a.m. CT) on Saturday at Michigan Stadium. The game will be televised on FS1 and available on the IMG Husker Sports Network.

Nebraska and Michigan both rank among the top five all-time in college football in victories and have combined to win 88 conference championships and play in 99 bowl games. Both schools have a history of national championships, most recently sharing the 1997 national title.

Nebraska will head to Ann Arbor looking for its first victory of 2018, following a second close home loss in a 24-19 setback against Troy. The Huskers controlled the stat sheet for a second straight win, but had three costly turnovers in dropping to 0-2.

Michigan will enter Saturday's game with a 2-1 record following a 45-20 victory over SMU on Saturday in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines dropped their opener at No. 8 Notre Dame, but have rolled to wins the past two weeks, outscoring the opposition 94-23. Michigan has made a statement in the running game, churning out 308 and 237 yards on the ground the past two weeks..

This Week's Numbers
10 - Nebraska and Michigan will be meeting for the 10th time on Saturday in Ann Arbor. The series is tied at 4-4-1, with Nebraska holding a 2-1 advantage since the Huskers joined the Big Ten in 2011.

14 - Nebraska sophomore receiver JD Spielman will be playing in his 14th career game on Saturday at Michigan.Spielman needs 58 receiving yards to reach 1,000 career yards, which would mark the fastest Husker to the 1,000-yard plateau. Heisman winner Johnny Rodgers accomplished the feat in 16 games.

7 - Nebraska is one of only seven teams in the FBS to rank among the top 25 nationally in both rushing offense and rushing defense. The Huskers are the only Big Ten team in that group and join Air Force, Cincinnati, Georgia, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M.

Nebraska-Michigan Series

Nebraska and Michigan will meet for the 10th time overall and the fourth time as Big Ten opponents on Saturday in Ann Arbor. The schools met each season from 2011 to 2013 as members of the Big Ten Legends Division.

This week's meeting is the first matchup between the schools since the Big Ten switched to an East-West Division format in 2014.

  • Nebraska owns a 2-1 record against the Wolverines in Big Ten matchups, including a 2013 victory at Michigan Stadium.
  • The schools have met in a pair of bowl games, splitting two closely contested games. Michigan defeated the Huskers, 27-23, in the Fiesta Bowl following the 1985 season. Nebraska won 32-28 over the Wolverines in the 2005 Alamo Bowl.
  • Nebraska is 2-2 against ranked Michigan teams, with the Wolverines ranked in four of the past five meetings.
  • Traditional Powers Set for Saturday Showdown

    Nebraska and Michigan are two of the most successful program in the history of college football. Michigan ranks first in college football history with 945 wins, while Nebraska is fifth at 893 victories.

    The Cornhusker football program has won five national championships, while Michigan has 12 national crowns in its history. The schools shared the 1997 national championship, with Nebraska earning the Coaches crown, and Michigan being named the AP national champs.

    Huskers Ready to Open Big Ten Conference Action

    Nebraska will begin the Big Ten portion of its 2018 schedule Saturday at Michigan. The game marks the start of the Huskers' eighth season of Big Ten competition.

  • The Huskers are 5-2 in Big Ten openers since joining the league in 2011.
  • Michigan is the fifth different school Nebraska has faced in a Big Ten opener. It also marks the second straight year, Nebraska has opened league play against an East Division foe, after defeating Rutgers in last year's Big Ten opener.
  • Nebraska has won 39 of its past 43 conference openers overall, with three of those losses against top-20 teams.
  • Overall, Nebraska is 91-21-2 all-time in conference openers (.807 winning percentage).
  • Saturday's game is also the first of five Big Ten road games in 2018. The Huskers are 3-4 in their first conference road game since joining the Big Ten. NU has won its last two conference road openers, picking up wins at Northwestern (2016) and Illinois (2017).
  • Huskers to Face Nationaly Ranked Wolverine Squad

    The trip to Ann Arbor on Saturday will mark Nebraska's first game of the 2018 season against a ranked opponent. Michigan enters the game ranked 19th in the Associated Press poll and No. 21 by the coaches.

    Nebraska has four upcoming games against teams in the AP poll including No. 4 Ohio State, No. 18 Wisconsin, No. 19 Michigan and No. 24 Michigan State.

  • Nebraska will be looking for its first win over a ranked opponent since a win over No. 22 Oregon in Lincoln in 2016. It would also be the highest ranked team Nebraska has defeated since a 39-38 win over No. 6 Michigan State in 2015.
  • The Huskers' last road win over a ranked opponent was a 17-14 win at No. 12 Penn State in 2011.
  • Head Coach Scott Frost led UCF to three consecutive wins against ranked teams to complete the 2017 season, capping the perfect campaign with a win over No. 7 Auburn in the Peach Bowl. Frost was 3-1 overall against ranked opponents at UCF, with the only loss at No. 5 Michigan in 2016.
  • Nebraska Set for Frost's First Big Ten Game

     Scott Frost will coach his first Big Ten Conference game on Saturday at No. 19 Michigan. The contest will also mark Frost’s first road game as Nebraska’s head coach and first time facing a ranked opponent at Nebraska.

  • The last first-year head coach to win his conference opener at Nebraska was Bill Callahan in 2004, when the Huskers defeated Kansas, 14-8, to open Big 12 play. Callahan is also the last first-year Husker to win his first road game, leading the Huskers to a 24-17 victory at Pittsburgh on Sept. 18, 2004.
  • The trip to Ann Arbor brings Frost back to the location of his first road game as a head coach. On Sept. 10, 2016, UCF lost to Michigan in the second game of Frost’s head coaching career.
  • Michigan also marked the first road game for Bob Devaney as Nebraska’s head coach. Devaney led Nebraska to a 25-13 victory over the Wolverines at the Big House on Sept. 29, 1962 in his second game as Husker head coach.
  • NU Looks to Keep Run Game Moving Against Wolverines

    Nebraska churned out 329 rushing yards in the opener against Colorado, and added 187 rushing yards against Troy.

    The rushing total against Colorado bettered Nebraska's season highs from 2017. In fact, the Huskers had 243 rushing yards by halftime, surpassing last year's single-game high of 225 yards against Arkansas State.

  • The 329 rushing yards were Nebraska's most yards on the ground since rushing for 458 yards against Illinois in 2014.
  • Nebraska surpassed 300 yards on the ground for the first time since rushing for 310 yards at Northwestern on Sept. 24, 2016.
  • Adrian Martinez (117) and running back Greg Bell (104) both cracked the century mark on the ground. That marked the first time Nebraska had a pair of 100-yard rushers in the same game since a 2014 win over Illinois.
  • Nebraska had a pair of runs of 40 yards or more against Colorado–a 41-yard touchdown by Martinez and a 45-yard rush by Bell. That was the first time Nebraska had two runs of at least 40 yards in a game since a 2014 win at Fresno State.
  • Nebraska was solid again on the ground against Troy, rushing for 187 yards. NU was again led on the ground by a true freshman, with Maurice Washington rushing 14 times for 92 yards.
  • Head Coach Scott Frost led a successful rushing attack in his previous meeting with Michigan. In a 2016 loss at Ann Arbor, UCF rushed for 275 yards, more rushing yards than Michigan has allowed in a single game in the subsequent 27 games.
  • Huskers Elect Four Captains

    Four Husker seniors were elected by their teammates as captains for the 2018 season. On offense, the captains are OG Jerald Foster and WR Stanley Morgan Jr. Representing the defense are NT Mick Stoltenberg and LB Luke Gifford.

    2018 Nebraska Team Captains
    Jerald Foster, Sr., OG, Lincoln, Neb.
    Stanley Morgan Jr., Sr., WR, New Orleans, La.
    Luke Gifford, Sr., LB, Lincoln, Neb.
    Mick Stoltenberg, Sr., NT, Gretna, Neb.

  • This marks the second straight season Nebraska has had three Nebraska natives as captains. Prior to last season Nebraska had not had three homegrown captains since 2001.
  • This marks the 13th straight season at least one native Nebraskan has been elected as a captain.
  • Foster and Gifford were teammates at Lincoln Southeast High School. This marks the first time high school teammates have served as captains in the same year since Jerry Tagge and Jim Anderson in 1971. Tagge and Anderson both went to high school at Green Bay West in Wisconsin. Foster and Gifford are the first pair on in-state high school teammates to serve as captains together.
  • Foster is serving as a captain for the second straight season, and becomes just the 11th two-time team captain in NU history. This marks the sixth straight season an offensive lineman has served as a captain.

  • -
    LINCOLN, Neb. - The fourth-ranked Nebraska volleyball team finished non-conference play with its ninth straight win, defeating Missouri State 3-0 (25-19, 25-12, 25-4) on Saturday night at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in front of a crowd of 8,149. The Huskers (9-1) wrapped up a 3-0 weekend to take the Husker Invite team title over the Bears (7-6), who had won their previous two matches in the tournament by sweeps.

    The Huskers put on a clinic, hitting .500 with just four attacking errors on 84 swings while holding the Bears to -.011 hitting. Nebraska's 25-4 win in set three matched its most decisive win in the 25-point rally scoring era (2001-present). The Huskers also won 25-4 against Louisiana-Monroe in 2013. 

    Lauren Stivrins had 11 kills and hit a career-best .714 on the night. Mikaela Foecke also had 11 kills and hit .478 without an error. She also added 11 digs. Lexi Sun chipped in nine kills and seven digs while hitting .368, and Jazz Sweet had eight kills on .500 hitting with five blocks.

    One night after posting a career-high 13 blocks, Callie Schwarzenbach led the Huskers again with nine blocks and added five kills on .417 hitting. Nicklin Hames set the Huskers to their season-high .500 hitting percentage with 35 assists and two kills on two attacks. 

    The Huskers out-blocked the Bears, 13-2, and had a 44-31 advantage in digs. Kenzie Maloney led all players with 17 digs, a season high for a three-set match. 

    Maloney was named the most valuable player of the Husker Invite. Foecke, Stivrins and Hames were also named to the all-tournament team.

    Set 1: Hames served the Huskers to a 4-0 lead to start the match, but the Bears answered with a 6-1 run to go up 6-5, thanks to consecutive service aces off the top of the net. Hames and Sweet posted back-to-back kills to regain a 12-10 lead for the Huskers. Stivrins terminated consecutive rallies to make it 19-16 Huskers, and the Huskers pulled away down the stretch for the 25-19 win with kills by Foecke and Sweet and a Foecke ace. The Huskers had a .419 to .083 advantage in hitting. Missouri State stayed close thanks to two more aces than the Big Red (3-1) and three fewer service errors (2-5). 

    Set 2: The Huskers got off to another good start with Hames serving a 5-0 run. Schwarzenbach was in on two blocks, and Foecke and Sweet had kills. Foecke and Schwarzenbach then struck kills before Sun stuffed a Missouri State attack for an 8-2 Husker lead. Later in the set, Schwarzenbach and Foecke fired kills before a Hames ace made it 17-8 Huskers. Nebraska continued to pile on with consecutive kills by Sun, Stivrins and Foecke, helping the Huskers to a 25-12 win.

    Set 3: Nebraska's strong starts continued as the Huskers opened up a 9-1 lead with Schwarzenbach posting four blocks and two kills. The Huskers were dominant from start to finish, closing the set at their biggest lead, 21 points. Nebraska had 16 kills on 23 swings (.696) and stuffed five Missouri State attacks. The Bears had three kills on 27 swings and hit -.148 in the set. 

    Up Next: The Huskers begin Big Ten play at home against No. 19 Michigan on Friday. The match will begin at 8 p.m. 

    2018 Husker Invite All-Tournament Team
    Kenzie Maloney, Nebraska (MVP)
    Mariessa Carrasco, New Mexico
    Aubrey Cheffey, Missouri State
    Laynie Dake, Missouri State
    Mikaela Foecke, Nebraska
    Nicklin Hames, Nebraska
    Lyza Myers, Central Michigan
    Lauren Stivrins, Nebraska

    Lincoln – For the second straight week Nebraska out-yarded its opponent but could not overcome early turnovers in a 24-19 loss to Troy on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

    The Trojans, who are the defending Sun Belt Conference champions, improved to 2-1. Nebraska slipped to 0-2 while playing in front of the 363rd consecutive sellout at Memorial Stadium.

    Nebraska managed 364 total yards with sophomore Andrew Bunch playing from start to finish at quarterback for the Big Red. Bunch completed 19-of-27 passes for 177 yards with two touchdowns, but he also threw a pair of interceptions. He added 23 rushing yards on 10 carries.

    As a team, the Huskers out-gained the Trojans 187-143 on the ground, but three first-half turnovers by Nebraska and a 58-yard punt return for a touchdown by Troy’s Cedarius Rookard helped the visitors jump out to a 17-0 lead midway through the second quarter.

    Maurice Washington led the Husker rushing attack with 92 yards on 14 carries, while Greg Bell added 68 yards on 14 totes.

    The Huskers also won the time of possession battle (32:54-27:06), but several big plays in the punting game sparked the Trojans. Not only did Rookard’s return for touchdown help Troy, Tyler Sumpter’s 79-yard punt after the Trojans’ opening offensive possession of the game and two other long punts helped Troy maintain a field position edge. He finished the game with a 53.8-yard-per-punt average.

    For the second consecutive week, the Huskers fought their way back starting with Bunch’s eight-yard touchdown strike to senior wide receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. with 3:02 left before halftime.

    Trailing 17-7 at the half, the Huskers helped themselves by recovering a fumbled punt by Troy inside its own 10-yard line on its opening touch of the second half. The mishandled punt was recovered by Nebraska’s Cam Taylor and set the Huskers up at the Troy 6. But the Huskers settled for Barret Pickering’s first career field goal from 23 yards out to cut the margin to 17-10 with 10:25 left in the third quarter.

    The Huskers appeared to have tied the score momentarily on a touchdown catch by JD Spielman, but Spielman’s run to the end zone after the catch was wiped away by a holding penalty, and the Huskers settled for Pickering’s 32-yard field goal to cut Troy’s lead to 17-13 with 3:02 left in the third.

    For the game, Nebraska was flagged 10 times for 77 yards, while Troy also committed 10 penalties for 95 yards.

    Troy then mounted its only sustained drive of the second half, marching 62 yards in 10 plays over 4:34 to go up 24-13 with 6:45 left in the contest.

    However the Huskers refused to quit, as Bunch and the Big Red answered with an 11-play, 75-yard drive capped by Spielman’s touchdown catch.

    The Blackshirts then forced a 3-and-out by Troy on the ensuing drive to give the ball back to Bunch and the offense at the NU 27 with 2:31 left in the game. But Nebraska’s chance to complete the comeback was short-lived, as Bunch was intercepted by Will Sunderland. The Trojans ran out the clock for the victory.

    Quarterback Kaleb Barker led the Trojans by completing 14-of-21 passes for 110 yards. He did not throw a touchdown pass but did toss one interception. He also rushed eight times for 12 yards.

    B.J. Smith provided the biggest plays for the Troy offense with 11 carries for 70 yards, including a pair of touchdowns. Sawyer Smith pitched in 60 rushing yards on just four carries, including a 57-burst in the first half to set up a Trojan score.

    Will Honas led the Husker defense with eight tackles, while Tre Neal pitched in seven stops for the Blackshirts. Lamar Jackson added his first career interception as one of Nebraska’s two turnovers forced.

    The Husker offense suffered from three turnovers on the afternoon, but Troy did not convert any of Nebraska’s turnovers directly to points.

    Nebraska will hit the road for the first time next week when they travel to the Big House to battle Michigan. Kick-off in Ann Arbor is set for 11 a.m. (CT) with live national coverage by FS1.

    The Western Nebraska Community College women’s soccer team put together a strong defensive effort, recording a late goal to earn a 2-2 double overtime tie with Gillette College on Saturday at the Landers Soccer Complex.

    The Cougars, who entered the contest on a 2-match winning streak, received a goal from Thais Nayara with 11 minutes remaining to force overtime.

    Rafael Passos, redshirt freshman team captain, said they played well, especially the last time they played Gillette they fell 2-0.

    “We did a good job and we grew up a lot since the first game against this team,” she said. “They are a good team and we did a good job. It was a nice game and we had fun.”

    Passos said it was a marked difference of the Cougars from Saturday to the last time they played Gillette two weeks ago. One big reason is the team watched video of the last time they played Friday night.

    “We just stepped on the field and knew we could beat them,” she said. “When we played up there the field was turf and today it was grass and it was our home. We watched the last game and we just grew up. We fixed the mistakes and keep working hard.”

    WNCC scored early and late as well as playing a solid defensive game in earning the tie against Gillette.

    Passos said the defense did a good job holding Gillette down.

    “The defense is amazing,” she said. “They did a pretty good job all day.”

    WNCC didn’t waste any time on igniting its offense either. The Cougars scored first, just under nine minutes in the contest when Caroline Vieira delivered a pass to Rafael Ornelas who planted the ball in the back of the net.

    The lead didn’t last long. Four minutes later, Gillette’s Kierra Cutright scored to tie the match at 1-1. The Pronghorns went ahead 2-1 with 15 minutes left in the first half on a Angie Smith goal.

    Passos said after that, the Cougars settled in.

    “The second half after coach talked to us, we just stepped on the field and worked harder to tie the game,” she said.

    Neither team could find the back of the net for the percentage of the second quarter. Finally, with 11 minutes remaining in the contest, Amy Romero fed Thais Nayara the ball and Nayara found the back of the net for the equalizer.

    The two defenses stepped up as neither team scored in the two 10-minute overtime periods for the tie.

    WNCC finished with 16 shots, nine of which were on goal, while Gillette had 17 shots with 13 on goal.

    WNCC goalkeeper did a decent job in net, recording 13 saves.

    The WNCC women will have two weeks off before their next contest against Otero and Trinidad Sept. 28 and 29 at the Landers Soccer Complex.

    The Western Nebraska Community College men’s soccer team received a clutch first-half penalty kick save from Ruam Barbosa and then scored two late goals in registering a 2-1 win over Gillette College Saturday afternoon at the Landers Soccer Complex.

    Saturday’s win was huge for a Cougar men’s team that was stinging a bit after falling to Northeastern Junior College on Wednesday. WNCC didn’t want to repeat that match and fought hard to earn the victory.

    Leo Palomo, a Kearney High School graduate, said they played hard to get the win.

    “After a tough loss, I thought we came out and played well,” Palomo said. “The team played hard and it was a different situation because a lot of us got yellow cards  but we fought through it.”

    Palomo said the team bouncing back from the NJC loss was huge.

    “It definitely gave us a lot of confidence,” he said. “Right now we have a set of home games and it is good to get our confidence back and keep on winning.”

    It was a yellow-card filled match, too, with nine yellow cards issued in the 90 minutes of play. And a big key to the win was the play of the defense, holding Gillette without a goal for 89 minutes of action.

    One of the biggest defensive plays of the match was Barbosa’s penalty kick save that came just 10 minutes into the contest. Barbosa was inserted into the contest after a yellow card was issued to starting goalkeeper Leandro Faria. What Barbosa did to dive and save the ball on the penalty kick ignited the Cougar defense.

     Palomo said that Barbosa’s save was huge.

    “Ruam stepped up big for us,” Palomo said. “He gave us life in this match.”

    The two defenses, in fact, were dominating action. Neither team scored in the first half. It wasn’t until the 75 minute mark that the first goal was scored and it came off the foot of Palomo, who took a pass from Ramses Atahualpa and planted it into the net.

    The lead stayed that way until with under three minutes to play WNCC added an insurance goal for the 2-0 lead. This time it was Atahualpa, who took a pass from Ohmar Sissoko for the goal.

    The Cougars almost shutout the Pronghorns, but with 31 seconds remaining, Gillette’s Gregoire Sebm scored to cut the lead in half. WNCC then ran out the clock for the win.

    WNCC had 14 shots, seven of which were on goal. Gillette had nine shots, eight of which on goal.

    Faria had five saves in net, while Barbosa had two saves.

    WNCC will be back in action next Saturday when they host Central Community College-Columbus in a Region IX South conference game at 4 p.m.

    Palomo said they are going to keep working hard to get ready for the rest of the season.

    “We are going to hit the training field hard and keep working like we always do,” he said.