Lincoln, NE - Coming off a sweep this weekend in Irvine, California, the top ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers volleyball team is set to host the Ameritas Players Challenge at the Nebraska Coliseum starting on September 6th, finishing the 8th.
On hand for the challenge will be the University of Oklahoma, Kentucky and Duquesne. John’s Cook squad is ranked No. 1 in the nation and is still undefeated on the season with a 5-0 record. Despite being ranked as the top team in the country the 12th year head coach knows there is still work to be done.
“Are you talking about my poll or the AVCA Poll? Oh the coaches poll, the one that we don’t look or talk about. We may have moved up to 10th in my poll this week,” said Cook. “Our players are mature enough to understand that it just means that teams play harder against us. Colgate who hasn’t one a game this season played out of their minds against us.”
With veterans like Hannh Werth, Gina Mancuso, and Morgan Broekhius anchoring this year's squad, it's been freshman Megan Haggert who's making tremendous noise – including Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors this week.
“Allison (McNeal) finally had a monster match offensively, and Cecilia (Hall) was our best blocker this weekend.” John Cook said Monday.
What seems to be separating this years squad from Cook's 2011 team is the contributions all across the board. Effort is not coming from just stars Lauren Cook, Werth, Mancuso and Broekhuis, but big contributions from freshman Alexa Strange and Haggerty, junior Hayley Thramer and senior Allison McNeal.
Extending the bench will be key with three games in three days.
Oklahoma comes into the tournament with a 5-2 record and will be the Huskers opponent Thursday night. Friday night's opponent Duquesne, comes to Lincoln with a 7-1 record, fresh off a tournament win in the Duquesne/Robert Morris Invitational. And No.10 Kentucky will round out the weekend. They come in with a 5-2 record.
Nebraska vs Notre Dame VB highlights