Lincoln, Neb. -- The Nebraska football team practiced for just over two hours on Friday outside on the Ed and Joyanne Gass practice fields in full pads and helmets. Head Coach Scott Frost addressed the media after practice and talked about how the first week of fall camp has been.
“It’s been good, I see so much improvement from spring until now,” Frost said. “The improvement from January until now, it’s amazing how far the guys have come. We still have a lot to improve on and a lot to get better at, but overall I think [fall] camp has been really good, and the players have given us a lot of effort.” Frost also commented on how his team’s physicality has improved compared to last season. “[Strength Coach] Zach Duval is as good as there is in the business, and he’s changed our team,” Frost said. “All you have to do is walk out on the field and look at each individual and see how much improvement they’ve made with their bodies, with their speed, with their strength. Along with that it’s got to be guys that are willing to fight.” Frost also talked about the late addition of running back Maurice Washington, and how he’s impressed the coaching staff in camp. “We’re glad to have him,” Frost said. “He had a long road to get here, but he’s had probably a dozen big plays, spectacular plays already in this camp. So, he’s definitely opening some eyes, and I think he’s got a bright future here. I’d say to this point he’s better than what I expected. It’s amazing, he hadn’t worked out much and was focused in academics. We didn’t know what we’d get, but he’s going to be a pretty special player. The Huskers return to the practice field on Saturday morning. Nebraska kicks off its season on Saturday, Sept. 1 against Akron at Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. CT.
University of Nebraska Head Coach Tim Miles announced Friday that Vince Fritz has been named a graduate manager for the Husker basketball program for the upcoming season. In his role, Fritz will help in day-to-day operations of the Husker basketball program. “I’m happy to add Vince to the staff,” Miles said. “His credentials are terrific, looking at his high school background with his dad and his college experience with Kansas great Jeff Boschee. I think he will add a great deal to our program and work well with our players.” Fritz comes to Nebraska after playing collegiately at Missouri Southern for the past three seasons for Boschee. As a senior, Fritz played in 24 games as Missouri Southern went 20-10 in 2017-18, finished second in the MIAA and reached the 2018 NCAA Tournament. In his three seasons at the school, Fritz helped Missouri Southern to a combined 56-34 mark. He began his collegiate career at Sacred Heart (Conn.) University, where he spent his freshman season. A native of Overland Park, Kan., Fritz prepped at Blue Valley Northwest High School where he played for coach and father Ed Fritz. A four-year letterwinner, Vince Fritz was a two-time all-state performer who helped his team to a pair of state championships in Kansas. During his junior season, Blue Valley Northwest went 25-0 and finished 19th nationally by USA Today. A two-time first-team Eastern Kansas League selection, Fritz finished as the third-leading scorer in school history. He also played football at BVNW, earning all-league accolades as a punter and defensive back. Fritz comes from an athletic family. His father, Ed, has over 600 wins at the high school level in Kansas and has won four state titles since 2013 after playing at Baker University. His mother, Ann Costello, played collegiately at Nebraska from 1984-86, and has captured won a trio of state title at Blue Valley North. His uncle, Willie Fritz, is currently the head football coach at Tulane, while one grandfather, Vince Costello, is a member of the Cleveland Browns Hall of Fame and another, Harry Fritz, was a college football coach and executive director of the NAIA. Vince, who will pursue his master’s in educational administration, received his undergraduate degree from Missouri Southern in 2018.
Lincoln – University of Nebraska Coach Tim Miles announced Thursday that Dedoch Chan (pronounced DEE Doe-ch) will join the Husker program for the 2018-19 campaign. Chan, a 6-foot-8, 210-pound forward from Rochester, Minn., comes to Nebraska after spending last season at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. He will be a sophomore in 2018-19 and will have three years of eligibility remaining. “I’m very happy to add a player as productive as Dedoch has been at his junior college,” Nebraska Coach Tim Miles said.” The Huskers needed another player with size in the rotation, and Dedoch fits the bill. He’s a great young man, and we are proud to have in our program. I can’t wait to get started to work with him.”
Last season, Chan helped the Bulldogs and Coach Wendell Weathers to a 16-9 record, averaging 16.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game to pace the team in both categories. A first-team NJCAA All-Region 23 selection, he totaled eight double-doubles as a freshman, highlighted by a 33-point, 17-rebound performance against Meridian CC. A two-time Mississippi Association of Community & Junior Colleges Player of the Week, Chan was a first-team All-MACJC South selection following his freshman campaign. He had nine games of at least 20 points, including a stretch of seven straight down the stretch, as he shot 47 percent from the field, 31 percent from 3-point range and 73 percent from the line for the year. He had a season-high 34 point effort in a four-point win over Southwest Mississippi and had eight or more rebounds on 14 occasions, including three games of at least 15 rebounds. Chan prepped at John Marshall High School in Rochester, Minn., playing for Kirk Thompson in his final two high school seasons. As a senior, he garnered All-Big Nine Conference honors, averaging 16.0 points per game on 54 percent shooting along with 8.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. He helped John Marshall to a 25-4 record and a Section 1AAAA Runner-up finish. He transferred to John Marshall a junior and averaged 7.3 points point and 5.0 rebounds per game despite missing nearly a third of the season after moving. As a sophomore, Chan led Albert Lea High School with 22 points and eight rebounds a game to earn first-team All-Big Nine Conference accolades.
The Nebraska volleyball team is ranked second in the AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll, which was released on Wednesday. The Huskers received 20 of the 63 first-place votes and totaled 1,525 points. Stanford, which received 43 first-place votes, took the No. 1 ranking with 1,575 points. Texas (1,389), Minnesota (1,342) and Kentucky (1,260) rounded out the top five. Other Big Ten teams in the top 10 included No. 6 Penn State and No. 9 Wisconsin. The defending NCAA and Big Ten champion Huskers return three starters from last year's team, while eight of the 15 Huskers are newcomers. Nebraska will be replacing significant contributors in first-team All-America setter Kelly Hunter, second-team All-America outside hitter Annika Albrecht, honorable-mention recipient Briana Holman at middle blocker and defensive specialist Sydney Townsend. Senior captains Mikaela Foecke - who was the NCAA Championship co-most outstanding player and an AVCA second-team All-American - as well as libero Kenzie Maloney, who was an NCAA Championship All-Tournament selection, will guide the Huskers into the 2018 season. All-Big Ten Freshman Team selections Lauren Stivrins and Jazz Sweet are also key returnees in the Husker lineup. Among the Huskers' eight newcomers, five are true freshmen. Senior Brooke Smith, who won an NCAA Championship with the Huskers in 2015 and a Big Ten title in 2016, returned to the program for her final season after playing her junior year at Kansas State. Sophomore Lexi Sun transfered from Texas after earning first-team All-Big 12 honors at Texas last season. Junior setter Mari Kurkova recently joined the program from Opava, Czech Republic. The Huskers begin the season with the Red/White Scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 18 at 3 p.m. at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. A very limited number of tickets remain and can be purchased online here, as the Huskers look to sell out the preseason scrimmage for the first time.
Lincoln, Neb. -- The Nebraska football team practiced for just over two hours on Wednesday outside on the Ed and Joyanne Gass practice fields in full pads and helmets for the first time since the spring. Offensive Coordinator Troy Walters addressed the media after practice, commenting on the energy of the first practice in full pads. “Guys stepped on that field ready to go,” Walters said. “Anytime you put full pads on there’s that extra juice. There was a part of it where we made it live for two or three plays. Guys got after it, so it was good to see that when we throw the pads on, we don’t take a step back, and that is very encouraging.” Coach Walters mentioned the status of junior running back Tre Bryant after his 2017 season was cut short due to a knee injury. “He’s (Tre Bryant) full go,” Walters said. “We’re going to be smart with his reps and make sure he’s ready to go September 1st, but he looks good. He’s making all the cuts. You can tell he’s been in the play book over the summer and even the spring. He knows what to do. He’s worked his tail off to get back on that field, and he’s going to be an added bonus to our offense.” Coach Walters mentioned how the offense works with the defense as they continue to improve as a team. “It’s been awesome,” Walters said. “Competition-wise, we’re deeper than we were in the spring across the board. That shows up in practice, receivers versus DBs were getting after it. They’re making us better, we’re making them better. The older guys have embraced the younger guys. We’re a family, and we understand that we need everybody in order to be successful, so the older guys are taking the younger guys under their wing. As we get going, sometimes the younger guys kind of take a back seat and just try to find out, learn the process, learn the standards, and so as we get going those younger guys are going to get just as many reps, and we’re going to count on those guys this year.” Coach Walters talked about the status of the quarterbacks. “Across the board, guys did what they needed to do this summer,” Walters said. “They were in their play books. They were in the offense. We didn’t take a step back when we took the field last week, and that’s encouraging. Those guys are getting equal reps, and they’re competing and they’re doing a good job.” The Huskers return to the practice field on Friday morning. Nebraska kicks off its season on Saturday, Sept. 1 against Akron at Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. CT.
An extremely limited quantity of Nebraska volleyball single-game tickets will go on sale Wednesday, Aug. 8 at 10 a.m. through Nebraska Athletic Development and Ticketing. Tickets can be purchased online here, though they are expected to be sold quickly. Nebraska has sold out 234 consecutive regular-season volleyball matches, an NCAA women's record. Fewer than 200 tickets remain for the Red/White Scrimmage at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18. Those can also be purchased at the link above. Fans who attend the Red/White Scrimmage will get a sneak peek at the 2017 NCAA Championship documentary, "Nebraska Volleyball: Culture of a Champion," produced by NET, Nebraska's PBS & NPR Stations. It will be played on the Devaney Center video boards after the scrimmage. The Huskers are coming off a second NCAA Championship in three years and a repeat Big Ten title in 2017. Nebraska opens the regular season by hosting the VERT Challenge on Aug. 24-25. NU will face Florida in a national title rematch, as well as Oregon on opening weekend.
Nebraska volleyball head coach John Cook announced the addition of three student-athletes to the Husker volleyball program for the 2018 season on Friday. Former Husker setter Brooke Smith will return to the Husker program for her senior season, while junior setter Mari Kurkova and freshman defensive specialist/libero Chen Abramovich will also join the defending NCAA and Big Ten champion Huskers. Smith was a back-up setter as a freshman for the Huskers in 2015 during NU’s national title run, and she was a serving specialist in 2016, producing nine aces in 18 matches played in her two seasons at Nebraska. The 5-10 Weatherford, Texas native transferred to Kansas State for the 2017 season, where she split time at setter and averaged 4.71 assists per set and 1.71 digs per set. She was second on the team with 27 total aces and led the team in aces per set with 0.27. Smith, who will train as a setter, had a season-high 29 assists in a five-set match at Georgia Tech on Sept. 8, and she had three double-doubles on the season. “Brooke found out she missed Nebraska and the relationships she built in her first two years here,” Cook said. “She is a great addition to our team because she is such a hard worker, great teammate and a player everyone really respects. We are very excited to have Brooke back for her final season.” Kurkova is a native of Opava, Czech Republic and played club volleyball for PVK Olymp Praha while attending Přípotoční High School. A 5-11 setter, Kurkova has been a part of the Czech Republic women’s national team and played in the 2014 FIVB World Grand Prix. Kurkova played with the Czech Republic women’s national team in the 2015 FIVB World Grand Prix and was part of the U20 team that competed in the 2015 World Championship. Kurkova, who has completed a bachelor’s degree, will be a graduate transfer with two seasons of eligibility. “After Hunter Atherton’s transfer we began looking for another setter, and we found out about Mari and started the process,” Cook said. “She is unique in that she is a grad student, so she will be working on a master’s degree for the next two years. We felt that she would be a good fit at Nebraska because she has experience, she knows what she wants, and there is also a great Czech population in the state of Nebraska.” Abramovich is a 5-6 freshman defensive specialist/libero from Kfar Saba, Israel. She played club volleyball for Hapoel Kfar Saba last season and led her team to the ISR National Championship. Hapoel Kfar Saba reached the second round of the CEV Champions League and finished 16th in the CEV Volleyball Cup. Abramovich competed with the Israel Junior National Team at the 2016 European Championship. “Chen approached us about playing volleyball at Nebraska once she completed her army commitment,” Cook said. “Chen comes from a strong volleyball family, and her mom is a national hero for starting the Mother’s Volleyball League in Israel, and now it has spread all over the world. Chen played in a league that played with international rules where the libero is not allowed to serve, but she has seen a lot of tough serves and will be a great addition to our back row.” The Huskers begin the 2018 season with the Red/White Scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 18 at 3 p.m. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased at Huskers.com/tickets or by calling 402-472-3111.
Former Pacific Tiger and utility player Samantha Owen will join the Nebraska softball team in the fall announced Head Coach Rhonda Revelle on Thursday. A junior, Owen has two seasons of eligibility left with the Huskers and will be able to compete immediately. In 2018, Owen started 46 of the Tigers' 47 games and led the team with 53 hits. She hit .382, recorded seven home runs, 37 RBIs and finished the season with a slugging percentage of .600. In West Coast Conference play, Owen finished in the top five in the conference in batting average, slugging, RBIs, doubles and total bases, helping her claim first-team All-WCC honors. She also earned NFCA All-West Region Third-Team honors. As a freshman, Owen was named to the All-WCC honorable mention team, after appearing in all but four games for the Tigers. She registered 36 hits and hit .259. She scored 19 runs and had 16 RBIs. She also led all freshmen with four homers. The Manteca, Calif., native was a standout at East Union High School. She was named the Stockton Record All-Area Player of the Year, in addition to earning VOL MVP and FLO Softball All-American accolades. Owen helped the Lancers claim the state title as a senior, posting a .507 batting average. Off the field, Owens was a standout in the classroom as well, graduating with Cum Laude honors.
Nebraska wide receiver JD Spielman earned his second watch list recognition Thursday morning, as he was named to the Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse watch list. The Hornung Award is presented to the most versatile player in major college football. Spielman, who was named to the Biletnikoff Award watch list last week, showed his versatility during a record-breaking freshman season which saw him earn All-Big Ten recognition at both wide receiver and kickoff returner. He hauled in 55 passes for 830 yards and a pair of scores, establishing school freshman marks in receptions, receiving yards, 100-yard receiving games (two) and all-purpose yards (1,572). Spielman ranked first or second among all FBS freshmen in receiving yards, receiving yards per game, catches and all-purpose yards in 2017. His redshirt freshman season was highlighted by establishing Nebraska’s single-game receiving yards record with a 200-yard performance against ninth-ranked Ohio State. In conference play, Spielman became just the second Big Ten freshman since 1985 to lead the league in receiving yards per game during the conference season (88.1). He tied Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor for second in the Big Ten with an average of 157.8 all-purpose yards per game in league play and was fifth in catches per game. Spielman will look to be NU’s first-ever Hornung Award winner, as Ameer Abdullah was a finalist for the award in 2014.
Junior punter Caleb Lightbourn garnered recognition Wednesday, as he was named to the 2018 Ray Guy Award preseason watch list. The Ray Guy Award, named after College and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Ray Guy, is presented to the nation’s top punter.
Lightbourn, a two-year starter from Washougal, Wash., is one of 27 players on the watch list released Wednesday. As a sophomore, he averaged 42.1 yards per punt while placing 21 of his 59 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line. He averaged a career-best 48.0 yards per punt against No. 9 Ohio State and had a career-long 68-yard punt against No. 9 Wisconsin. In all, he averaged 2.4 yards more per punt in 2017 than as a freshman and tallied 13 punts of 50 yards or more. The three finalists will be announced in November with the winner being announced on the College Football Awards show on Dec. 6.