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).
LINCOLN, Neb. - The No. 6 Nebraska volleyball team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after a 25-19, 25-12, 25-16 sweep of Hofstra in front of a crowd of 8,358 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Friday night. With their ninth straight win, the Huskers (25-6) advanced to Saturday's NCAA Second Round matchup with Missouri at 7 p.m.
Sophomore Laura Stivrins paced an efficient Husker offensive attack with a match-high 12 kills, the first double-figure kill match of her NCAA Tournament career. Stivrins recorded her 12 kills on only 18 swings, hitting .500. Senior Mikaela Foecke finished with nine kills on 22 error-free swings after being held without a kill in the opening set. Sophomore Lexi Sun had nine kills in her Nebraska postseason debut, while classmate Jazz Sweet put down four kills on nine error-free swings to hit .444. Freshman Nicklin Hames set Nebraska to a .352 attack percentage in her postseason debut. Defensively, the Huskers recorded eight blocks. Foecke tied her career high with six stuffs, while Callie Schwarzenbach had four blocks to set the Nebraska freshman record for blocks in a season (163). Senior libero Kenzie Maloney paced Nebraska's floor defense with 12 digs.
Nebraska had 10 more kills, 5.5 more blocks and six more digs than Hofstra, which ended its season with a 25-8 record. The Pride had 15 kills and hit .333 in the opening set but had just 16 kills the rest of the way while hitting a combined .045 in the second and third sets. Laura Masciullo led Hofstra with 10 kills, her 10th straight match with double-figure kills. Aisha Skinner added five kills and Nanishka Perez and Michela Rucli had five kills apiece. Maddie Appleton had a match-high 13 digs from the back row.
Set 1: Nebraska got off to a bit of a slow start, as Hofstra took a 5-3 lead via five kills. The Huskers then went on a 5-1 run to take an 8-6 lead, with Stivrins terminating twice and Foecke serving an ace. Hofstra hung tough, tying the set three more times, the latest at 11-11. But Sweet and Stivrins put down kills, and a block by Foecke and Stivrins gave NU a 15-12 lead at the media timeout. An ace serve by Stivrins and a Hofstra hitting error put the Huskers up by five, 19-14, and Sun pounded back-to-back kills to help the Huskers pull ahead 21-15. Hofstra scored the next three points to slice the lead in half, but Sun earned sideout with her fifth kill, and Foecke and Schwarzenbach thwarted an attack before a Hofstra net violation gave NU set point at 24-18. A Hofstra service error, its sixth of the set, ended the set in NU's favor, 25-19. Nebraska hit .400 in set one, while Hofstra hit .333.
Set 2: The Huskers bolted to a 5-1 lead with Schwarzenbach tallying a kill and combining on back-to-back blocks with Foecke and Sweet. Schwarzenbach scored again with a kill to make it 6-2, and a kill by Foecke started a 7-0 Husker run that made it 14-3. Miller served the run, which included an ace, and Stivrins and Hames tacked on kills as the Huskers took control of set two. Sami Slaughter came off the bench and put down a kill to make it 23-10, and Stivrins scored NU's final two points of the set with kills for a 25-12 Husker win. The Huskers hit .370 and were much better defensively, holding the Pride to .000 hitting.
Set 3: Stivrins and Foecke hammered down back-to-back overpasses and then teamed up for a block to give the Huskers a 7-3 advantage early in the set. The duo continued their dominance in the set, each posting another kill before a solo block by Foecke made it 10-4. Miller served her second ace of the night for an 11-4 lead. NU led 16-7 when Hofstra scored six of the next nine points, but Foecke and Stivrins posted another block, and Foecke smashed three more kills to put Nebraska ahead 23-14. The Huskers finished off the sweep with a 25-16 win after Foecke tacked on her ninth kill.
Up Next: The Huskers will play No. 24 Missouri on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the second round. Missouri swept No. 23 Arizona in the first match, 25-17, 25-22, 25-18. The match will be televised on NET, streamed on Huskers.com and will air on Husker Sports Network radio affiliates, Huskers.com and the Huskers app.
- Nebraska won its ninth straight match to improve to 25-6 on the season, reaching 25 wins for the 18th time in John Cook’s 19 seasons as Husker head coach.
- The Huskers won an NCAA Tournament match for the 35th straight season. The Huskers have lost only once in the first round (1983) and are 32-1 all-time in first-round matches (also received four first-round byes from 1994 to 1997).
- Nebraska won its seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament match to improve to 109-31 all-time in the postseason. The Huskers and Stanford are the only two volleyball programs with 100 wins in the NCAA Tournament.
- Nebraska won its 11th straight NCAA Tournament match at home, dating back to 2013. The Huskers improved to 74-7 all-time at home in the NCAA Tournament, including a 19-2 record at the Devaney Center.
- The Huskers have won 51 of their last 54 home NCAA Tournament matches.
- John Cook improved to 68-14 in the NCAA Tournament at Nebraska, including 19-0 in first-round matches. Including his seven seasons at Wisconsin, Cook is 76-18 in the postseason, including 23-1 in the first round.
- The Huskers won their 18th consecutive match in the month of November. Nebraska finished with a 9-0 record this November and improved to 32-1 in the month since the start of the 2015 season. The last two seasons Nebraska went undefeated in November, the Huskers went on to win the national title (2015 and 2017).
- Nebraska’s two seniors who have been with the program all four years - Mikaela Foecke and Kenzie Maloney – improved to 17-1 in their NCAA Tournament careers.
- Nebraska held Hofstra to a .135 attack percentage, tying the Pride's season-low mark. The match marked the 25th opponent the Huskers have held below .200 hitting this season.
- The Huskers hit .352, their fourth consecutive match hitting above .350. Nebraska's .352 attack percentage was the highest mark Hofstra allowed in 2018, as the Huskers became just the second Pride opponent to hit .300 in 33 matches this season.
- Callie Schwarzenbach had four blocks in her NCAA Tournament debut to break the Nebraska freshman record for blocks of 160, set by Tracy Stalls in 2004. Schwarzenbach has 163 blocks this season.
- Mikaela Foecke tied her career high with six blocks against Hofstra. The six blocks were also the most Foecke has had in an NCAA Tournament match, eclipsing the five blocks from the first postseason match of her career in 2015 vs. Harvard.
- Mikaela Foecke had two aces against Hofstra. She has 20 aces in her NCAA Tournament career, the second-highest total in Nebraska history.
- Lauren Stivrins had a match-high 12 kills, her career high for an NCAA Tournament match after she totaled eight kills against both Stony Brook and Florida in last year's run to the NCAA title.
- Megan Miller had two aces in her NCAA Tournament debut.
Lincoln, Neb. -- The Nebraska football team worked out in full pads for two hours on Wednesday inside the Hawks Championship Center.
Offensive Coordinator Troy Walters addressed the media after practice, crediting senior wide receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. for his hard work and perseverance this season. Morgan had just 15 catches and no touchdowns in his first three games, but through the last four games, he’s caught 32 passes, including six for touchdowns.
“[Stanley Morgan Jr. has] meant everything,” Walters said. “He’s kind of the standard of how we do things around here. He’s been excellent. He’s been awesome. [He] loves football. Every time he steps on the field, he’s passionate. He plays until the whistle. He sets the standard. We want all of the younger guys in that receiver room to watch him and to be like him. If you’re like him, you’re going to be successful, not only on the field but also off the field. Being a leader, setting the standards, setting the environment, the expectations, even when things were a little rocky and we weren’t playing as well, he never jumped shipped. He’s always had a positive attitude. I’m glad to see that his hard work and perseverance is paying off.”
“We’re going to call the game to win, but we know those guys have to get touches,” Walters said. “We know those guys have to make plays. If we’re doing what we’re supposed to do, those records will come because those guys are going to have to make plays. Our offense kind of goes through those three guys, but, we’re not going to get out of our normal play calling mode just to set records. It’ll come if we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing.”
Walters discussed the excitement going into Saturday’s game and how they are ready to take on the challenge.
“We’re playing at a high level,” Walters said. “Their defense is playing at a high level. It’s probably the best defense we’ve played since No. 4 Michigan. So, it’ll be a challenge in front of us to really see where we are as an offense. The guys have embraced that. They have the number one run defense in the country. That’s going to be a challenge. Our offensive line, they’re taking that challenge. They’re excited. We can’t wait to go out there Saturday and see what happens.”
Walters also mentioned the status of wide receiver JD Spielman.
“He’s been limited,” Walters said. “He’s been day-to day. The good thing about JD [Spielman] is that he knows the offense in and out. So, he doesn’t need a whole lot of practice time to stay sharp. So, we’ll make sure he’s healthy and we’ll just see.”
Nebraska will continue preparations for Saturday’s game against Michigan State at Memorial Stadium. The game will serve as Senior Day. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. with television coverage provided by FOX.
Lincoln –A new era for Nebraska basketball begins on Friday, Sept. 27, as the Huskers will usher in the Fred Hoiberg era at Pinnacle Bank Arena with Opening Night with Husker Hoops.
The event, which is free to the public, will feature a musical act which will be announced at a later date. The night includes introductions of the 2019-20 Huskers, a live scrimmage on the brand new PBA court, remarks from Coach Hoiberg, fan contests, giveaways and more.
“We wanted to kickoff basketball season with an event that allows our fans to have a good time and get an early preview of our team as we start practice,” Hoiberg said. “We hope this event is not only the start of a new tradition for our program, but also the start of festive weekend with the Husker football team hosting Ohio State the following day.”
Pinnacle Bank Arena doors will open at 6 p.m. with the event beginning at 7 p.m.
Fans can start registering for lower bowl tickets on Huskers.com/Tickets beginning on Monday, July 15, at 10 a.m. with a limit of four reserved tickets per person. Upper bowl seats will be opened as needed. A limited number of student seats will be held for RedZone season-ticket holders, and information on how to reserve tickets for the event will be communicated directly to student season ticket holders.
Opening Night with Husker Hoops begins a busy weekend on the Nebraska campus, as the Husker football team hosts Ohio State the following day.
LA JUNTA, Colo. – The McCook Community College volleyball team was a point from going up 2-0 Friday night against 19th-ranked Otero Junior College but ended up losing the second set and dropping a five-set match.
Otero won 20-25, 28-26, 25-13, 21-25, 15-11.
MCC also got down 16-10 in the fourth set but rallied back to even the match a 2-2.
In the fifth-set tie-breaker, again the Rattlers came out and went up 7-1 and 10-3 before the Lady Indians closed to 11-9and 12-10 but Otero closed out the game.
MCC falls to 14-7 on the year.
The three-game southern-Colorado trip continues Saturday at Lamar followed up with three more road games next week before returning home Oct. 11 against Trinidad.
Nebraska running back Devine Ozigbo was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week and quarterback Adrian Martinez was honored as the Big Ten Freshman of the Week, the conference announced on Monday.
The weekly award is the first of Ozigbo’s career, while he became the first Husker to be named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week since Tommy Armstrong Jr. in 2016. Martinez was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the second straight week and for the third time this season. Martinez is the eighth player in Big Ten history to take home three freshman-of-the-week awards, and he is the first quarterback to be named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week three times since Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett in 2014.
Ozigbo was recognized after he averaged 14.7 yards per carry in the Huskers’ 54-35 win over Illinois on Saturday. Ozigbo had 162 yards rushing on only 11 carries – his fourth Big Ten game with more than 150 rushing yards – and he scored a career-high three touchdowns. Ozigbo had touchdown runs of 60 and 66 yards for the two longest rushes of his career. He is just 42 yards shy of rushing for 1,000 yards this season. The Sachse, Texas, native leads the Big Ten and ranks eighth nationally with 12 rushing touchdowns this season, and he also ranks fifth nationally in yards per carry (7.5) and is 21st in rushing yards (958).
Martinez directed a Husker offense that totaled more than 600 yards of offense against the Illini while scoring 54 points, the most points Nebraska has ever scored in a Big Ten Conference game. The Fresno, Calif., native accounted for 345 yards of total offense against Illinois, as he tied the school record with his sixth 300-yard total offense game this season. Martinez completed 24-of-34 passes for 290 yards and a career-high-tying three touchdowns. He also ran for 55 yards and one touchdown, tying his career high with four total touchdowns. Martinez, who moved into the top 10 on Nebraska’s season passing yards and total offense lists on Saturday, ranks second nationally among FBS freshmen in total offensive yards per game (305.2) and is third among all freshmen in passing yards per game (245.8). Among all FBS players, Martinez ranks 14th nationally in total offense, 17th in completion percentage (66.9) and 21st in points responsible for per game (15.1).
Nebraska produced a pair of second-team All-Big Ten selections as the conference announced its postseason honors and award winners on Tuesday. Sophomore outfielder Aaron Palensky received recognition from the Big Ten after leading the Huskers with a .339 batting average in the regular season and a team-high .323 batting average in conference play. Palensky, in his first year at Nebraska, leads the Huskers in hits (65), doubles (11), triples (2), home runs (5) and runs scored (36). He has 20 multi-hit efforts this season, the most on the team, to go along with six multi-RBI performances, tied for second-most on the squad. Freshman Cam Chick earned the designated hitter spot on the second team and the All-Freshman Team. During Big Ten play, Chick hit .316, second-best average on the team in conference play behind only Palensky. For the regular season, Chick compiled 35 hits, two doubles, four home runs, 25 RBIs and 26 runs scored. He has recorded 10 multi-hit efforts and six multi-RBI showings. Junior outfielder Joe Acker earned Nebraska’s Sportsmanship Award for 2019. Acker ranks third on a team with a .286 batting average. He has amassed 40 hits, seven doubles and one triple. Acker’s 13 multi-hit games are tied for the second-most on the team. His eight stolen bases are a team high. Nebraska continues its season on Wednesday when the Huskers open the Big Ten Tournament against No. 4 seed Minnesota at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb. The game, scheduled for 9 p.m. (CT), will be televised on the Big Ten Network. Tickets for the Big Ten Tournament are on sale at Ticketmaster.com.
Nebraska’s 2019 All-Big Ten Selections
Second Team: Aaron Palensky (OF)
Second Team: Cam Chick (DH)
All-Freshman Team: Cam Chick (DH)
Sportsmanship Award: Joe Acker
Lincoln – Nebraska senior guard James Palmer Jr. will have another opportunity to showcase his skills in front of NBA teams, as he was selected to the first-ever NBA G League Elite Camp in Chicago next week.
The event for college players goes from May 13-14, and provides an opportunity for the top-40 players not originally selected for the NBA Combine, an opportunity to qualify for the combine. A select number of players from the draft-eligible group will be invited to participate in the 2019 NBA Draft Combine based on their performance in the NBA G League Elite Camp. The NBA Draft Combine will be held May 14-19 in Chicago.
This camp continues a busy stretch for Palmer since his senior season ended. He played in the Reese's College All-Star Game during Final Four weekend and in the Portsmouth Invitational, where he earned All-Tournament honors.
Last season, he averaged 19.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.4 steals per game, ranking third in the Big Ten in scoring and fourth in steals. He established Nebraska single-season records in points (708), free throws attempted (282), free throws made (215) and minutes played (1,269) to help the Huskers make their second straight postseason appearance.
A third-team All-Big Ten selection and a first-team All-District pick by the USBWA in 2019, Palmer had 18 20-point games as a senior, including a 34-point effort against Rutgers in the Big Ten Tournament. In his two-year career at Nebraska, Palmer finished with the second-highest career scoring average in Husker history (18.5 points per game) as he started all 69 games in that span.
|NBA Draft-Eligible Players – Player (College/Club)|
|Battle, Tyus (Syracuse)||Jeffries, DaQuan (Tulsa)|
|Boatwright, Bennie (USC)||Konate, Sagaba (West Virginia)|
|Booth, Phil (Villanova)||Maker, Matur (Mississauga Prep (Canada)/Zlatorog (Slovenia))|
|Brissett, Oshae (Syracuse)||Mann, Terance (Florida State)|
|Brown, Bryce (Auburn)||Martin, Caleb (Nevada)|
|Cheatham, Zylan (Arizona State)||Martin, Cody (Nevada)|
|Clemons, Chris (Campbell)||Maye, Luke (North Carolina)|
|Coffey, Amir (Minnesota)||Mourning, Trey (Georgetown)|
|Cook, Tyler (Iowa)||Nembhard, Andrew (Florida)|
|Cumberland, Jarron (Cincinnati)||Palmer Jr., James (Nebraska)|
|Dawkins, Aubrey (Central Florida)||Perkins, Josh (Gonzaga)|
|DeLaurier, Javin (Duke)||Perry, Reggie (Mississippi State)|
|Diakite, Mamadi (Virginia)||Pickett, Jalen (Siena)|
|Elleby, CJ (Washington State)||Powell, Myles (Seton Hall)|
|Fall, Tacko (Central Florida)||Robinson, Justin (Virginia Tech)|
|Franks, Robert (Washington State)||Shayok, Marial (Iowa State)|
|Harper, Jared (Auburn)||Strus, Max (DePaul)|
|Happ, Ethan (Wisconsin)||Wigginton, Lindell (Iowa State)|
|Hernandez, Dewan (Miami)||Wooten, Kenny (Oregon)|
|Hinton, Amir (Shaw (NC))||Wright-Foreman, Justin (Hofstra)|
Chicago – University of Nebraska guard James Palmer Jr. (Upper Marlboro, Md.) was one of five players named to the Big Ten All-Tournament team Sunday evening. Palmer led the Huskers to the quarterfinals, averaging 24.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.3 steals per game, as he played all 120 minutes of NU’s three contests. Palmer tied a career high with 34 points in the first-round win over Rutgers, including a school-record 27 points in the second half alone. His 34 points was one off the Big Ten Tournament record, as Nebraska rallied from an eight-point deficit.
The senior guard carried the Huskers to a win over No. 21 Maryland with 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting, five rebounds and three assists before finishing with 15 points and four steals in the loss against No. 19 Wisconsin on Friday. Palmer is the first Husker named to the Big Ten All-Tournament team since Shavon Shields in 2016.
2019 Big Ten All-Tournament Team
Cassius Winston – Michigan State (Most Outstanding Player)
James Palmer Jr. - Nebraska
Ignas Brazdeikis – Michigan
Zavier Simpson – Michigan
Jordan Murphy - Minnesota
Chicago -- University of Nebraska guard James Palmer Jr. was honored Thursday morning, as he was named to the preseason All-Big Ten team. The team was announced prior to the start of the Big Ten Media Day here in Chicago.
Palmer, a returning first-team All-Big Ten selection, is one of three returning starters back for the Huskers, as he averaged 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in leading the Huskers to a 22-11 record in 2017-18. Palmer reached double figures in 31 of 33 games, including a career-high 34-point effort at Ohio State.
He is one of only five returning power conference plays who averaged 17.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg and 3.0 apg last season, while his 18.8 points per game in conference play is not only the most of any returning Big Ten player, it is the highest returning total by a Big Ten player since the 2012-13 season.
Palmer, a 6-foot-6, 207-pounder from Upper Marlboro, Md., will look to be Nebraska’s first two-time first-team All-conference performer since Eric Piatkowski in 1993 and 1994.
2018-19 PRESEASON BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Carsen Edwards, Jr., G, Purdue
2018-19 PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN TEAM
Romeo Langford, Fr., G, Indiana
Juwan Morgan, Sr., F, Indiana
Anthony Cowan Jr., Jr., G, Maryland
Charles Matthews, Sr., G, Michigan
Nick Ward, Jr., F, Michigan State
Cassius Winston, Jr., G, Michigan State
Jordan Murphy, Sr., F, Minnesota
James Palmer Jr, Sr., G, Nebraska
CARSEN EDWARDS, Jr., G, Purdue
ETHAN HAPP, Sr., F, Wisconsin