Two McCook Community College volleyball players were recently named to the Omaha World-Herald all-Nebraska team for players from two-year colleges. Five more Lady Indians received honorable mention.
MCC players named to the World-Herald First Team included freshman Faith Simpson, (Wauneta-Palisade) who was eighth in NJCAA Division I in kills with 481, had 56 aces and was named the Region IX freshman of the year. Teammate Ashley Carson, a sophomore setter from Ord, was seventh nationally in assists (1,268) and will play at NCAA Division II Coker College next season.
Lady Indians receiving honorable mention included freshman OH Kiera Barr, Granby, Wyo.; sophomore MB Hannah Emerson, Greeley, Colo.; sophomore setter Brooklyn Evans, Ogden, Utah; sophomore OH Ty Johnson, Conroe Texas; and sophomore OH Ryan Maddera, Greeley, Colo.
Western Nebraska’s top player Syenna Masaki, was named honorary captain. She led the Cougars in kills per set (2.76) and was second on the team in assists (267) and digs (339). The All-Nebraska team also includes Western’s Ana Costas, who was the Region IX libero of the year as she had 616 digs.
Northeast is represented by Kalli Brester, who led her team in kills (403) and was second in digs (509), while setter Savannah Nelson had 1,251 assists.
Central Community College’s Jacie Laetsch finished the season with 438 kills and 590 digs for the 19-20 Raiders. Luisa Hernandez Marin finished her North Platte career with 874 kills, which is second-most in program history, and 1,025 digs.
*H: Syenna Masaki, So., Western Nebraska
H: Faith Simpson, Fr., McCook
H: Kalli Brester, So., Northeast
H: Jacie Laetsch, So., Central
H: Luisa Hernandez Marin, So., North Platte
S: Ashley Carson, So., McCook
S: Savannah Nelson, So., Northeast
L: Ana Costas, Fr., Western Nebraska
* — denotes honorary captain
Honorable mention: Central: Shania Borchers, Maddie Davis, Jordee Korte, Rylee Kwapnioski, Abbe Mancuso. McCook: Kiera Barr, Hannah Emerson, Brooklyn Evans, Ty Johnson, Ryan Maddera. Northeast: Gabriela Barbosa, Elley Beaver, Delaney Belt, Hannah Heppner, Caitlin Orton. North Platte: Bailey Chintala, Taylin McNair, Sydney Mullin. Southeast: Kiley Codner, Addison Schramm, Stevie Tobin. Western Nebraska: Jayme Commins, Leslie Mamai-Latgafuaina, Amryi-Grace Paris, Adia Sherbeyn, Kaile Tuisamatatele.
McCook Community College Volleyball Coach Hayley Kobza has signed two more players for the Lady Indians for this coming season – both Nebraska players and one from Kobza’s high school alma mater.
Middle Blocker Emily Barr of Hershey and Mackenzie Anderson of Ogallala, an outside hitter, both signed letters of intent to play volleyball in the fall at MCC.
ON WEDNESDAY, Barr, 5-10, signed her letter of intent.
“Emily is my first player that I have signed from my high school,” Kobza said. “We were both coached by Amy Beyer who just this season was given an award for coaching the Lady Panthers volleyball team for 30 years.
Bass spent four years on varsity for the Panthers.
“Emily is a player that is going to come in and make an immediate impact on our team,” Kobza said. “I feel this has a lot to do with her prior coaching from Coach Beyer.”
During her senior season bar had 270 kills, 47 blocks, 20 aces and 65 digs.
“Emily has great work ethics and I am excited to see what she can achieve in her two years here as a Lady Indian. “
ON FRIDAY, Kobza was in Ogallala to sign Mackenzie Anderson, the 5-8 outside hitter.
“Mackenzie comes from a high school program that is known for Coach Steve Morgan (has more than 900 career wins and 30 state appearances),” Kobza said.
During her senior year at Ogallala, Anderson had 234 kills, 33 blocks, 117 digs and 24 aces.
“Mackenzie is a versatile volleyball player and can play almost any position on the court,” Kobza said. “I see her coming in and playing a huge role on our 2019 tribe. “
Bartley NE- Former Southwest Roughrider Ty Bennett has signed his letter of intent to continue his Football career at Wisconsin to play for the Ripon College Red Hawks an NCAA Division III School. The Red Hawks went 7-3 in 2018. Bennett finished his career as a Roughrider finishing with a 2-6 record. View full interviews with Bennett and Southwest Head Football Coach Nick Brost.
After reviewing 2018 Nebraska Football Fan Day, the Athletic Department recognized the need to change the process of managing Coach Frost’s autograph line. Because of the incredible demand last year, more than half of the people in Coach Frost’s line were not able to get his autograph in the two-hour window.
Subsequently, the decision was made to limit Coach Frost’s line to kids only for 2019 Fan Day. The athletic department staff members in charge of organizing Fan Day made the decision to limit access to Coach Frost’s line to children who were members of the Nebraska JV Team.
After further consideration, the Fan Day organizers recognize this was a mistake. Limiting access to JV Team members could prevent some children from having the opportunity to be a part of Coach Frost’s line.
It is important to Coach Frost that all children have an equal opportunity to receive his autograph on Fan Day. To that end, the Athletic Department has determined that JV Team membership will now be free.
Parents are encouraged to sign their children (eighth grade or younger) up for the JV Team in order to have a chance to be selected for Coach Frost’s autograph line. Registration for the JV Team will begin on July 8 at 10 a.m. Approximately 250 JV team members will be randomly selected in advance for a spot in Coach Frost’s line.
Coach Frost also plans to autograph 8x10 photos that will be distributed to the first 1,000 kids at Fan Day that are not a part of his autograph line.
Nebraska Football Fan Day presented by U.S. Cellular is set for Thursday, Aug. 1 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
RPAC Basketball Tournament continues this week. View Updated Bracket.
The 2018-2019 Republican Plains Activity Conference Girls & Boys Basketball Tournament bracket that has been updated following the Semifinal play held last night (Thursday, 01/24/2019). Semifinal play continues tonight with West/East Division boys games held at Paxton, NE and Bertrand, NE. Championship Saturday play will be held tomorrow (Sat., 01/26/2019) in McCook, NE at the Graff Events Center on the McCook Community College campus. Please note that the updated bracket(s) are accurate with the game order being Girls Consolation/Boys Consolation/Girls Championship/Boys Championship.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Vanderbilt swept the Southeastern Conference regular-season and tournament titles, set the league record for wins, tied the record with 13 draft picks and lost back-to-back games just twice.
Now the Commodores are national champions.
Mason Hickman and Jake Eder combined for 14 strikeouts, Michigan ace Karl Kauffmann was knocked out in the fourth inning, and the Commodores won the College World Series with an 8-2 victory in Game 3 of the finals Wednesday night.
Vandy (59-12) won its second title in its four CWS appearances, all since 2011. The other one came in 2014.
"I felt we were going to hit well, I felt we were going to play well. I thought this was going to be a nice night for the kids," coach Tim Corbin said.
Freshman Kumar Rocker, who was dominant in two CWS starts, was selected the Most Outstanding Player.
Hickman struck out 10 in six innings and limited the Wolverines (50-22) to one hit after he gave up three in a row to start the game. Kauffmann, making his third start in the CWS, struggled with his control, and Vandy broke open the game with three runs in the third inning and two in the fourth.
When Ako Thomas flew out to center to end the game, the Vandy dugout and bullpen emptied and catcher Philip Clarke sprinted to the mound to embrace Eder.
During the postgame celebration, Vandy players invited Teddy and Susan Everett to join them on the stage set up behind home plate. Their son, Donny Everett, was a star freshman pitcher on the 2016 team and drowned before the start of that year's NCAA Tournament. The seniors on this year's team were his teammate.
"Those two mean so much to this program and all the players and the seniors," shortstop Ethan Paul said. "To this day, every time I look at Teddy I think of Donny, and just being able to share that moment with them was something we all really wanted to do."
The loss ended a surprising postseason for Michigan, which went from being one of the last four teams picked for the 64-team NCAA Tournament to becoming the first Big Ten team to play in the finals since Ohio State in 1966. It was Michigan's first CWS since 1984.
"They have inspired future generations of Michigan baseball players with the belief that winning a national championship is possible," coach Erik Bakich said. "The only way you can have an Omaha program is to have an Omaha team. This is very much a tipping point for us."
Michigan staved off elimination in the first two rounds of the national tournament after squandering leads. The Wolverines knocked off No. 1 national seed UCLA to reach the CWS.
"We were hoping it would end in a better way," first baseman Jimmy Kerr said. "We'll look back — maybe not in a week or in a month — but down the road it will be fond memories."
Bakich was an assistant to Corbin from 2003-09 at Vanderbilt, and the two remain close friends.
"He's put together a remarkable year with those guys," Corbin said. "Where they came from ... they gave us everything we wanted and more."
Vandy is the sixth national champion from the SEC since 2009 and 12th overall, second only to the 18 won by the Pac-12 and its previous iterations. At No. 2, Vandy became the highest national seed to win it all since Miami in 2001.
Hickman gave up three straight singles to start the game, leading to Michigan's first run. He retired nine of the next 10, striking out six, and got out of trouble when the Wolverines loaded the bases in the fourth. He retired the last six he faced before turning the game over to Eder.
Hickman fanned nine or more in five of his final six starts and allowed one or fewer runs in nine of his last 13.
Though the Commodores brought to Omaha an offense ranked in the top five nationally in the major categories, it was pitching that carried them for most of their stay.
Vandy had eight runs on nine hits Wednesday, but its .221 average in six CWS games was the lowest for a national champion in the aluminum bat era that started in 1974.
Vandy got hits when it needed them in Game 3. Pat DeMarco sent Kauffmann's hanging slider 407 feet into the left-field bleachers — his seventh homer of the season and 100th for the Commodores — to tie it at 1 in the second.
The Commodores scored three runs with two outs in the third. Two walks and a single loaded the bases, and Kauffmann walked in the go-ahead run. Stephen Scott singled in two more.
Kauffmann tied a career high with five walks, and Jeff Criswell relieved him after Kauffman walked Ty Duval leading off the fourth, and JJ Bleday's single and Ethan Paul's sacrifice fly stretched the lead to 6-1.
Vandy pitchers combined for a 2.50 ERA over six CWS games. Hickman allowed one earned run and struck out 13 in 12 innings. Rocker, who threw the no-hitter in super regionals that already is part of college baseball lore, gave up two earned runs and fanned 17 in 12 1/3 innings. The staff averaged 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
"I know our offense was celebrated for a long period of time, but you look at what happened in this tournament, and it was pitching and defense, and certainly starting pitching," Corbin said. "We won this in 2014, it was relief pitching. In this tournament it was starting pitching."
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Vanderbilt's go-to guy throughout the postseason once again delivered a dominant performance.
Freshman Kumar Rocker struck out 11 while pitching 6 1/3 innings of three-hit ball, and Vanderbilt got to Michigan's shaky bullpen in a 4-1 win in Game 2 of the College World Series finals Tuesday night.
The Commodores (58-12), who set the Southeastern Conference single-season wins record, forced a winner-take-all Game 3 on Wednesday night at TD Ameritrade Park.
"We had the right guy on the mound," Vandy coach Tim Corbin said. "I haven't been around him that long, but I know the fibers of the kid. I know how he's directed. I know how he thinks. I know how he attacks."
Rocker (12-5), who pitched a no-hitter against Duke in the super regionals the last time the Commodores faced elimination, set the tone in another in a line of strong performances. Ten of the 6-foot-4, 255-pound Rocker's first 11 pitches were strikes.
Michigan (50-21) failed to score in the opening inning for the first time in its five CWS games, and five of its first six batters struck out.
"He's as advertised," Michigan coach Erik Bakich said. "He's got a special breaking ball that's tough to see. You try to sit on a fastball, and he throws enough of those breaking balls for strikes. You try to sit on the breaking ball, and he gets you with a 95-mph fastball."
Redshirt freshman Isaiah Paige (4-1), pitching for the first time since June 8 in regionals, drew the start for Michigan and worked four-plus innings.
The problems for the Wolverines started after Paige departed. The Commodores picked up an unearned run in the fifth and then Jack Weisenberger, who relieved Benjamin Keizer with two runners on in the sixth, let in two runs on wild pitches to back-to-back batters.
Philip Clarke's ninth homer, against Angelo Smith, made it 4-0.
Other than Jeff Criswell, a starter until the postseason, Michigan's bullpen hadn't been tested until Tuesday. The Wolverines used only three pitchers in winning their first four CWS games.
"I thought early we were squeezing it," Corbin said. "We settled in a little bit better as the game went along, and we took the runs that were given to us. But at the same time, I thought we hit the ball better from the fifth inning and on, after Clarkey hit that home run actually."
Rocker worked around two singles, two walks and two errors through six shutout innings. Jack Blomgren singled against him leading off the seventh and a balk put him on second. Rocker struck out Joe Donovan and then left to an ovation from the fans behind the Vanderbilt dugout.
"It's comforting as a team to have a freshman that can do what he does on a daily basis, on a weekly basis," said Clarke, Vandy's catcher. "It gives us the energy we need, especially on a day like today."
Michigan scored its only run when Ako Thomas greeted closer Tyler Brown with a base hit.
Rocker is 10-1 in his last 11 starts, and he's 4-0 in the NCAA Tournament with a 0.96 ERA, 44 strikeouts, five walks in 28 innings.
The Wolverines had two runners on base against him in three innings, including the fourth, when they stranded men at second and third.
"That was a big moment for me," Rocker said.
Michigan lost leadoff man and designated hitter Jordan Nwogu to a pulled left quad in the third inning. He was hurt running to first on a grounder and had to be helped off the field.
Dominic Clemente, a .200 hitter who hasn't had a hit since May 4, took Nwogu's place and struck out looking in his two at-bats. Bakich said Nwogu probably is out for Game 3 and that Riley Bertram, Miles Lewis or Clemente would be in the lineup.
Michigan is playing for its first national title since 1962, and Vanderbilt is trying for its first since 2014. The Wolverines will send Karl Kauffmann (12-6) to the mound against Mason Hickman (8-0) in Game 3.
Bakich said he isn't worried about how his team will react. The Wolverines have thrived in high-pressure situations. They avoided going 0-2 in the Big Ten Tournament with a walk-off win over Illinois that helped them secure one of the final four at-large bids in the NCAA Tournament. They also fought off elimination in the regionals and super regionals.
"I think it only seems fitting that our team would go to three games," Bakich said. "That's just kind of been our M.O. here in all these rounds. Just seems like we're very comfortable in that spot. After the game, just sensed a calmness of our team, and they're excited to play tomorrow."
NW Coach Jake Ritzdorf Post-game Interview
GICC Coach Brock Culler Post-game Interview