NU Notes: Huskers to Host Panthers Sunday in WNIT
Lincoln - The Nebraska women's basketball team will play host to Northern Iowa in the second round of the 2023 Postseason WNIT at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Sunday at 2 p.m. (CT).
Tickets for the Sunday afternoon tip between the Huskers (17-14) and Panthers (23-9) will be available on Huskers.com as soon as ticket access can be activated.
Nebraska earned the right to host after posting a 74-65 win over Missouri State in front of 4,116 fans at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Wednesday night. The WNIT made Nebraska's hosting responsibilities official following Northern Iowa's 88-76 victory over Colorado State in front of 988 fans at the McLeod Center in Cedar Falls on Thursday night.
Graduate guard Sam Haiby led the Huskers with a season-high 25 points in Wednesday's win over Missouri State, while Isabelle Bourne added a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Jaz Shelley put three Huskers in double figures with 11 points on a trio of three-pointers, including a buzzer-beating half-court heave that sent the Big Red to halftime with a six-point lead.
Maya McDermott led four Northern Iowa players in double figures in Thursday night's win over Colorado State. McDermott scored 21 points and dished out five assists while Kam Finley added 19 points. Emerson Green contributed 17 points, while Grace Boffeli pitched in a double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds.
Sunday's game will mark the first meeting between Nebraska and Northern Iowa since the teams faced off in the first round of the 2016 Postseason WNIT at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The Panthers edged the Huskers 64-62. Nebraska leads the all-time series with UNI 6-1.
Huskers Cap Regular-Season in Tri-meet Against Ohio State, Greenville
The No. 6 Nebraska men's gymnastics team is set to host No. 7 Ohio State and No. 14 Greenville for its final regular-season meet of the season on Friday, March 17 at 6:30 p.m. CT. The meet will be hosted at the Bob Devaney Center with a live video stream for B1G+ subscribers. There will be a t-shirt giveaway while supplies last and honors for senior night following the meet.
Ahead of the meet, Nebraska ranks among the top five on events contained by second position on high bar (69.05), third on floor (70.70), fourth on rings (69.05), and fifth on pommel horse (68.80) and vault (72.80).
Last Time Out
The Huskers look to collect a win after falling to No. 7 Illinois last weekend (395.250-411.550). In spite of the loss, NU still managed to pocket four event titles including Taylor Christopulos on floor (14.65), as well as in the all-around (81.85), Zac Tiderman with a personal-best on high bar (14.35), and Donte McKinney on vault (14.80), matching his personal-best for the third time.
Following the meet, national rankings reflect the Huskers' performance. Christopulos highlights the national rankings for NU as he is ranked first on vault (14.85) and in the all-around (83.25). A U.S. Senior National Team Member, Christopulos is third in the nation on floor (14.65) and ninth on high bar (13.95). Donte McKinney is ranked second on high bar (14.25) and eighth on vault (14.80). Zac Tiderman is fourth overall on high bar (14.35). Cooper Giles sits in fifth on pommel horse (14.50), and Chris Hiser in seventh on rings (14.30.
Scouting the Competition
Ohio State fell against No. 1 OU and No. 4 Penn State last weekend in a tri-meet finishing with a team score of 397.600, while Oklahoma won the meet with a 410.000 and Penn State followed with a 404.450. Ohio State was led by Parker Thackston who won the pommel horse title with a career-best 14.200.
Greenville took first place in a tri-meet with a season-best finish (384.750) against No. 11 Springfield (381.050) and No. 15 Simpson (357.550). Greenville took four of six event titles in the competition on floor, pommel horse, vault, and rings.
Huskers Travel to Iowa City for Big Ten Championships
Scouting the Competition
No. 25 Iowa, No. 2 Michigan, No. 9 Michigan State and No. 15 Ohio State will compete during Session II.
Wilson, Emanuel Collect USTFCCCA Region Honors
The Nebraska men's track and field program earned two USTFCCCA Midwest Region awards on Thursday. Jonah Wilson was named the Midwest Region Men's Field Athlete of the Year, while Brenton Emanuel was named the Midwest Region Men's Assistant Coach of the Year.
Award winners were determined by a vote of USTFCCCA member coaches following the conclusion of the 2023 NCAA Indoor Championships at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, N.M. Performances from both the NCAA Indoor Championships and the regular season were considered.
Wilson, who hails from Clovis, Calif., earned the shot put silver medal at the NCAA Indoor Championships last Saturday after a personal-best throw of 68-7 1/4 (20.91m). It was the No. 2 throw in school history and the best finish by a Husker men's track and field athlete at the NCAA Indoor Championships since 2018. A four-time USTFCCCA All-American, Wilson was also the Big Ten champion in the shot put in his first year in the conference after transferring from Washington. Following the meet, he was named the Big Ten Men's Field Athlete of the Championships as well as the Big Ten Men's Field Athlete of the Year.
Wilson is the first Husker male to earn an indoor postseason regional honor since the awards began in 2006. Dusty Jonas was the Midwest Region Men's Field Athlete of the Year in the 2008 outdoor season. Three of the last five indoor Midwest Region Men's Field Athletes of the Year have been throwers coached by first-year Nebraska head coach Justin St. Clair.
Emanuel, in his second year as assistant coach at Nebraska, coached two Husker athletes to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships, Darius Luff and Brithton Senior in the 60-meter hurdles. Luff finished third at the NCAA meet and led Nebraska's 1-2 with Senior at the Big Ten Indoor Championships. Emanuel also helped guide Nick Bryant to a Big Ten title in the 600 meters with a school record of 1:15.37. And the men's 4x400-meter relay team finished second at the Big Ten meet.
Emanuel is the first Nebraska men's assistant to be named Midwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year since Billy Maxwell in 2016. St. Clair was the women's outdoor Midwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year in 2022.
Huskers Win Two Matches in California
The Nebraska beach volleyball team won a pair of matches at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center on Thursday in Chula Vista, Calif.
Nebraska picked up a 5-0 sweep over San Diego Mesa and a 4-1 win against Grossmont. The Huskers improved to 11-5 on the season.
NU will now travel to Irvine, Calif., to play Saddleback College and Orange Coast College on Friday, followed by Irvine Valley College and Hope International on Saturday to conclude the beach season.
Nebraska 5, San Diego Mesa 0
1. Bekka Allick/Lexi Rodriguez (NEB) def. Sophia Jarosz/Tia Mendiola (MESA) 21-13, 21-19
2. Merritt Beason/Harper Murray (NEB) def. Maddie Harris/Tori Goff (MESA) 21-9, 21-17
3. Ally Batenhorst/Bergen Reilly (NEB) def. Isabelle Bakken/Nicole Eden (MESA) 18-21, 21-18, 15-13
4. Laney Choboy/Lindsay Krause (NEB) def. Maya Jessee/Emily Eltrich (MESA) 22-20, 21-16
5. Maisie Boesiger/Andi Jackson (NEB) def. Kaila Keovilaysane/Izzy Restani (MESA) 23-21, 21-16
Exh. Caroline Jurevicius/Hayden Kubik (NEB) def. Haley Engelbrecht/Madison Daniels (MESA) 21-14, 21-7
Nebraska 4, Grossmont 1
1. Madi Bogle/Alana Embry (GC) def. Bekka Allick/Lexi Rodriguez (NEB) 22-20, 21-14
2. Merritt Beason/Harper Murray (NEB) def. Amanda Pena/Haven Del Guidice (GC) 21-14, 21-6
3. Ally Batenhorst/Bergen Reilly (NEB) def. Hannah Werner/Chelsea Trendler (GC) 21-19, 21-16
4. Laney Choboy/Lindsay Krause (NEB) def. Rylee Suggett/Aly Guise (GC) 21-16, 21-10
5. Maisie Boesiger/Andi Jackson (NEB) def. Kortney Hitt/Lauren Dumo (GC) 21-10, 21-15
Exh. Caroline Jurevicius/Hayden Kubik (NEB) def. Hannah Debbin/Penina Sio (GC) 21-5, 21-18
Baseball vs. Nicholls Canceled on Thursday
Due to rainy conditions, Thursday's series opener vs. Nicholls in Manhattan, Kan., has been canceled.
Friday's doubleheader between the Huskers and Colonels has been moved up to 1 p.m.
Huskers Face Loaded Field in Arizona
The Big Red will be part of a 17-team field that features 16 GolfStat Top 100 teams, including No. 6 San Jose State, No. 23 Ohio State, No. 26 Iowa State, No. 34 Arkansas, No. 36 Houston, No. 37 TCU, No. 41 New Mexico, No. 42 Tulsa and No. 44 North Texas among the nine teams ranked ahead of No. 49 Nebraska. No. 50 North Carolina rounds out the 11 teams ranked among the top 50 in the nation, while No. 54 UNLV, No. 79 Wisconsin, No. 84 Missouri, No. 88 New Mexico State and No. 89 Kansas State add more strong depth to a field that also includes No. 128 Southern Miss.
The Huskers will arrive in Tucson on Wednesday with practice rounds available at the Mountain View Golf Course on Thursday, March 16, before the tournament begins with tee times off No. 1 and No. 10 at 10 a.m. (CT) on Friday, March 17. After a single round on St. Patrick's Day, the second round will follow the same format on Saturday, before the tournament concludes with a 9:45 a.m. (CT) shotgun start for the final round on Sunday. Live scoring will be available through GolfStat.com.
True freshman Kelli Ann Strand (Challis, Idaho) continues to lead Nebraska with a team-best 71.62 stroke average after earning her sixth top-20 finish of the season with her tie for 18th at the Briar's Creek Invitational in South Carolina (March 13-14). Her stroke average has her on school-record pace, and she heads to Arizona ranked No. 97 nationally by Golfweek.
Miu Takahashi joined Strand in a tie for 18th at Briar's Creek. The sophomore from Nasu-Machi, Japan has trimmed her stroke average to 72.60 to trail only Strand among the Huskers, while ranking among the top 200 players in Division I according to GolfStat (169) and Golfweek (185). She owns four top-10 finishes on the year including a tournament title at the Dale McNamara Invitational in Oklahoma (Oct. 10-11).
Graduate student Megan Whittaker continues to be the model of consistency in the Husker lineup with eight top-30 finishes in eight tournaments on the year, including her tie for 11th with a three-under-par 213 (70-71-72) at the Westbrook Invite in Nebraska's last trip to Arizona (Feb. 26-27). Whittaker owns a career-best 72.72 stroke average, which has helped her to a No. 184 ranking by GolfStat and No. 188 from Golfweek. She owns five top-20 showings on the year. Juniors Lindsey Thiele and Michaela Vavrova round out Nebraska's five-count-four lineup at the Mountain View Collegiate.
Mountain View Collegiate
Hosts: Kansas State & Missouri
Mountain View GC (Par 72 / 6,352 Yards)
Friday, March 17 (Round 1) - 10 a.m. (CT) [Tee Times]
Saturday, March 18 (Round 2) - 10 a.m. (CT) [Tee Times]
Sunday, March 19 (Round 3) - 9:45 a.m. (CT) [Shotgun]
Live Scoring: GolfStat.com
Participating Teams (GolfStat National Rankings)
1. Arkansas (34)
2. Houston (36)
3. Iowa State (26)
4. Kansas State (89)
5. Missouri (84)
6. Nebraska (49)
7. New Mexico (41)
8. New Mexico State (88)
9. North Carolina (50)
10. North Texas (44)
11. Ohio State (23)
12. San Jose State (6)
13. Southern Miss (128)
14. TCU (37)
15. Tulsa (42)
16. UNLV (54)
17. Wisconsin (79)
1. Kelli Ann Strand
2. Miu Takahashi
3. Megan Whittaker
4. Michaela Vavrova
5. Lindsey Thiele
IND - Andrea Velez
Huskers in National Rankings
Nebraska entered the national rankings for the first time in many years when the Huskers came in at No. 19 in the Golfweek rankings (Sept. 22). The Huskers also entered the Mizuno WGCA Coaches Poll at No. 20 (Sept. 23). Following a runner-up finish at the Dale McNamara Invitational, the Huskers remained in the top 25 at No. 23 in Golfweek (Oct. 13), while ranking No. 28 in the Mizuno WGCA Coaches Poll (Oct. 14).
Nebraska is No. 36 by Golfweek (March 13) and No. 49 according to GolfStat (March 15). Freshman Kelli Ann Strand heads to Arizona ranked No. 97 individually by Golfweek, while sophomore Miu Takahashi (185) and graduate student Megan Whittaker (188) join Strand among the top 200 golfers in the nation. Junior Lindsey Thiele (366) and Michaela Vavrova (461) round out Nebraska's top five.
Freshman Strand Makes Instant Impact for Big Red
Kelli Ann Strand made a record-setting debut on her way to a title at the Green Wave Classic in New Orleans (Sept. 12-13).
Strand, a three-time Idaho state champion who was ranked among the top-310 players in the world (WAGR 308) before arriving at Nebraska, set the Husker freshman record with a second-round 65 (-7) while tying the NU record for best 54-hole tournament score with a 202 (-14) at the Bayou Oaks South Course. Strand's performance included a school freshman record 65 (-7) in the second round. The true freshman from Challis, Idaho, fired a 29 (-7) over the back nine in the second round before opening the third round with a 31 (-5) on the front nine, carding a 60 (-12) over those consecutive 18 holes splitting two rounds. The NCAA record for best round of women's golf is 61. Strand also was named the Big Ten Golfer of the Week (Sept. 15).
Strand, who earned her second straight Idaho Golf Association Women's Player of the Year award in December of 2022, won the Idaho Women's Match Play title. She added a runner-up finish at the Idaho Women's Amateur. She was also the runner-up at the Girls Junior Americas Cup (July 24-28) for the second straight year with a three-round total of 205 (-11). She captured third at the IMG Academy Junior World Championship (July 12-15) with a four-round total of 280 (-8), which came before competing at the U.S. Girls Junior Amateur in Kentucky (July 18-23), where she advanced to Match Play before finishing in a tie for 33rd.
Strand earned the No. 1 position in Nebraska's lineup for the season-opening Green Wave Classic by winning Nebraska's competitive qualifying rounds in advance of the tournament.
She leads Nebraska with a 71.62 stroke average over 23.5 rounds, which is on pace to shatter the school freshman record (73.90) and the overall school season record (72.18) - both held by All-American Kate Smith.
Strand is ranked No. 97 nationally by Golfweek and No. 114 by GolfStat.
Takahashi Takes Title, Huskers Finish Second at Dale McNamara Invite
Miu Takahashi won her first college title to lead Nebraska to a runner-up finish at the Dale McNamara Invitational in Broken Arrow, Okla., Oct. 10-11. Her one-stroke win came with a then-career-best 213 (-3), including a final-round 69 (-3).
Kelli Ann Strand added her third consecutive top-five finish to open her career, tying for third at 215 (-1), including a final-round 69 of her own. Michaela Vavrova contributed a 70 (-2) in the final round to surge into a tie for 22nd, while Megan Whittaker added a tie for 22nd as well with a three-round total of 223. Lindsey Thiele also pitched in a 70 in the final round to tie for 30th (226) in a 75-player field in Oklahoma.
The Huskers closed the 54-hole tournament with an 869 (+5) team score, just one stroke back of the team champions from Tulsa. Nebraska's final-round 280 (-8) was the best 18-hole score of any team in the tournament.
Whittaker Back for Fifth Year to Lead Huskers in Big Ten
A hard-working golfer who has shown impressive improvement throughout her five collegiate seasons, Megan Whittaker returns to lead Nebraska in the hunt for an NCAA Regional bid in 2022-23. The graduate student from Elkhorn, Neb., produced Nebraska's No. 2 stroke average (74.04) in 2021-22, just missing an individual NCAA Regional bid. She trailed only NCAA Regional qualifier Kirsten Baete (73.94) among the Huskers.
Whittaker opened her fifth season as a Husker with a career-best 207 (-9) to take sixth at the Green Wave Classic. It followed a big summer for Whittaker that included a sweep of the Nebraska women's match play and stroke play championships and a berth in the U.S. Women's Amateur.
Whittaker also joined teammates Michaela Vavrova and Kelli Ann Strand as Big Ten Golfers to Watch heading into the 2022-23 season. Whittaker produced the first two top-10 individual finishes of her career while matching Baete and Vanessa Bouvet for the team lead with seven top-25 finishes last year.
In fact, Whittaker has notched top-25 finishes in 13 of her last 16 collegiate tournaments, including a tie for 11th with a 213 (-3) at the Westbrook Spring Invitational (Feb. 26-27).
Whittaker has produced a career-best 72.72 stroke average over 23.5 rounds this season and is ranked No. 184 by GolfStat and No. 188 by Golfweek.
A star in the classroom and the community, Whittaker earned her bachelor's degree in finance in May of 2022. She is a four-time WGCA Scholastic All-American, a three-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. In the community, she earned a prestigious Sam Foltz 27 Hero Leadership Award at Nebraska in 2021. She was also Nebraska's 2021 Big Ten Sportsmanship Award winner for women's golf.
Whittaker's ties to Nebraska women's golf are very strong, as her mother Kim (Lefler) lettered as a golfer for the Huskers from 1991 to 1994, helping Nebraska advance to the 1994 NCAA West Regional as a senior.
Five Huskers Advance to NCAA Quarterfinals
Tulsa, Okla. - Five Huskers advance to the 2023 NCAA Championship quarterfinals after claiming victories in their respective second round matches on Thursday evening. Seven qualifying Nebraska wrestlers remain alive as the team ends the first day in sixth with 15.5 points.
No. 3 Liam Cronin (125) was the first Husker to earn a spot in Friday's quarterfinals, using a trio of takedowns and a reversal to defeat No. 19 Braxton Brown (MD). The bout was scoreless through the first period, but Cronin tabbed his takedown in the second period and went on to score six points in the third period to secure the 8-4 decision.
At 141, No. 4 Brock Hardy grabbed the 5-1 decision over Minnesota's Jakob Bergeland. Hardy had a takedown in the first period and went on to add another in the third period, while securing the riding time point as time expired.
No. 3 Peyton Robb (157) was the third-straight Husker to advance, dominating No. 19 Garrett Model (WIS) with a technical fall in 5:40. Robb tallied 14 unanswered points in his second-consecutive technical fall.
At 174, No. 2 Mikey Labriola moved on to quarterfinals with a hard-fought 3-1 decision over No. 15 Demetrius Romero (UVU). Romero held the 1-0 advantage after two periods, but Labriola prevailed with an escape and takedown in the final two minutes.
In a rematch of this year's Big Ten Championships, No. 8 Silas Allred repeated as victor over Penn State's No. 9 Max Dean. The grapplers were tied at two until Allred scored a takedown in the final seconds of the second period. An additional takedown at the end of period three and the riding time point gave Allred the 7-2 decision and a spot in the quarterfinals.
At 165, No. 25 Bubba Wilson fell to No. 9 Shane Griffith (STAN) in a 10-0 major decision and moved down to the consolation bracket.
Cons. First Round
No. 13 Lenny Pinto grabbed an early 4-1 lead in the first round of consolations with a pair of takedowns. Through the final periods, Pinto extended it with an escape and another takedown to defeat North Dakota State's No. 29 Deanthony Parker, 7-1.
In the opening round of the NCAA Championships, the Huskers saw six wrestlers advance in the championship bracket. Cronin (125), Hardy (141), Robb (157), Wilson (165), Labriola (174) and Allred (197) all tallied victories in their first matches to qualify for the second round. Pinto (184) battled, but fell and moved on to the consolation bracket.
BOK Center | Tulsa, Okla.
Sessions I - II
March 16, 2023
125: No. 3 Liam Cronin
First Round: No. 3 Cronin dec. No. 30 Antonio Lorenzo (POLY) 9-4
Second Round: No. 3 Cronin dec. No. 19 Braxton Brown (MD) 8-4
Quarterfinals: No. 3 Cronin vs. No. 27 Eddie Ventresca (VT)
141: No. 4 Brock Hardy
First Round: No. 4 Hardy major dec. No. 29 Jordan Titus (WVU) 12-4
Second Round: No. 4 Hardy dec. No. 20 Jakob Bergeland (MINN) 5-1
Quarterfinals: No. 4 Hardy vs. No. 12 Parker Filius (PUR)
157: No. 3 Peyton Robb
First Round: No. 3 Robb tech. fall No. 30 Jared Hill (OU) 15-0 (6:11)
Second Round: No. 3 Robb tech. fall No. 19 Garrett Model (WIS) 16-1 (5:40)
Quarterfinals: No. 3 Robb vs. No. 6 Daniel Cardenas (STAN)
165: No. 25 Bubba Wilson
First Round: No. 25 Wilson dec. No. 8 Matthew Olguin (ORST) 3-1, SV-1
Second Round: No. 9 Shane Griffith (STAN) maj. dec. No. 25 Wilson 10-0
Cons. Second Round: No. 25 Wilson vs. No. 23 Connor Brady (VT)
174: No. 2 Mikey Labriola
First Round: No. 2 Labriola dec. No. 31 Tyler Stoltzfus (LEH) 9-6
Second Round: No. 2 Labriola dec. No. 15 Demetrius Romero (UVU) 3-1
Quarterfinals: No. 2 Labriola vs. No. 7 Peyton Mocco (MIZ)
184: No. 13 Lenny Pinto
First Round: No. 20 Neil Antrassian (UVU) dec. No. 13 Pinto 11-6
Cons. First Round: No. 13 Pinto dec. No. 29 Deanthony Parker (NDSU) 7-1
Cons. Second Round: No. 13 Pinto vs. No. 14 Will Feldkamp (CLAR)
197: No. 8 Silas Allred
First Round: No. 8 Allred dec. No. 25 Michael Battista (UVU) 13-7
Second Round: No. 8 Allred dec. No. 9 Max Dean (PSU) 7-2
Quarterfinals: No. 8 Allred vs. No. 1 Nino Bonaccorsi (PITT)
Team Score (Points):
1 Penn State (26.0)
2 Iowa (21.5)
3 Missouri (17.5)
4 Minnesota (16.5)
4 NC State (16.5)
6 Cornell (15.5)
6 Nebraska (15.5)
8 Michigan (14.5)
8 Ohio State (14.5)
10 Arizona State (13.0)
10 Virginia Tech (13.0)
10 Wisconsin (13.0)