SDSU heads down to University of Nebraska

Ariy-El Boynton

Ariy-El Boynton

The SDSU volleyball team has reached peaks and valleys the last two weeks.

Included in the emotional roller coaster was a very-thrilled Jacks team victory against IPFW on their home court to win the Summit League Championships and an automatic birth at the NCAA championships on Nov. 17.

Just a week later gravity took the Jacks back to the ground as they fell to Maine and Marquette in back-to back five-game matches.

The Jackrababbits had a long and sometimes silent drive home from Marquette, Wis., to Brookings. The next day, their spirits were raised when they went to Cubby’s to see whom they were going to play in the first round.

With not having to worry about whether or not they will be in the championships, the waiting was the hard part. “We were second to the last bracket, we were freaking out, and one by one teams were eliminated that we were not going to play,” said junior Emily Rooney. All of a sudden, Pennsylvania State was taken off the board. The Jacks were not going play Stanford, and Wisconsin was crossed off.

“It got to the end and we realized that we were probably going to play Nebraska,” said Rooney.

While the Jackrabbits players have not watch any film about their Big 12 neighbors to the South.

“This is an opportunity for us for greatness, if we have an opportunity to beat them it will be great, because they are considered one of the best teams of all time,” Head Coach Andrew Palileo

The players know that Nebraska will pose a challenge they have not played against before. “We haven’t seen anyone with their talent (Nebraska). We know they are going to be a big challenge for us,” said senior outside hitter Tina Martin.

Just how good are the Cornhuskers? Besides winning the national championship last year, the Huskers have been in the top two for the 2005 and 2006 season. For the last four matches, including the Big 12 tournament, NU has forced its opponents to hit under .100. In layman’s terms how good is Nebraska? In the middle of the season NU played the minimum three games for 17 straight matches in a row.

With a sold out crowd and very colorful and loud volleyball fans the coaching staff realize that not only the players of Nebraska will be intimidating, but the NU Coliseum also.

“It is going to be a challenge for us in terms of the crowd and that environment,” said Palileo.

But then again SDSU is pretty good too. The Jacks will have four seniors (Martin, Summit League Tournament MVP Amy Anderson, McKenzie Osadchuk and Samantha Pearson) and a talented group of players coming off the bench.

The Jacks are coming in the game with a nothing-to-lose point of view “It’s an opportunity for us to play in an environment like that and gain experience,” Palileo said.

Martin said right when Nebraska was announced she wanted to go and practice that second.

“Playing the defending champions is going to be very exciting for us. We are not trying to take it as a bad thing; we are trying to find their weakness and improve the school and the conference,” said Rooney.

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