A pair of Nebrasketball headlines, the release of the cross country and a pair of Huskers in the pros on our latest Corn Fed 5 segment.
Video by Patrick Radigan | Corn Fed Sports
15-1 (4-0 B1G)
National rank: 6th (ITA)
In a match that could eventually be the difference in the final Big Ten regular season standings, the then No. 10 Huskers dropped No. 7 Northwestern this past Sunday to jump up four spots in the latest rankings. Nebraska started strong and ended even stronger by taking the doubles point with a top ten upset and wrapping up the dual win in the final singles match of the day.
What’s even more significant, however, is the fact that Nebraska was able to jump past Michigan in the polls in the process, moving ahead of the ninth-ranked Wolverines in this week’s poll as Michigan actually dropped a spot from No. 8 last week with Nebraska’s win and move further into the top ten. After a trip to San Diego for match ups with the host squad and a neutral site showdown with Oklahoma State, Nebraska has seven conference duals remaining in the regular season, including a trip to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan on Apr. 13.
14-17 (5-13 B1G)
The postseason portion of the Tim Miles era begins on Thursday when the Nebraska men’s basketball squad will take on the seventh-seeded Purdue Boilermakers in the first round of the Big Ten tournament. And although the Huskers exceeded many expectations by securing to No. 10 seed in this week’s conference tournament, there are still those looking for more.
After Nebraska’s comeback fell short against Purdue earlier this year at Devaney, the Huskers have turned things around in terms of energy and performance in big games (especially at home down the stretch), and NU will look to turn that revamped spirit into it’s first ever Big Ten tournament win. With seniors Brandon Ubel and Dylan Talley sure to see this as their last opportunity to play for the Big Red, as well as the impact Andre Almeida showed he can have off the bench, look for Nebraska’s veterans to try and go out with a bang and try and pull the upset of the Boilermakers.
8-3 (5-2 B1G)
National rank: 11th (Gym Info)
A week after falling just short of a share of the Big Ten title, the Nebraska women’s gymnastics team heads west to take on California in the final meet of the regular season. Although the Huskers would benefit greatly from a strong road score to boost their average heading into the postseason, the key for NU this weekend is building momentum heading into next week’s Big Ten championships.
If the Huskers hope to successfully defend their Big Ten title from a year ago, especially against No. 3 Michigan, Nebraska will need to build confidence in the trip to take on Cal in Berkley. Last time Nebraska travelled to warmer climates, the Huskers dealt with tough judging en route to a below-average score, but if NU can channel some of the momentum from a dominant performance at Devaney on Senior Night, look for coach Kendig’s squad to best its season average of 196.565.
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National rank: T-21st (ESPN.com/USA Softball)
Following a Saturday sweep of a double header against Wichita State, the Nebraska softball team’s trip to Kansas was cut short (kind of) after snow forced the cancellation of Sunday’s game. To complicate matters even more, the Huskers Tuesday showdown with Creighton was moved to later in March thanks to the same storm, but the good news is Nebraska will still host it’s season opener this Friday when New Mexico State comes to Lincoln.
The Huskers have benefited from a balance of returning talent and new faces this season, with Nebraska being led on the mound by the two-headed moster of junior Tatum Edwards and freshman Emily Lockman, while Tatum, twin sister Taylor and senior Brooke Thomason have provided the pop at the plate. Nebraska currently has seven players hitting .300 or better, including two seniors and three freshman, with junior Taylor Edwards (5 HR, .327 avg and 22 RBIs) and co-captain/sophomore Mattie Fowler rounding out the top seven averages among Husker hitters.
With Big Ten play right around the corner for Nebraska, developing momentum on its home field will be critical for the Huskers this weekend in a three-game series with New Mexico State.
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Following Nebraska’s first road win of the year this past weekend in Louisiana, the Husker baseball team heads west to look for its first upset of the year in five games against ranked foes.
Nebraska starts with a three-game series with No. 24 UC-Irvine over the weekend where the Huskers will look to build off a win in the finale of a series against Louisiana Tech, NU’s first win away from home during the 2013 season. From there, the Huskers will take a day off before two more games against No. 8 Cal State Fullerton after NU travelled to Los Angeles for a double header against CSF earlier this season.
The Huskers have been led by senior Chad Christensen and second-baseman Pat Kelly, who have hit .400 and .340 respectively on the season, but will need help from the NU pitchers if Big Red hopes to pull an upset on the West Coast. Junior Christian DeLeon is the most likely pick for a Husker pitched poised for a big weekend, as the righty currently holds a 1-1 record and a 1.67 ERA in his four starts so far this season. Seniors Ryan Hander and Brandon Pierce will start the other two games against UC-Irvine (with the starts for the CSF series TBD), and if Nebraska hopes to get an upset, or even take the series from Irvine, they will need clutch performances from Hander and Pierce to give the Huskers a chance to generate enough offense.
National rank: 10th (Gym Info)
With construction at Devaney and the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament playing out on CBS at the same time, the Husker men’s gymnastics team will host a live televised meet against Iowa and Minnesota on the Devaney indoor track this Saturday night in Nebraska’s final home meet of the season.
After falling to Oklahoma, but posting its best score of the year in the loss, Nebraska will take to its second meet under the new five-up, five-count scoring method in men’s collegiate gymnastics when the Hawkeyes and Golden Gophers come to town for a Big Ten showdown of top ten programs (Minnesota is currently ranked No. 7; Iowa ninth). With just one meet remaining in the regular season following this weekend’s showdown, Nebraska will look to use the home court (track?) advantage to build it’s season average heading into the postseason.