I have been mulling this over for a few weeks and since I have some time this morning while full of coffee thought I would post my disappointment with Nebraska's reaction to this latest volleyball championship.
Now, I'll admit that I don't make it to Lincoln as much now that my kids have graduated and moved on to begin their careers, but from reading Husker fan sites and Lincoln and Omaha papers, it feels like everyone out there has just sort of stood there going "hey, another volleyball championship, cool.......BUT WHAT ABOUT SCOTT FROST!"
It seems to me that all Nebraska sports fans know what an absolute top notch coach John Cook is, and they take pride in the team's consistent winning performance. However, for anyone who actually follows Womens College Volleyball, this season's performance, and B1G and NCAA Championships, should be considered something very, very special.
These Husker women beat Penn State TWICE in the same season. The second time couldn't have been more pressure and they turned in one of the best all around volleyball performances I have ever seen live, right there at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, on a Thursday night. They played complete team volleyball and executed tough serving, great defense, and a gritty performance to beat a Penn State team that would have demolished Florida in the finals.
Of course, this followed a 4 set win over Kentucky, another team Nebraska was not expected to beat in the Elite 8.
The finals versus Florida were a repeat of the semi win. Tough serving, tough defense, blocking, and smart offense. It was a great example of what we used to call "Nebraska Volleyball" back in my much younger days when I played USAV volleyball. Smart play, great floor coverage, off-speed hits, use the block, deep corners, sharp angles, "just find the open spot and put the ball there....... quickly." The Huskers refused to give up, stayed under control and played solid team volleyball against a bigger team with more offensive firepower.
My disappointment is with the Lincoln and Omaha newspapers, I guess. Have Nebraska fans not grasped what just happened for this team of underdogs? It seems after a few days of coverage, all stories about this most unexpected of championships have disappeared in favor of Frost Fever, which is great, but the guy isn't even in Lincoln full time yet. It's quite a bromance Husker fans have conjured up with Frosty. I sure hope they don't take it too hard when the new is worn off the relationship.
But there's this team full of National Champions with what seems to be some pretty impressive and unique personalities that can teach everyone about the power of believing, teamwork, effort, and overcoming obstacles to reach your goals. These girls and Coach Cook were not expected to crack the Final Four, or even compete for the B1G championship. Resolve and desire is what they showed throughout the season and to the sweet end.
So what gives, LJS and OWH? Where's the human interest stories about these players. I know you got sports writers with talent, and you have a need to fill up space with copy, so where's the month long celebration of some true achievers who set a goal and did something no one thought they could? Where's the story about the long list of outstanding players that Hunter and Foecke join (Foecke for the second time) by being named Tournament Co-MVP's? I can think of hundreds of inches of copy that could be gleaned from this volleyball season.
But to me, it seems like a few "Hey, we won another volleyball championship" days and then Nebraska media unleashed at least a million somewhat meaningless fluff pieces about Frost and his staff.
C'mon, man. How about celebrating champions you already got for a while before over-hyping another coaching change. Yep, I'm all on board with Frost's hiring, but the guy's not done with his current job yet.
This championship deserves more attention as it was so unexpected and such a great example of what a team, and the individuals on that team, can accomplish when they are at the right school, with the right coach, and the right leadership. I just think Nebraska is overlooking what this performance through the 2017 volleyball season was. Coaching books could most likely be written based on this one championship year.
GO BIG RED!