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Nebraska volleyball head coach John Cook announced the addition of three student-athletes to the Husker volleyball program for the 2018 season on Friday. Former Husker setter Brooke Smith will return to the Husker program for her senior season, while junior setter Mari Kurkova and freshman defensive specialist/libero Chen Abramovich will also join the defending NCAA and Big Ten champion Huskers. Smith was a back-up setter as a freshman for the Huskers in 2015 during NU’s national title run, and she was a serving specialist in 2016, producing nine aces in 18 matches played in her two seasons at Nebraska. The 5-10 Weatherford, Texas native transferred to Kansas State for the 2017 season, where she split time at setter and averaged 4.71 assists per set and 1.71 digs per set. She was second on the team with 27 total aces and led the team in aces per set with 0.27. Smith, who will train as a setter, had a season-high 29 assists in a five-set match at Georgia Tech on Sept. 8, and she had three double-doubles on the season. “Brooke found out she missed Nebraska and the relationships she built in her first two years here,” Cook said. “She is a great addition to our team because she is such a hard worker, great teammate and a player everyone really respects. We are very excited to have Brooke back for her final season.” Kurkova is a native of Opava, Czech Republic and played club volleyball for PVK Olymp Praha while attending Přípotoční High School. A 5-11 setter, Kurkova has been a part of the Czech Republic women’s national team and played in the 2014 FIVB World Grand Prix. Kurkova played with the Czech Republic women’s national team in the 2015 FIVB World Grand Prix and was part of the U20 team that competed in the 2015 World Championship. Kurkova, who has completed a bachelor’s degree, will be a graduate transfer with two seasons of eligibility. “After Hunter Atherton’s transfer we began looking for another setter, and we found out about Mari and started the process,” Cook said. “She is unique in that she is a grad student, so she will be working on a master’s degree for the next two years. We felt that she would be a good fit at Nebraska because she has experience, she knows what she wants, and there is also a great Czech population in the state of Nebraska.” Abramovich is a 5-6 freshman defensive specialist/libero from Kfar Saba, Israel. She played club volleyball for Hapoel Kfar Saba last season and led her team to the ISR National Championship. Hapoel Kfar Saba reached the second round of the CEV Champions League and finished 16th in the CEV Volleyball Cup. Abramovich competed with the Israel Junior National Team at the 2016 European Championship. “Chen approached us about playing volleyball at Nebraska once she completed her army commitment,” Cook said. “Chen comes from a strong volleyball family, and her mom is a national hero for starting the Mother’s Volleyball League in Israel, and now it has spread all over the world. Chen played in a league that played with international rules where the libero is not allowed to serve, but she has seen a lot of tough serves and will be a great addition to our back row.” The Huskers begin the 2018 season with the Red/White Scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 18 at 3 p.m. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased at or by calling 402-472-3111.


Former Pacific Tiger and utility player Samantha Owen will join the Nebraska softball team in the fall announced Head Coach Rhonda Revelle on Thursday. A junior, Owen has two seasons of eligibility left with the Huskers and will be able to compete immediately. In 2018, Owen started 46 of the Tigers' 47 games and led the team with 53 hits. She hit .382, recorded seven home runs, 37 RBIs and finished the season with a slugging percentage of .600. In West Coast Conference play, Owen finished in the top five in the conference in batting average, slugging, RBIs, doubles and total bases, helping her claim first-team All-WCC honors. She also earned NFCA All-West Region Third-Team honors. As a freshman, Owen was named to the All-WCC honorable mention team, after appearing in all but four games for the Tigers. She registered 36 hits and hit .259. She scored 19 runs and had 16 RBIs. She also led all freshmen with four homers. The Manteca, Calif., native was a standout at East Union High School. She was named the Stockton Record All-Area Player of the Year, in addition to earning VOL MVP and FLO Softball All-American accolades. Owen helped the Lancers claim the state title as a senior, posting a .507 batting average. Off the field, Owens was a standout in the classroom as well, graduating with Cum Laude honors.


Nebraska wide receiver JD Spielman earned his second watch list recognition Thursday morning, as he was named to the Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse watch list. The Hornung Award is presented to the most versatile player in major college football. Spielman, who was named to the Biletnikoff Award watch list last week, showed his versatility during a record-breaking freshman season which saw him earn All-Big Ten recognition at both wide receiver and kickoff returner. He hauled in 55 passes for 830 yards and a pair of scores, establishing school freshman marks in receptions, receiving yards, 100-yard receiving games (two) and all-purpose yards (1,572). Spielman ranked first or second among all FBS freshmen in receiving yards, receiving yards per game, catches and all-purpose yards in 2017. His redshirt freshman season was highlighted by establishing Nebraska’s single-game receiving yards record with a 200-yard performance against ninth-ranked Ohio State. In conference play, Spielman became just the second Big Ten freshman since 1985 to lead the league in receiving yards per game during the conference season (88.1). He tied Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor for second in the Big Ten with an average of 157.8 all-purpose yards per game in league play and was fifth in catches per game. Spielman will look to be NU’s first-ever Hornung Award winner, as Ameer Abdullah was a finalist for the award in 2014.


Junior punter Caleb Lightbourn garnered recognition Wednesday, as he was named to the 2018 Ray Guy Award preseason watch list. The Ray Guy Award, named after College and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Ray Guy, is presented to the nation’s top punter.

Lightbourn, a two-year starter from Washougal, Wash., is one of 27 players on the watch list released Wednesday. As a sophomore, he averaged 42.1 yards per punt while placing 21 of his 59 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line. He averaged a career-best 48.0 yards per punt against No. 9 Ohio State and had a career-long 68-yard punt against No. 9 Wisconsin. In all, he averaged 2.4 yards more per punt in 2017 than as a freshman and tallied 13 punts of 50 yards or more. The three finalists will be announced in November with the winner being announced on the College Football Awards show on Dec. 6.


CHADRON- Gering PVC's struggle out of the gate, but scratch out a victory over Ogallala 7-5 Monday evening. Gering's pitching duo of Brayden Tarr and Chris Palomo combined to fan 15 batters in the victory. As Tarr got the start for Gering and went five innings allowing 5 earned with 7 K's, then Palomo came in relief for three innings strikingout 8 on 51 total pitches as he was credited with the win. Below are the highlights from last nights win over Ogallala



The PVC's thus far this season have been shoutout in three contests with Alliance 25 to nothing. Including being no-hit in the season opener. Tune in tonight on or Sunny 99.3 beginning at 4:45pm for the Runza Pre-Game show. 


KANSAS CITY, MO – The National Association of Basketball Coaches announced today the matchups for the championship round of the 2018 National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker. All four games of the Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker at Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO., will be aired live on ESPN networks.


On Monday, November 19, Nebraska will take on Missouri State at 6 pm CT on ESPNU, followed by USC and Texas Tech at 8:30 pm ET on ESPN2. On Tuesday, November 20, the consolation game will tip off at 6 pm CT on ESPN3, followed by the 2018 Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker championship game at 8:30pm ET on ESPN2.


Tickets for the championship round games at Sprint Center will be available beginning at 10:00am CT on August 4th by,, by phone at 888-929-7849, or in person at Sprint Center Box Office.


The Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker will be the culminating event of college basketball’s Hall of Fame Weekend, which also includes the 13th annual induction ceremony for the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. That event will take place on Sunday, Nov. 18, at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland in Kansas City.






Semifinal Doubleheader

Sprint Center – Kansas City, Mo.

Monday, November 19 – 6:00 PM CT

Nebraska vs. Missouri State (ESPNU)

USC vs. Texas Tech (ESPN2)


Championship Doubleheader

Sprint Center – Kansas City, Mo.

Tuesday, November 20 – 6:00 PM CT

Consolation Game (ESPN3)

Championship Game (ESPN2)


Those four schools will serve as the four host round participants for this year’s Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker, with the opening round games of the tournament beginning on November 6th. Each of those teams will play two games on campus, before advancing to the championship rounds in Kansas City. Joining the four host teams in the 2018 Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker are Mississippi Valley State, Robert Morris, Southeastern Louisiana and Stetson. The complete list of games for the 2018 Hall of Fame Classic Powered by Shot Tracker are as follows:


---- HOST ROUNDS ----


Springfield Regional Rounds

JQH Arena – Springfield, MO

Friday, November 9 – Time TBD

Robert Morris at Missouri State

Sunday, November 11 – Time TBD

Stetson at Missouri State


Lubbock Regional Rounds

United Supermarkets Arena– Lubbock, TX

Friday, November 9 – Time TBD

Mississippi Valley State at Texas Tech

Tuesday, November 13 – Time TBD

Southeastern Louisiana at Texas Tech


Lincoln Regional Rounds

Pinnacle Bank Arena – Lincoln, NE

Tuesday, November 6 – Time TBD

Mississippi Valley State at Nebraska

Sunday, November 11 – Time TBD

Southeastern Louisiana at Nebraska


Los Angeles Regional Rounds

Galen Center – Los Angeles, CA

Tuesday, November 6 – Time TBD

Robert Morris at USC

Wednesday, November 14 – Time TBD

Stetson at USC


Here are updates on local legion baseball squads progress over the weekend. 


All the tournaments began on Friday and will continue to championship games on Tuesday. 


A-7 District Tournament


LEXINGTON- The WESTCO Zephyrs looked to be world beaters on Saturday evening as they went into the bottom of the seventh inning with the number one team in the Class A area 7 district tourney Hastings up 6-4. The Z's pitcher Herald Baez was one strike away from closing the game for WESTCO, but a chopper up the middle thwarted the Z's comeback victory scoring two runs for Hastings Five Points Bank. After both teams struggled to put anything up on the scoreboard in extra's, Hastings loaded the bases in the bottom of the 12th and the epic game came to a close on a walk off single to give Hastings a 7-6 victory. Below are highlights from the call on 106.9 Wild Country with Matt Williams. 



Sunday showed the Z's exhaustion as they committed 4 errors in the 9-3 loss to Lexington. Paul Panduro was credited with the loss for WESTCO surrendering 7 runs in three and two thirds innings of work. 


The Zephyrs end their season with a mark of 14-35. 


B-7 District Tournament


CHADRON- Gering PVC's fell in the opening round of the Class B area 7 district tourney on Friday by a score of 7-1 to Ogallala. Making the journey that much more difficult for Gering. As they bounced back with a 16-2 dominating five inning performance in game two against Sidney Post 17. 


Advancing to a match-up with the host team Chadron on Sunday, the elimination contest proved to bring out the best in Gering even if they started slow they finished in dominating fashion 14-3. With the win Gering will face Ogallala once again for one last shot against Alliance who has reserved a spot in the championship on Tuesday. 


Tune into the the Gering Ogallala contest on Sunny 99.3 or, Runza Pre-game show begins at 6:45 tonight with Keaton Monier. 



Its postseason baseball time in the Panhandle! As the WESTCO Zephyrs (13-31) enter the Class A Area 7 District Tournament in Lexington with the 5th seed and play Lexington Pinnacle Bank in round one for a chance at the number 1 seeded Hastings Five Points. Lexington visited Cleveland Field earlier this season and went to extra innings with the Z's after a 5 run bottom of the 7th for WESTCO. In extra's the Pinnacle Bank's shook off the bad half inning that tied the game and scored two go-ahead runs in the top of the 8th. WESTCO has struggled in the field this season committing errors at crucial times and the match-up with Lexington was no different. The Hometown Family Radio Sports Network talked with manager Jeremiah Luber about the season and what he expects in districts.




While the Gering Platte Valley Companies (18-13) enter the Class B Area 7 District Tournament in Lexington with the 2nd seed and play Ogallala Adams Bank & Trust (15-13) in round number one for a chance at the most impressive team in the panhandle thus far this season the Alliance First National Spartans. Gering has had Ogallala's number so far this season going 2-0 against them on the road and at home. In the last match-up the PVC's walked it off with just 9 players on the roster due to Junior Districts in Alliance. The Hometown Family Radio Sports Network caught up with Gering Assistant Coach Danny O'Boyle about the ensuing match-up with Ogallala and the roller coaster ride that has been this season. LISTEN TO THE GAME @ 5:30 ON SUNNY 99.3 OR KETTFM.COM TOMORROW. 



Former WNCC Cougar and Bellevue University outfielder Joe Moran signed a professional contract in the American Association with the Lincoln Saltdogs.

Moran started his collegiate career with Western Nebraska under Coach Mike Jones where he played two season for the Cougars and in 56 starts had a .336 average at the plate a .412 on base percentage, and .385 slugging percentage.
Moran went on to play two seasons for the Bruins where he slashed a .384 average a .423 on base percentage and a .547 slugging percentage with 37 extra-base hits and 60 RBI while appearing in 104 career games, according to Bellevue University Sports Information.
Moran competed for a chance at a NAIA National Championship at Bellevue in his junior season.


Gering PVC

On a night where the Gering Platte Valley Companies had the bare minimum number of players to be eligible they are able to pull out the 7-6 victory over the Ogallala Adams Bank & Trust on Tuesday evening at Oregon Trail Park. The PVC's popped off early with four runs in the first inning controlling the game through four innings leading 6-1, but a four run top of the fifth ended Gering's starting pitcher Austin Abbott's night after five. Chris Palomo pitched an inning and two thirds of relief, and then Brayden Tarr came in to close out the contest allowing one run on one hit over and inning and a third. Tarr was credited with the victory for Gering as they improved to 18-11 overall on the season. 


Upcoming Contests:


Today: DH @ Buckley Bombers 

Sunday: @ Bridgeport Bombers


Gering B&C Steel 

It was all hands on deck for the Gering B&C Steel Jr. squad to take on the back to back B-7 district champions the Alliance First Nationals Spartans Jr. 

  • Game One
    • Gering B&C Steel 6
    • Alliance                 5
  • Game Two
    • Alliance                11
    • Gering B&C Steel 7
With a birth in the state tournament on the line the Alliance First National Jrs. proved to be too much for Gering as they repeat for a third consecutive season with an 11-7 victory at Bower-Shankland Field. 

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