Despite returning a veteran lineup, Cook believes the spring season gives the Huskers an opportunity make significant strides in several areas, while developing additional depth for the upcoming season.
"Our goals for the spring are to give some of our younger players extensive time on the court and to work on expanding our offensive systems," Cook said.
The five-match slate begins on March 18, as the Huskers will take on Hawaii in Honolulu to conclude a week of training during spring break. The Rainbow, which returns its lineup nearly intact from a team that went 30-1 and was ranked second in the country at the end of the regular season before losing in the regional semifinals.
"To have an opportunity to play teams such as Hawaii on the road along with Minnesota and Wichita State can only help us in our development," Cook said. "Playing Hawaii at their place with most of their lineup returning will be a good test to see where we are at this time of the year and Minnesota has been in the national semifinals the last two seasons."
The Huskers will spend the next three weekends in Lincoln, hosting the annual coaches clinic on April 1-2 at the Nebraska Coliseum before hosting Minnesota and Wichita State on successive weekends. Coaches can find more information on the Coaches Clinic, including a complete schedule and registration, on Huskers.com.
The Golden Gophers, who have made trips to the last two NCAA national semifinals, went 33-5 before losing to Stanford in the NCAA Championship match, come to Lincoln on Saturday, April 9. The Huskers will travel to Minneapolis to take on the Gophers and Northwestern on April 23.
Wichita State, which went 25-6 before losing to the Huskers in the second round of the 2004 NCAA Tournament, comes to Lincoln the following Saturday in a special 3 p.m. start following the annual Red/White Spring Game.
Cook said the excitement of having the volleyball match following the spring game gives fans an opportunity to see two of Nebraska's premier programs on the same afternoon.
"Hosting matches like this during the spring is an important part of our recruiting process," Cook said. "We played a match following the spring game last year and had an excellent crowd and it gives prospective student-athletes a chance to see the excitement and the passion our fans have of seeing the Big Red in action."
Tickets for the spring matches are $5 (reserve seating) and $3 (general admission) and are available for purchase by calling the NU Ticket Office at 402-472-3111 or 800-8-BIGRED.
2005 Nebraska Spring Volleyball Schedule
Date Opponent Time
March 18 at Hawaii 11 p.m.
April 1-2 Coaches Clinic 4:30 p.m./8 a.m.
April 9 vs. Minnesota 7 p.m.
April 16 vs. Wichita State 3 p.m.
April 23 at Minnesota 10 a.m.
April 23 vs. Northwestern (Minneapolis) 2 p.m.