Huskers Head to North Platte to Face WSU

The Nebraska volleyball team continues its spring season this weekend, as the Huskers head to North Platte, Neb., to take on the Wichita State Shockers. Saturday's match, scheduled for 2 p.m. at North Platte High School, has been sold out for a month, as all 2,400 tickets were gobbled up the first day they were available.

Fans not in attendance can listen to the match on with John Baylor and Lindsay Wischmeier bringing all of the action.

The Huskers will travel out west following Friday's classes at NU and will have a free autograph session for fans at North Platte High School on Friday, April 6, from 7-8:30 p.m.

According to Head Coach John Cook, the purpose of this weekend's trip to North Platte is two-fold, to thank the fans in the western part of the state for their support during the season and to work on improvements for the upcoming campaign.

"We want to share our team with the folks in the western part of the state and to give them role models they can look up to," Cook said. "Players like Christina Houghtelling, Jordan Larson and Amanda Gates all show that players from smaller towns can dream big and succeed at the highest levels."

"For our team, the focus is trying to get some experience for some of our players in front of big crowds," Cook said. "We want to get Lindsey (Licht) and Maggie (Griffin) some time on the court in game-like conditions. We have been pleased with the effort and their work in practice. I feel like we are working hard to get better, which is what you want to see from a team this time of year."

Fans in North Platte will also have the opportunity to see former AVCA National Player of the Year Christina Houghtelling return to the court for the first time in nearly a year. Houghtelling, who missed the entire 2006 season after shoulder surgery, was fully cleared to return to practice earlier this week and will see some limited action on Saturday against the Shockers.

"We want to just have her getting used to being on the court again," Cook said. "We are taking it slowly with her and don't have any expectations on her except for that she competes and enjoys being on the court. Getting her on the court this week is the first step for her to get ready for the fall."

The Huskers return five starters from a team that went 33-1 and won the school's third national title in 2006. NU returns 2006 Honda Award Winner and AVCA National Player of the Year Sarah Pavan, along with AVCA All-Americans Jordan Larson, Tracy Stalls and Rachel Holloway.

Wichita State will pose a good test for the Huskers on Saturday, as the Shockers finished the 2006 season with a 25-7 record and placed second in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 15-3 record. Saturday's match will be the first of the spring for WSU, while Nebraska defeated San Diego in its first spring Match on March 15.

The Huskers' third team competition of the spring is set for Saturday, April 14, as they will take on Colorado State at the NU Coliseum, beginning at 3 p.m.. Tickets for that match are available by visiting or calling the Nebraska Ticket Office at 800-8-Big Red.

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