18 December 2008

The Power of a Photograph

As far as sports pictures go, this is a good one. It was taken last Saturday night, when the Nebraska women's volleyball team was celebrating a remarkable comeback victory over the University of Washington in the NCAA Regional Final match. Nebraska had been down two sets to none before winning sets three and four to tie the match. Then, down 9-3 in the fifth set, the Huskers rolled off eight straight points to take an 11-9 lead. Finally, senior star Jordan Larson served an ace to win the set 15-13 and the match. NCAA volleyball is all rally scoring these days, making a comeback from 9-3 next to impossible. But there I sat, after midnight, glued to the internet broadcast of the match and celebrating with some bulletin board fans - after all, we Cornhuskers love our volleyball team almost as much as our football team, and unlike the football team, the volleyball team has not relinquished its status among the nation's elite over the past ten years.

This team in itself is a great story. But an even better one can be found by clicking on the photo. Cindy Lange-Kubick, who wrote for the Daily Nebraskan when we were both undergrads at UN-Lincoln, reminds us that there was a time when a photograph like this wouldn't be possible. It's worth your time.

Tonight, if you're not busy, you might want to take a gander at the four teams competing in the volleyball final four in Omaha this weekend. I, of course, will be rooting for my Huskers, but all four reached the pinnacle of the sport, and deserve recognition. Forget the BCS and all the hype surrounding it - here's a sport where champions are decided on the court, as it should be, and these student-athletes are very much worthy of the title.

Postgame Note: Oh, so very close. Four points away from an upset worthy of the '80 U.S. Hockey team. Penn State is an incredible team; they hadn't lost a set all year, hadn't lost a match since September 2007, but our Cornhuskers nearly took 'em. We ultimately lost, after coming back from two sets down. Without a doubt, that was the finest volleyball match I've ever seen, and I haven't been this proud to be a Cornhusker since the Fiesta Bowl after the 1995 football season. Way to go, ladies - you did us all proud.


  1. Awesome shot! Just awesome!

    My cousin was the strength coach on the Nebraska football team in the late seventies.

    That's as close to Nebraska as I get. But I sure think they are great!

  2. My brush with Husker greatness is that a girl from my teeny tiny high school in Indiana got a full-ride scholarship to play volleyball for the Huskers in the 1979-1983 era.

    It was huge deal back then, which is probably why I remember it almost 30 years later.

  3. you're right... what an incredible article!