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Mavric

Cook Ready to 'Re-Invent' for 2017

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Mavric    9,128

Really, you couldn’t blame John Cook if he handed out name tags to virtually everyone associated with his Nebraska volleyball program.

 

And maybe, just maybe, after Cook crams in his allotted practices over the next 17 days, the veteran head coach will have a better idea of who’s who, who goes where and who does what.

 

Or, then again, maybe not.

 

That’s OK, though. Cook understands his task. In fact, he’s embracing this challenge, one very unlike a year ago, when he was simply trying to figure out a way to repeat as national champions.

 

Four starting players, two assistant coaches and four other staff members are gone from last year’s team that won the Big Ten Conference championship and advanced to the Final Four.

 

That’s why “Re-invent” is one of Cook’s keywords for 2017.

 

With six freshmen among a roster of 15, it’s time for baby steps. It’s like going back to the teachings of John Wooden, the legendary UCLA coach, Cook said.

 

This is how we’re going to put on our socks. This is how we’re going to tuck in our shirts.

 

The first step, Cook said, is to be merely a good team by the time Nebraska, faced with its shortest preseason ever, begins the season Aug. 25 against Oregon.

Huskers.com

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84HuskerLaw    499

Cook is an aggressive recruiter but it sometimes seems like he has a high level of player turnover (non-seniors that is) so I don't know if he is just constantly trying to find the next 'great' one or if the nature of women's sports may be a little different than men's in that women are harder to hang on to. I hope and trust Cook doesn't 'run them off' if they are not what he wanted.

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Husker2019    381

Cook is an aggressive recruiter but it sometimes seems like he has a high level of player turnover (non-seniors that is) so I don't know if he is just constantly trying to find the next 'great' one or if the nature of women's sports may be a little different than men's in that women are harder to hang on to. I hope and trust Cook doesn't 'run them off' if they are not what he wanted.

It's like this at every major contender school for volleyball.

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knapplc    17,788

 

Cook is an aggressive recruiter but it sometimes seems like he has a high level of player turnover (non-seniors that is) so I don't know if he is just constantly trying to find the next 'great' one or if the nature of women's sports may be a little different than men's in that women are harder to hang on to. I hope and trust Cook doesn't 'run them off' if they are not what he wanted.

It's like this at every major contender school for volleyball.

 

 

Correct, and you can't necessarily blame the girls for leaving. When we recruit at such a high level, a girl's margin for error is nil - either she produces or she's benched, and when you're a top-level player, you don't have to ride the bench at Nebraska when you can transfer and play right away somewhere else.

 

Mikaela Foecke is something of an example with this, in that she didn't produce early in her career and she was benched in favor of a walk-on, Alicia Ostrander, who kicked butt at practice, won Lifter of the Year, and made herself into a D1A Volleyball player through sheer hard work. Foecke has more talent, but Ostrander earned court time. That gave Foecke two choices - move or improve. She chose to improve, won her spot back, and has since lead the team.

 

Many other girls don't stay, but then again many other girls don't essentially have to beat a walk-on for playing time. We lost four girls the summer before we won the National Championship two years ago. Most (all?) of those girls went to other schools and started. Most weren't going to start here. Nobody made a bad choice in those scenarios, the girls just wanted to play and Cook recruited a high-level roster that could absorb those kinds of losses.

 

It's never fun to see girls leave the team.

 

It's not necessarily a bad thing when they do. Regardless of who leaves, we're going to be left with a roster full of talent. Like the football team in the 1980s & 1990s, we just reload. Cook's done that year after year, both on the bench and in his Asst. Coaching ranks.

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