Original views on life from rural America
September 7, 2023
Oh, what a night!
I've been at Memorial Stadium for some of the sweetest victories (and saddest defeats) in history. I was there in 1978 when the Huskers and Tom Osborne defeated Oklahoma. I've watched multiple Nebraska vs. Colorado games play out.
I witnessed Ron Kellogg III throw a Hail Mary to the endzone and saw Jordan Westerkamp grab it out of thin air, securing a win. I sang "Let Me Clear My Throat" with 89,000 other Husker loyalists when they upset Michigan State.
But, on a night when the state of Nebraska and its premier volleyball programs - on all collegiate levels - set a record, I wasn't there. Oh, I rocked the Husker tank top and I cheered loud and proud from my living room, but somehow, I don't think it's the same as being in the stands, watching on the big screen, viewing the field of drones in formation, creating a volleyball, forming 92,003 or the state of Nebraska with a star over Lincoln.
I'm not sure I have much to say that others haven't already said or written about Nebraska's big stage and the world record for attendance at a women's sporting event.
But I will say this. As a high school volleyball player, I would beg Mom and Dad to stop by the coliseum after Husker football games to watch the girls of fall. Admission was cheap - heck, it was free for a long time. We'd walk over after football, grab a bag of popcorn - rumor has it Coach Pettit popped it himself, hoping to draw a crowd - and cheer them on. I'm not sure if it was every girl's dream to grow up and play here, but it certainly planted the seed, which has continued to take root.
Through the years, I took my daughters to games in the coliseum and we've watched from Devaney. We've followed the Huskers on the road to the national championship and hope to return again.
Nebraska volleyball has come a long way since those early days, yet, in some ways, it's always been the same, consistent, quality athletic adventure, year in and year out.
In a state known for its storied football team, the volleyball team wields just as much clout and will continue its push for excellence for years to come.
Last Wednesday, Nebraska showed the world what quality and dedication are capable of producing. After viewing the grand spectacle, this much is clear ... There is NO place like Nebraska.