Stanford vs. Nebraska, 12.15

Stanford head coach Kevin Hambly talks to his team during a timeout against Nebraska on Dec. 16, 2018, during the NCAA volleyball national championship match at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

Nebraska volleyball coach John Cook says there is respect between the Stanford and Nebraska volleyball programs ahead of Wednesday’s match in Lincoln.

It will be a No. 1 vs. 2 matchup, but the positions flipped after last week’s matches. Nebraska (7-0) moved up to No. 1, and Stanford (5-1) is No. 2 after a loss against Minnesota.

The Stanford program was criticized after the national championship match last season against the Huskers as result of an insensitive drawing that was in the Cardinal's locker room.

A photo of the drawing was posted on an NCAA social media account shortly after the match. A whiteboard drawing appeared to show the Stanford tree mascot pointing a gun and making a crude gesture toward the Nebraska mascot.

Stanford coach Kevin Hambly apologized last year, and the team is scheduled to do a community service activity while in Nebraska this week.

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“I didn’t have any thoughts,” said Cook on Monday when asked about the incident from December 2018. “It’s college kids and it’s a good lesson to learn. Whatever you do, whatever you put out there somebody is going to take a picture of it and it doesn’t matter whether it’s in your locker room, on your phone, whatever. You got to be careful with that stuff. It’s their deal and we haven’t even talked about it or thought about it.”

Cook said there is total respect and a shared love of competition between the programs.

“We’ve had great matches with them,” Cook said. “We’ve played them a couple of times for national championships. In 2001 they beat us in the semifinals in San Diego. In 2006 we beat them. I think we eliminated them again somewhere. And then in (2014 at the start of the season) they came here and put a beatdown on us, but we were starting about 19 freshmen that year.

“Anyway, it’s great competition and it’s an honor to play them. They’re one of the premier programs. It’s great for college volleyball.”

Cook added that Stanford was scheduled to use one of Nebraska’s weight rooms on Monday. Stanford did not return to California after playing in Pennsylvania last weekend.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7435 or bwagner@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJSSportsWagner.


Sports reporter

Brent has worked at the Journal Star for 14 years. His beats include Nebraska volleyball, women's basketball and high school soccer and cross country.

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