The upcoming Fall season is going to have a different look for the Huskers volleyball team. It’s only a question of how much different.
Head Coach John Cook is hinting they may move to Pinnacle Bank Arena to get the greatest number of fans as possible into their matches.
“If we’re going to play in Devaney, which we will, how do we seat people to make it safe?” said Coach John Cook on his podcast, which is titled “Conversation with the Cooks.” He does the podcast with his daughter and Huskers broadcaster, Lauren Cook.
“We can get about 2,500 into Devaney safely right now. In Pinnacle Bank, we can get 8,000. So, we’re coordinating with them (PBA) right now, on what matches we might move there.”
According to Huskers.com, Nebraska volleyball holds the NCAA women’s record with 268 regular-season sellouts at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln, NE. Additionally, Nebraska has ranked in the top three nationally every season since 1990.
Cook, who is an AVCA (American Volleyball Coaches Association) Hall of Fame coach, has been a part of that sellout tradition since 2000, entering his twenty-first season as head coach of the program.
On their June episode of the podcast, a lot of specifics were given about the Huskers’ upcoming season and some of the precautionary measures.
It’s all about getting the fans the experience that they have been a part of for so long.
The volleyball team already had to cancel all of its camps this summer, which typically sell out in January.
“We have to figure out how to rotate ticket holders, so if we can only let this 2,500 in this time, then next time we let in another 2,500 and give everyone a chance to watch some matches,” Cook said.
While the streak at the Devaney Center may have an asterisk for the 2020 season, other aspects make the switch tough for the team.
“It’s almost like an away match, even though it’s close,” Cook said again on his podcast. “We have to try and make the fans happy, and have a better chance to do so. The key is how do we keep it safe and put more fans in the seats at the same time. I agreed to it, grudgingly, but I agreed.”
But Coach Cook was not hesitant to talk about his team’s readiness to play at Pinnacle Bank.
“If Pearl Jam and the Red Hot Chili Peppers can play at Pinnacle Bank, then we can,” he said.
The Big Ten is heavily limiting air travel in the Fall. Bussing will be difficult for teams like Nebraska and Rutgers who are on opposite ends of the Big Ten stretch of teams. The schedule will favor teams closer, in their own “region” and Cook said in the podcast non-conference play could get repetitive.
The NCAA has already said they want to have a normal season with a normal championship. So, while the season may seem anything but normal, you can count on the Huskers looking for their fourth national championship appearance since 2015.
“The best always adapt,” said the Cooks.