Men’s volleyball team gaining recognition

By Ryan Pritchard, NewsNetNebraska

Eric Blank came to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for volleyball, but probably not how most people think.

He came to play volleyball, not watch the national powerhouse women’s team.

“Being born and raised in the state of Nebraska isn’t really conducive to becoming a volleyball player at any level if you’re a male, especially in a rural area [Madison, Neb.] like I was from,” said Eric Blank, a junior, defensive specialist for the team.

The Husker men’s volleyball team is the guest in the campus recreation center this semester. The team usually practices in Mable Lee but is practicing in the campus recreation center while the warped floors of Mable Lee are fixed.

The Husker men’s club volleyball team placed fourth in the nation last year at the men’s national finals. Because of the success that the team has, it draws in recruits who want to play the sport but don’t know where to go.

“At no other Nebraska college would I really have the opportunity to play volleyball on a Men’s Club team,” Blank said. Blank noted that the volleyball team was the deciding factor to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Being one of only two men’s club volleyball teams in the state, the male Huskers are definitely drawing more national attention because of their performance at national tournaments.

“It’s tough being overshadowed by the women’s team, but we do get some pretty awesome opportunities. I know quite a few players who get to help the team in practice and travel with the [women’s] team,” said junior hitter Ryan Coomes.

“It definitely helps that we have had pretty good success at national tournaments but I think it will be a long time before we get too much recognition,” Blank said.

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