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The Lo-Down: Who Are All Those People on the Huskers Bench?
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

The Lo-Down: Who Are All Those People on the Huskers Bench?

October 30, 2018

A question I have heard multiple times from Nebraska volleyball fans is, “who are all of the people sitting on the bench?” Well, of course you have Coach John Cook, assistants Kayla Banwarth and Jaylen Reyes, and the rest of the players who aren’t on the court, but who else is there? In this week’s Lo-Down we will break down some of those key people who are present on the bench during Nebraska volleyball matches.

Kelly O’Connor is the statistical and video guru for the Huskers. She can have stats pulled up faster than the strike of lightening. She is breaking down each play and putting it into a program called Data Volley. Then the coaches and players can go back and watch certain plays from the previous match or even from another match during that season.

Lindsay Peterson is the director of operations for Nebraska volleyball. She keeps the program going. Without her, they wouldn’t have charter planes to fly on, hotels to stay in or meals to eat. She sits on the bench for many reasons, but one of the most important reasons is so she can observe players’ body language and how they’re interacting throughout the match. If Lindsay notices anything out of the ordinary, she’ll provide a report to the coaches after the match. 

Ryan Coomes is the volunteer coach for the Huskers. You also have Bre Mackie, John Henry and Andrew Sato, who are all graduate assistants. This foursome wears many hats. Sometimes you will see them taking down the net after a match, other times you will see them tossing or hitting balls at players during a warm up and then during matches, you will see them writing down certain statistics that the coaches look at during and after matches.

MORE: The Lo-Down Archives

Jolene Emricson, the longtime trainer for Nebraska volleyball, rounds out the Huskers’ regular bench contingent. She is there in case anything happens to a player during the match or to provide certain snacks or electrolyte drinks to any players in need. She also has gum, Tylenol, bandages, extra tape, hair spray, you name it. She is always prepared.

That may seem like a lot of people on Nebraska’s bench during a volleyball match, but they all play an important role. Whether they are providing stats or snacks, Coach Cook wouldn’t have them on the bench if they didn’t help in some way or another. To add to that, Coach Cook is known to be superstitious at times, which means that everyone has an assigned seat and sits in that exact same seat for every single match whether it is home or away. 

I guess he thinks he needs all the luck he can get!

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