Volleyball Day In Nebraska: The fan perspective
LINCOLN, Neb - Ask any Nebraskan to describe Husker sports in one word and you could get any number of adjectives in return. Volleyball Day In Nebraska was no different.
The record breaking event attracted 92,003 fans from all over the state and of all ages.
“It’s just part of our life,” Joey Wartig, of Wisner, said. “Sports are important to us and girls sports are an up and coming thing, it’s great.”
But Husker nation didn’t do it alone. Nebraska-Kearney, Wayne State and Nebraska-Omaha all played a crucial role in making the day special. That includes fans like Cassie and Traegan Gowen of Kearney.
“I love to see it, especially being an alum [of UNK] football,” Traegan said. “It’s cool seeing everyone come out to support all four teams, not just UNL.”
“I’m excited for other people to see how great UNK volleyball is, they’ve kicked butt for a few years so it’s just great,” Cassie said.
In between sets two and three, fans were made aware of history - Volleyball Day In Nebraska is officially the most attended women’s sporting event in the world. UNL freshman Bob Winkelman made his first Husker event appearance at Volleyball Day In Nebraska, and despite being a Wisconsin native, he’s happy the Huskers now hold the record.
“The Wisconsin volleyball team is big, but I think Nebraska has the better fans,” Winkelman said. “Their [Wisconsin’s] way to break the record was kind of questionable, so I would say this is a more true record here.”
But for Husker fans like Kathy Gobar of Wisner and many others, the record has deeper meaning, like inspiring future generations of female athletes.
“Seeing girls sports in this capacity is just amazing,” Gobar said. “I never ever would have believed girls would have this opportunity.”
“It’s every little girls dream,” another fan said. “They start playing volleyball in second, third grade, they cam play all the way through college, it’s just a dream.”
As if the day couldn’t get more special, it did for Joseph Antewa and Megan McCarthy of Mitchell, SD. Joseph planned it to be the to day to pop the question.
“It’s her favorite team, her favorite sport, and I never had been to Lincoln, so I thought ‘why not make it a memory,” Antewa said.
McCarthy said the proposal made Volleyball Day that much more special.
“It’s extremely special, it’s a once in a lifetime day to Nebraska, it’s just all so special to me,” McCarthy said.
So out of all the adjectives one could use to describe Husker sports, and Volleyball Day in Nebraska, maybe one simple sentence is most appropriate.
“There is no place like Nebraska,” Brad Simonsin of Norfolk said.