Weekly Column

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At the end of last month, Nebraska made history. Thousands of people streamed into Lincoln’s Memorial Stadium, full of excitement and anticipation. Husker, Maverick, Loper, and Wildcat fans cheered as the teams emerged. Eventually, the loudspeaker carried an announcement across the stadium: Nebraska had just broken a world record. As we often say, there is no place like Nebraska.

On August 30, an unbelievable 92,003 fans attended a pair of Nebraska women’s volleyball matches. The first was between the University of Nebraska-Kearney and Wayne State College, and the second was between the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska-Omaha. That match set a new world record for women’s sports attendance, beating out the attendance for a UEFA Champions League soccer match in Barcelona, Spain last year.

I’m proud of the dedication and planning it took to break a world record at our UNL-UNO matchup. Nebraskans supported and encouraged each other as they took to the stands and cheered for their teams. “Volleyball Day in Nebraska” took months of preparation to pull off, but the University of Nebraska did it successfully!

This is no new trend. Nebraska is a state defined by community and collaboration. We come together to accomplish goals that will benefit those around us. And college sports are an especially great tradition — the Huskers have had 306 regular-season sellouts in a row, and we’ve led the NCAA in attendance each year over the past decade.

In response to this exciting new record, I’m leading a resolution with Senator Ricketts that will celebrate women’s collegiate athletics in Nebraska. Our resolution will recognize the historic Volleyball Day in Nebraska on a federal level.

The resolution notes that Volleyball Day in Nebraska set a new world record for attendance at a women’s sporting event, as well as several other records. The event exceeded the previous attendance record for NCAA women’s volleyball attendance — the new record of 92,003 fans in attendance is almost five times more than the old record of 18,755! The August 30 match also exceeded the NCAA women’s volleyball regular-season attendance record and Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium’s attendance record.

Our resolution specifically honors Nebraska’s former Coach Pat Sullivan, who started the University of Nebraska volleyball program in 1975. It also honors former Coach Terry Pettit, who built the volleyball program from 1977 to 1999, and current Coach John Cook, who has sustained excellence in the program since 2000.

Nebraska’s athletic programs are a source of pride, joy, and community for players, alumni, and fans alike. Our Nebraska universities are home to hundreds of high-achieving athletes who have worked hard to get where they are. Over 200,000 alumni in all 50 states and in countries around the world are proud to call UNL their alma mater. Many more cheer for the Huskers when watching volleyball, football, or a range of other sports.

This Senate resolution celebrates a special day for women, volleyball players, and Nebraskans. I’m proud to bring well-deserved recognition to this great accomplishment. As Nebraskans, we come together to accomplish new things, full of excitement and goodwill. There truly is no place like Nebraska.

Thank you for participating in the democratic process. I look forward to visiting with you again next week.