Alberts improves UNO one step at a time

Trev Alberts, Vice Chancellor of Athletics at the University of Nebraska Omaha has high expectations as the school is still undergoing the transition from Division II to Division I.

“It’s been about as smooth and seamless as I could have ever imagined,” Alberts said, “Obviously I had no experience doing this before, I personally have never done this before.”

Alberts said he thought that they would be marginally successful, but had no idea that the athletic community would turn out to be as successful as they are right now. He gives all the credit to the student athletes.

The former Nebraska football player said they had nothing in the beginning. The community has been very supportive of the university during the transition.

“Most schools if you’re Division II you might need to add some upgrades to it, but we had nothing,” Alberts said.

Alberts said from the administrative standpoint it has been extremely smooth, but it has also been challenging because they have more work to do in order to make the university the best it can be.

He gives credit for the university’s athletic success to the city of Omaha. He believes they wouldn’t be able to raise the kind of money they need and be able to recruit the kind of student athletes they have today.

Alberts said, “I will continue working hard until every coach and program has all the resources necessary.”

Even though he has been striving to improve the university athletically in every aspect, Alberts still manages to attend as many sporting events as possible.

Junior student Derrick Broekemier said he attended almost every home game for women’s volleyball and there was never a time he didn’t see Trev’s face.

“He was always really into every game by clapping and cheering and showing his school pride,” Broekemier said, “You can just tell by looking at him during the games that he is proud of his student athletes and their many accomplishments.”

A look inside the Sapp Fieldhouse where the Maverick hall of fame is located and the office of Trev Alberts.

Photo cred: https://www.google.com/search?q=uno+sapp+fieldhouse&biw=1133&bih=682&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&sqi=2&ved=0ahUKEwiS48zYncrJAhVS3mMKHdGVDYsQ_AUIBygC#imgrc=bdYqAFg8dZ1rdM%3A

 

 

 

 

 

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Baxter Brings in Big Numbers of Recruits

The University of Nebraska-Omaha (UNO) has finally made the transition from Division II to Division I over about a four-year period. The building of Baxter Arena has significantly enhanced the transition process and the visibility of the Omaha community. Recruitment numbers for hockey, basketball and volleyball have rapidly increased this year because of the new facility.

“When we put that first piece of steel in the ground we got verbal commitments from kids that were only 15 or 16 years old,” said Trev Alberts, Vice Chancellor of athletics at UNO.

When the recruits come and see a facility that is dedicated to the athletic department, coaches and administrators want them to see how serious they are about improving the university from an athletic standpoint.

“It’s not just about recruiting student athletes, it’s about recruiting students in general,” Alberts said. “The arena has really helped us with that.”

Men’s Ice Hockey

Throughout UNO’s athletic program and history, hockey never had a place to call home. The week prior to the game against Providence in the Frozen Four, the hockey team practiced in four different rinks.

“These poor guys have just been driving all over the town in order to practice,” Alberts said. “It’s a relief to finally give them a place to call theirs.”

The day the arenas construction began, hockey players began committing more than they ever had in previous years. The university is getting commitments from men that may not come here for another two or three years.

Some of the athletes that first commit are 5 feet 10 inches tall and are barely 160 pounds. Coaches are projecting them that in three years they’re going to be a 6 foot-2-inch player weighing at least 180 pounds. The coaches watch them overtime to track their progress and development.

Many hockey players at the age of 14 or 15 leave home and will go straight to the United States Hockey League. Other hockey players are recruited straight from high school to college hockey.

Avery Peterson, sophomore UNO hockey player from Grand Rapids Minnesota, went straight from high school to college hockey. This is unusual because most players play junior hockey first, but he was in extremely good shape and ready to go.

Alaska native Kris Oldham is currently playing for the Lancers in the United States Hockey League. He has committed to be the goalie with UNO after he finishes his time with junior hockey. Oldham is also a third round draft pick in the National Hockey League standing at 6 feet 2 inches and weighing 230 pounds.

“We really could of used him this year, but his best interest for him was to play another year in junior hockey and continue to mature and develop because he’s only 18 years old,” Alberts said.

Coaches have to decide based on the structure of the team what’s in the best interest of the student athlete when they bring them in.

Hockey is different than most sports when it comes to recruiting. When a player commits to a university, coaches don’t ever call him again. There is a gentleman’s agreement between everyone.

“That’s really the way it should be for the best interest of the kids. They made a decision, they don’t need people trying to change their minds and so that’s kind of cool about hockey,” Alberts said.

Sometimes when an athlete commits to a university, other schools start to recruit them even harder.

“Hockey recruiting and retention for student athletes is about as interesting and challenging as I’ve ever seen, but our coaches are pretty good at it. They know how the whole games works.”

Women’s Basketball

Sophomore basketball player Vanessa Barajas said that the construction of the arena helped her choose UNO. The team had been impatiently waiting for the opening of the arena so they could play their first games on the court.

Barajas said, “It really helps recruiting because then athletes get to play in one of the nicest and newest facilities in the United States and it really shows a commitment to the sport itself.”

The women’s basketball team likes to take their recruits all around Omaha hitting it’s main hot spots like the zoo and downtown area. The coach makes sure each recruit gets Omaha’s full experience of what it would feel like to be a Maverick.

Both basketball teams have gotten to take recruits to the arena. Basketball has had their best recruiting classes yet this year.

Women’s Volleyball

Diane Banderas, senior volleyball player said Baxter has given the university an upper hand when it comes to recruiting. Banderas believes the facility is the best stage for volleyball in the Summit League and possibly in the entire National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Coaches have to determine the level of potential they see in the athlete first before recruits visit UNO for volleyball. Recruits typically will spend the day on campus and go through tours of the academic facilities, visit a player’s dorm room and sometimes get the opportunity to watch a practice.

“The arena has given us a competitive advantage that matches our team goals. Playing at Baxter makes you realize that UNO is starting to make some noise in Division I NCAA.”

Consider visiting the new arena to enjoy the entertainment:

  • Maverick men’s ice hockey games
  • Maverick men’s and women’s basketball games
  • Maverick women’s volleyball
  • Community ice rink
  • Concerts
  • Religious services

 

For more information visit http://www.unomaha.edu/athletics/arena/ for ticket and parking information or to find out about upcoming sporting and community events.

 

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Baxter Arena prepares for the men’s basketball game against the University of California Santa Barbara.

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The Mavericks move to defend their basket after their first score of the night against the Santa Barbara Gauchos.

Bieber’s Back At It

Twenty-one year old pop star Justin Bieber just recently dropped his new single called What Do You Mean on August 28th. His song caused an uproar across the nation, even setting a new Spotify record, beating One Direction’s twenty million streams in their single Drag Me Down. Bieber’s song was streamed more than twenty one million times in just five days. Let’s see what the Omaha community has to say about him.

“I think Justin Bieber needs to grow up, he’s grown up a little bit recently, but he still has a long ways to go.”

“When I was young I always used to watch Justin Bieber on YouTube with my friends and when he got famous I thought it was awesome, I feel like I was one of the founders of him because I was one of those views on YouTube that got him famous. So I feel like I have always been a part of the Justin Bieber fan club.”

“I think Justin Bieber’s talented, but I think he’s a punk. I feel like he will make a comeback as long as he keeps his head on straight and stays away from drugs and alcohol.”

Bieber performed the two songs, Where Are You Now and What Do You Mean on stage at the VMA’s, making it his first big performance in three years. After singing his last song, Bieber got so emotional he broke down into tears, realizing the support he was receiving from his fans, which confirmed the new song was a success.

“I think it’s okay, I think his older stuff is a little bit better than that new song.”

“I was really excited when he came out with it and I think it’s a great song, it has a good beat. So yes, I’m a fan of his new song.”

For Media Storytelling 2, I’m Sydney Dhabalt.

Students flock to Spielbound

Since school has started back up and students are in need of a place to hangout, a local cafe would be the ideal spot to go. For the University of Nebraska Omaha student, Jordan Summers, this is exactly where she goes.

“Spielbound is my favorite place to go with my friends. It’s a really relaxing atmosphere and you can come here if you want to study or if you want to play some board games all day long. You can just laugh and have fun and you can order some smoothies or hot cocoa or coffee to help you get through your day of studying.”

Spielbound is a local board game cafe located at 33rd and Harney in Omaha, just south of midtown crossing. The cafe has over 1,500 games and houses the largest collection of board games in the United States. Frequent customer, Ryan Mueller, says his favorite game to play at Spielbound is dungeons and dragons. He brings his friends to come with him at least once a week.

“Board games do something that we don’t really often do anymore which is just social interaction. It’s forced social interaction, but it’s fun, it’s engaging and it’s a great way to connect with people over something common.”

Mueller says he always tries to leave a player open sign at his table because he is very open about letting people join in. Customers are allowed to bring their own board games as long as they buy drinks. The menu has a wide variety from fruit smoothies to craft beer to wine.

Allison Zadina, who is currently a student at the University of Nebraska Omaha has only visited Spielbound once. She plans on going back with friends multiple times during the semester to relieve stress and have a drink with friends.

“I thought it was a really fun place to go to play games with friends, drink some coffee. It was just a really fun experience to meet new people and bond with them.”

For the UNO School of Communication, I’m Sydney Dhabalt.

Dhabalt’s journey on the swim team

The UNO swim team has successfully completed their off season practices and is about to dive into summer training. Sophomore swimmer Jamie Dhabalt has completed her second year of Division 1 swimming.

“Coming in as a freshman, I was really nervous and scared because I didn’t know what to expect. I was used to high school training and I didn’t know that college training was going to be even harder than that,” said Dhabalt. “I honestly wasn’t sure how long I was going to last my freshman year, but I did. So far I’m half way done with my four years here being on the UNO swim team.

Dhabalt says she has a lot to accomplish in the pool before her last two years of swimming are over. Her main stroke is breaststroke and this year she had the fastest 100 meter breaststroke on the team.

“I have a lot of goals I’m striving for in the next two years, mainly with my breaststroke and I am also an IM’er. Probably the main event I am going to focus on is my 100 breaststroke, ” said Dhabalt. “So far I am two seconds away from the school record and that’s something that I’ve been thinking about a lot and I’d really like to break.”

For Jamie, being a college athlete has taught her more than just swimming. She has learned lessons that she will take with her beyond the swimming world and into her future life.

“So far I’ve learned a lot of things, I’ve learned about how to be motivated, how to go through really hard training and how to be driven. I’ve also made a lot of friends and I’ve just learned a lot of lessons through my two years and I hope to learn many more for the next two years,” said Dhabalt.

For the UNO School of Communication, I’m Sydney Dhabalt.

Chapter 7 & 9 Recap

Chapter 7 talks about designing web pages and the basic design structure used on most online journalism sites. Designing web pages is part science, part practical skill and part art. The art part is usually what scares most people since when they don’t consider themselves artistically inclined. The good news is that you don’t have to be artistic in order to create attractive and useful Web pages. The web pages people create may not look like works of art, but at least they can be attractive and easy to use.

Designers call the basic layout structure of a page the grid, whether it be a print document or a web page. A grid is pattern of lines and boxes into which the content fits. Another concept carried over from newspapers is the idea of designing above the fold. This means that the top half of the newspaper’s front page contains the most important information and the most attractive elements so that when people see it they will be attracted to it and will be more likely to purchase it.

Chapter 9 talks about curation, which is the gathering, organization and presentation of existing online content. The increasing number of online journalism organizations is recognizing this. The rise of the Web and online journalism have changed the way we think about what journalism actually is. Linking is an important part of online journalism as well. Once you choose to link, you can also integrate social media sources and even content from competing news organizations.

The creation of pages such as this can be facilitated by a wide variety of tools that is still growing today that help journalists link and present social media and other types of content more easily. Blogs have been allowing specific links, usually through permalinks, which mimic what named anchors do without the need for writing additional code.