Scott Jacobson, rapper?
It was the Nebraska women's tennis team's secret weapon last weekend in reaching the NCAA sweet 16 for the first time.
Jacobson, NU's head coach, did some rapping to loosen up his team between the doubles and singles competition against UNLV in the second round in Lincoln.
It worked, with the Huskers advancing to Urbana, Ill., this weekend for the next step in the NCAA championships. They open at 7 p.m. Friday against North Carolina.
“I thought I'd give it the good old college try,” Jacobson said. “Once every 22 years is probably enough.”
Husker senior Janine Weinreich loved it.
“It started off like a poem and turned into rapping. That loosened us up a lot. It was really entertaining and great,” she said. “After we won, the girls took one of the Gatorade buckets and ice bathed him.”
Weinreich's role wasn't quite so entertaining, but it was still crucial. She and Stefanie Weinstein rallied from a 4-1 deficit for an 8-4 win at No. 2 doubles to help give the Huskers the doubles point, and Weinreich then came back twice to win her No. 4 singles competition 6-4, 6-4.
Momentum shifted in the doubles as she and Weinstein played more aggressive. They have 28 wins this season.
“It was really exciting. The doubles point is always the really crucial point,” Weinreich said. “To go one point ahead with singles play, it gives you a lot of confidence. You need to win just three more singles.”
The 5-0 win over Wichita State and 4-1 win over UNLV in the opening rounds, along with a 24-5 season, have given the No. 16 Huskers a lot of confidence heading into their match against North Carolina. The Tar Heels (28-3) are ranked second in the country, but that doesn't faze the Huskers.
“We have a really strong team, too,” Weinreich said. “We just have to keep doing what we've been doing all year. Go out on the court, do our thing and fight for each other and play for each other with a lot of heart.”
They'll just have to do it without any rapping by the coach.
Jacobson wouldn't reveal what he said, but it did include a little something about everyone on the team.
“That's probably as good as it gets from me,” Jacobson said. “I'm sure (assistant) coach (Hayden) Perez and Mary (Weatherholt) will have some inspiring words for the team, so I'm not too worried.”
Weatherholt, the Huskers' No. 1 singles player, has done some rapping in some other matches, all part of keeping things light and fun.
Weinreich, who will be returning to her home country of Germany soon, said she couldn't have asked for a better senior season.
The Huskers are feeling great about their play in the NCAA tournament and want to keep it going.
“We're not only going there to play,” Weinreich said, “we're going there to win as well.”
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