Olympian helps out Nikiski netters

Posted: Friday, October 08, 2004

At 10-0 overall, the Nikiski volleyball team does not need much more instruction than coach Bruce King is giving them.

The Bulldogs received instruction from Olympic beach volleyball player Jeff Nygaard at their practices Wednesday and Thursday, however.

Nygaard is a relative of Nikiski volleyball player Clare Bennett. Bennett made the invitation to Nygaard. He agreed to come to the Kenai Peninsula to be a tourist and volleyball coach for a few days. He will be introduced to the crowd tonight at 5:30 p.m. before Nikiski's home match against Houston.

"It certainly has created a buzz," King said of Nygaard's visit. "We talked about making sure we get something out of it other than the buzz.

"He's obviously seen it all."

Nygaard played in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics as a middle blocker on the U.S. indoor volleyball team. Both years, the team was eliminated in pool play.

The 6-foot-8, 215-pounder changed to beach volleyball and made the 2004 Olympic team but again did not get a medal.

Nygaard, who was born in Madison, Wis., was a dominant college player at UCLA. The 32-year-old became the first collegiate men's player to receive player of the year honors in consecutive seasons, turning the trick in 1994 and 1995. Nygaard led the Bruins to national titles in 1993 and 1995.



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