Takeaways from Nebraska Volleyball 2021 Media Day
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Ahead of the 2021 volleyball season the NCAA preseason power 10 rankings has Nebraska volleyball ranked at #3 in the country.
Today at the 2021 Nebraska Volleyball Media Day press conference head coach John Cook and three seniors, outside hitter Lexi Sun, setter Nicklin Hames and middle blocker Kayla Caffey all addressed the media for the first time ahead of the season.
The Huskers have a mix of experience and youth with five returning seniors and six incoming freshman.
Cook said today that everything on this team will be earned not given and despite your experience no spot is guaranteed. “I think it’s going to be a war everyday,” Cook said.
Sun, a senior herself, echoed that testament and says there is a lot of talent in this years locker room.
“Not only will the upperclassman be pushing the freshman, but the freshman will also be pushing us to get better and I think that’s going to be something that’s going to be really awesome about this team this year,” Sun said. “I’m excited to compete and have so many amazing players in the gym at once.”
Coming in as a freshman is not an easy task at Nebraska. This years class is highly touted and at times the pressure can be a lot to handle. Hames, who has been there before, thinks these freshman will be just fine.
“Just keep their confidence, there is a lot of expectations coming into this program especially when you’re ranked really high. Just keep your confidence no matter what and really learn to separate your identity from you as a volleyball player to you as a person because when you separate it it’s really easy to have that confidence,” Hames said.
Other big news that came out earlier in the week was the announcement that senior middle blocker Lauren Stivrins will be back for another year. Stivrins suffered a lower back injury last season that required surgery but according to Cook she will be back on the court sometime this season.
The timeline on her return is still to be determined.
“I’m so excited Lauren is back, I definitely look up to her as another middle blocker. I think she pushes all of us and all her teammates to be better, so I’m super excited,” said Caffey. “She brings a sense of calmness and leadership just because she’s done this before, she has won a championship.”
Other than not finishing last season with a national championship win, there was something else that just didn’t feel right.
No fans in the Devaney Center last year truly felt like a blow to the Huskers and with a ton of fire power returning for the Big Red, the energy on match day will feel a lot different.
“We really missed that energy from our fans. I’m so glad to have them back. Just to be able to run out into a full Devaney, I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it,” Hames said.
The Huskers will open up the season at home on August 27.
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