Backup setter Brooke Smith will be back in Husker red on Sunday after winning an NCAA appeal to play for Nebraska in 2018.
.@Brooke_Smithhh is 🔙#GBR pic.twitter.com/ouuQ8U2OG1
— Husker Volleyball (@Huskervball) September 8, 2018
The Weatherford, Texas, native started her career in a Husker jersey, spending two years with the team before transferring to Kansas State for her junior season. She saw action in 13 matches as a rookie in 2015, starting one, while notching six aces and six digs as the Huskers won the NCAA title. In 2016, Smith played in just five matches, starting one, while accounting for three aces, four digs and one assist. She also played beach in 2017, earning Academic All-Big Ten honors.
After transferring to Kansas State, the 5-10 setter dished out 476 assists (4.71 per set) and pulled up 173 digs (1.71 per set) and served up 27 aces. Smith tallied three double-doubles, while playing in 101 of the team’s 116 sets. The Wildcats, however, went just 10-19 on the year.
Smith came back to Lincoln over the summer with the intent to play in 2018, but the NCAA denied her transfer waiver just before the Huskers’ season opener.
The NCAA has apparently reconsidered its decision as Nebraska coach John Cook told the Lincoln Journal Star he had received word that Smith will be able to play this season and will be eligible to play for the Huskers against Iowa State on Sunday.
Reportedly Smith provided new information to the NCAA during her appeal, although it has not been disclosed what that included.
“I’m happy for her,” Cook told the Journal Star. “There are a lot of reasons she wanted to come back here, and to be able to play her senior year here is pretty special. She’s been through the fires before. I think it will be a lot easier for her now to be in practice and have a more significant role because she knows she can play. We’ll see.”
Smith’s availability gives the Huskers depth at the setter position, where they were thin after the graduation of All-American Kelly Hunter and the transfer of Hunter Atherton. Nebraska even cancelled its spring season because it did not have any returning setters.