With just about two months left before the 2017 volleyball season begins, VolleyMob is taking a look at some of the collegiate recruiting classes you may have missed and those who stand to make an impact on teams in and out of the Top 25.
Nebraska rounds out the fourth team so far:
The Cornhuskers come off a 2016 that saw a bitter ending to a wonderful two-year run and four-year span of the extremely successful senior class. After two straight Regional Final berths, Nebraska broke through in 2015 to the Final Four where they won the National Championship in front of a myriad of home fans in Omaha. They added a Big Ten Championship in 2016 and another spot in the NCAA Semifinals until Texas got revenge from the 2015 title game. 2017 presents a new challenge for Nebraska head coach John Cook, who loses three All-Americans but adds five highly touted freshman to pair with strong returning talent.
Of the five incoming freshman, four earned Under Armour All-American status. Chesney McClellan, a 6’4″ middle blocker, and Jazz Sweet, a 6’3″ outside hitter were the cream of the crop as Under Armour First Team All-Americans. Samantha Slaughter made the third team while Anezka Szabo earned honorable mention honors. The fifth recruit being brought in is Hayley Densberger, a 5’9″ defensive specialist. More details on the class can be seen here.
The fresh faces will be talented and coming in at a good time, as Nebraska loses plenty of fire power from the 2016 version. Gone are First and Third Team All-Americans Kadie and Amber Rolfzen. Behind them, they’ll no longer have the security of one of the game’s best liberos in First-Team All-American Justine Wong-Orantes.
Although they lose plenty of star-power, Nebraska does bring back more than enough talent to compete for another National Title. Setter Kelly Hunter will be in for her final season with the Huskers and should form a nice duo with 2016 AVCA All-America Honorable Mention honoree Mikaela Foecke, who’s back for her junior year. Middle blocker Briana Holman also returns after receiving All-America Honorable Mention.