The words that Huskers fans have been waiting to hear all season long: sophomore transfer Lexi Sun has made her debut for Nebraska, coming in late in the team’s match against New Mexico on Friday evening at the Husker Invite. Nebraska won the match 3-1 to move to 8-1 on the season
After sitting out the team’s first 8 games of the season with an undisclosed injury, including their sweep of Central Michigan earlier in the day on Friday, Sun started the team’s win over New Mexico. In short order, she showed why Nebraska fans were so anxious for her debut: she had 13 kills, which matched Mikaela Foecke for the team lead, and hit .346 (4 errors, 26 attacks). She also chipped in a service ace, 5 digs, and 2 blocks.
The outside hitter who transferred in from Texas this summer has been the big hope to fill an important role for the Huskers, who return just 2 starters from their national championship-winning team last season. She had the 2nd-most swings of anybody on the team (26, behind Foecke’s 28), and while she maybe faded a little in the 4th set (3 kills, 1 ace, 1 block error, 1 reception error, 1 attack error), she proved that she’s ready to join the Nebraska rotation with just Saturday’s match against Missouri State between Nebraska and the start of the Big Ten Conference slate.
Nebraska head coach John Cook has been slow-playing Sun all season. While she was a full-participant in warmups in each of the last 2 weeks, Cook didn’t want to let her on the court until she showed that she could make it through a full week of practice without issues.
“All along, our goal was that this was the weekend we were shooting for,” Cook said after the match. “She’s been through 2 weeks of practice, and this week we went hard Tuesday and Wednesday, and she went through full practices and felt good, so we thought tonight would be the night to start her.”
“I just need to take my time and not rush into things,” Sun said of her debut. “I trusted the process and everything that we needed to go through to get to where we are today. I think that the coaches and trainers and everyone did a really good job at getting me to be where I need to be when I step back on the court. It’s been a process, and obviously I’ve been super antsy, but I’m so happy that it was tonight.”
6’1″ Freshman Capri Davis had been taking most of the time at the 2nd outside hitter position for Nebraska, including with 3 kills on 10 swings in the early match against Central Michigan. She had a career-high 18 kills against Creighton last week, which Nebraska won 3-2. Davis didn’t see the court against New Mexico.