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Bullet Points: Newcomers Impress as Nebraska Sweeps Wichita State in Central City

April 29, 2023

The Nebraska volleyball team hit the road for its 2023 spring game, facing Wichita State at the Bison Activity Dome, home to Central City (Nebraska) High School athletics. The doors were set to open 90 minutes prior to first serve — which was scheduled for 2 p.m. CT — but fans started to sneak in the doors a little early. It’s no surprise either, when you consider that tickets for Saturday’s event sold out in 52 minutes when they originally went on sale.

Official attendance was 2,096.

Here are some thoughts and observations from the Huskers’ sweep of Wichita State:

>> The Huskers are a young team, with no seniors on their roster and six of the 14 players new to the program. Of those six newcomers, five are freshman — libero Laney Choboy, middle blocker Andy Jackson, outside hitters Caroline Jurevicius and Harper Murray, and setter Bergen Reilly.

Junior outside hitter transfer Merritt Beason came to Nebraska from Florida.

“It’s just one match but they are very competitive, they’re very talented and they are very confident to come in and compete and play,” Coach John Cook said about the newcomers post-match. “As you saw today, we don’t miss a beat putting them in there.”

>>  Choboy played back row for Lindsay Krause on Saturday and was nothing short of impressive. This diving save in the first set was unbelievable:

Choboy ended her day leading the team with 7 digs.

>> It feels important to note that Jackson recorded her 7 kills in just one set on Saturday.

>> Murray’s big hits were just that: big. She finished her day with 12 kills at a .391 clip to lead the Huskers.

Considering Murray should be in her spring semester of her senior year of high school, her performance is one worth noting. With that said, Murray will travel back home to Michigan in three weeks to attend her senior prom.

>> Here were your starters for the matchup against Wichita State:

Nebraska changed things up in the third set with Jurevicius at opposite hitter, Hayden Kubik and Ally Batenhorst at outside hitter, and Jackson at middle blocker. Bekka Allick was the other middle blocker, while Reilly returned to run the offense after taking over in the second set.

As Cook said, it’s just a spring game but it feels like Nebraska has solid playmakers across the board. It would be difficult to select Nebraska’s starting lineup for the fall today, which isn’t a bad problem to have. Even Cook said post-game that he’s grateful for the extra time this group has with the overseas trip this summer to work and grow. If there was a time for a trip like that to come around, this was the year.

>> There were some number updates on Saturday, with Reilly wearing No. 1, Jurevicius with No. 11 and Kubik with No. 33. Kubik is currently listed as No. 11 on Nebraska’s roster, but 33 was what she wore in 2022.

>> Nicklin Hames was absent on Saturday, but don’t read too much into that. Hames — who is a graduate assistant with Nebraska for the 2023 season — is in California for her sister Kayleigh’s graduation from Pepperdine.

>> Cook and Beason addressed the crowd following the match. Both expressed their gratitude to Central City and the fans that showed up both Friday and Saturday to make the team feel welcome.

“You made it feel like a Final Four,” Cook said to the crowd post-game.

The Huskers were able to meet with young players on Friday and a local Special Olympics team on Saturday morning.

>> For those who may have been in the crowd on Saturday, you might have heard the public service announcer call Beason a captain. However, Cook clarified after the match that captains have not yet been selected. The Huskers will decide that during their 17-day trip to Brazil from May 29-June 14.

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