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Conversations with Cook: 2020 In-State Recruits

November 19, 2019

Nebraska’s 2020 recruits — middle blocker Kalynn Meyer (Superior, Nebraska), setter Annika Evans (Waverly) and middle blocker/outside hitter Abby Johnson (Aviston, Illinois) — signed with the university last Wednesday, which means Coach John Cook is finally free to talk about them publicly.

With no seniors on the roster this year, Nebraska had to go small with its 2020 class. Meyer is the only scholarship recruit, but she’s a good one. PrepVolleyball.com has the 6-foot-3 Superior product ranked 21st nationally.

“I saw her in camp and started following her,” Cook said. “We helped her get into a club program because she wasn’t playing club back then. Then she came back to a camp the next year and I think that’s when we offered.”

She committed to Nebraska in October of 2017, during her sophomore year. Cook said he wasn’t at all hesitant about offering her so early despite her inexperience playing club volleyball.

“I knew what a multi-sport athlete she was, I knew about her family, I knew how hard she works,” Cook said.

“She’s a big, strong girl,” he continued. “She can run, she can move, she’s got a pretty fast arm, she’s very coachable and she’s going to work really hard. She’s a big, physical athlete that can move. It’s hard to find athletes like that, especially in Superior, Nebraska.”

Meyer also received offers from Nebraska and Iowa State in basketball, and she’s a standout in track and field. Cook offered former Husker standout Christina Houghtelling as a comparison as they both came from small towns, didn’t play a lot of club and were great multi-sport athletes, which is something Cook said he values.

“Go look at our All-American wall,” Cook said. “We can go through there and look a all of them that were multi-sport athletes, it’s probably 80, 90%.”

Meyer will have the opportunity to continue playing multiple sports at Nebraska if that’s what she desires. Cook said he has no problem sharing her with track and field coach Gary Pepin despite the importance of the spring beach season.

“When we recruited her, I talked to Coach Pepin,” Cook said. “I think her event, they just train like a couple days a week, so it’d work out really well. We don’t go five, six days a week in the spring except for in April. Their season goes in May and June.”

As for the other in-state recruit in Evans, she had previously been committed to Colorado State but decommitted in order to walk on at Nebraska.

“Anni was in camp last summer and we heard that her dream was to play here,” Cook said. “So we had her come to camp and talked to her about this is a possible role we could see for you, and she wanted to be a Husker.”

At setter, Nicklin Hames will be a junior next season and Nicole Drewnick, who was originally part of the 2020 class but enrolled early to join the team for this season, will be a sophomore.

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