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Former Florida Opposite Hitter Merritt Beason Transfers to Nebraska

December 23, 2022

The Nebraska coaching staff — and Nebraska fans — received a big gift ahead of the Christmas holiday on Friday as Florida transfer Merritt Beason announced her commitment to the Huskers.

Beason is a 6-foot-3 opposite hitter from Gardendale, Alabama, who spent her two seasons as a Gator in the starting lineup. PrepVolleball.com ranked her as the No. 90 prospect overall in the 2021 class and she has two seasons of eligibility remaining. She entered the NCAA transfer Portal on Dec. 17.

“Our roster has been undergoing some adjustments since the season ended, and last week we had an opportunity to recruit Merritt to Nebraska,” Coach John Cook said in a release after the transfer became official. “I had a chance to watch Merritt play with Bekka Allick and Lexi Rodriguez on the U.S. U21 National Team this summer and called Jaylen Reyes and wondered why we didn’t recruit Merritt out of high school. She will fill a huge need for our team and her personality on and off the court will create an instant connection with Husker Nation. ‘MB3’ is a true six-rotation player and can do it all. On her visit to Lincoln, she even roped the Nebraska volleyball steer on the first try. We knew it was meant to be. Merritt also happens to be an experienced beach player and is a great student with the goal of becoming an elementary school teacher.”

This season, Beason averaged 3.35 kills per set on .261 hitting, 0.37 aces per set, 1.92 digs per set and 0.88 blocks per set while serving as a team captain. She notched double-digit kills in 23 of her 28 matches with a high of 21, set twice (against Wisconsin and LSU). She had 10 matches of .300 hitting or better with a high of .588 (with 12 kills) against Virginia. Beason played six rotations for the Gators, recorded five double-doubles including a 13-kill, 12-dig performance against Mississippi late in the season. Beason earned a spot on the All-SEC Team and won SEC Offensive Player of the Week twice.

Florida went 25-6 and fell to No. 2 seed Pittsburgh in the Round of 16. Beason averaged 3.1 kills on .286 hitting, 2.4 digs and 0.7 blocks per set with four aces and four service errors in here postseason matches.

As a freshman, Beason averaged 2.24 kills per set on .221 hitting, 0.15 aces per set, 1.78 digs per set and 0.89 blocks per set. She had five double-digit-kill performances including a high of 16 in a four-set win over Minnesota. She recorded one double-double with 10 points and a career-high 17 digs against Arkansas. She earned a spot on the SEC All-Freshman Team and won SEC Freshman of the Week twice.

Florida went 22-9 and fell to Louisville in the Sweet 16 in 2021. Beason averaged 5.0 kills on .195 hitting, 2.22 digs and 1.0 blocks per gam with five aces and six service errors in the tournament.

Beason played three seasons of varsity volleyball for Gardendale High School, amassing 1,735 kills on .364 hitting, 935 digs and 244 aces. As a senior, she averaged 6.0 kills on .249 hitting, 2.6 digs and 0.7 aces per set, guiding the Rockets to a 27-20 record and earning third-team AVCA Under Armour All-America honors. She played her club ball for Southern Performance.

Beason competed for the USA Volleyball Women’s U21 National Team, earning MVP honors at the 2021 Pan American Cup as the Americans won the gold medal.

Nebraska went into the offseason with all 12 scholarships for 2023 spoken for, which likely points to attrition from the current roster. This season, Nebraska had Whitney Lauenstein and Lindsay Krause splitting the opposite hitter reps in a 6-2 offense. Nebraska’s plan has always been to play Krause on the left side, and Beason’s arrival could point to Krause switching sides permanently heading into 2023.

Nebraska lost senior six-rotation starter Madi Kubik but returns Ally Batenhorst and Hayden Kubik on the left while adding 2023 top-10 recruits Harper Murray (outside) and Caroline Jurevicius (opposite) to the roster starting in January.

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