It’s going to be an offseason of quarterback races at Nebraska, and we’re not talking just football any more. Huskers volleyball also needs a new “quarterback” with the departure of senior setter Kelly Hunter, and things got a lot more interesting on that front this week.
Redshirt freshman Hunter Atherton, the only other setter on the 2017 roster, announced her intention to transfer on Thursday. That leaves incoming freshman Nicklin Hames as the only setter on the 2018 roster at the moment.
Hames (pictured above at a Nebraska camp last summer) isn’t your ordinary freshman. The top-ranked setter in the country and fourth-ranked player overall by PrepVolleyball.com, she’s sort of been raised on a diet of volleyball concentrate from a young age. Her mother, Chris, coached her high school team, and her father, Jason, runs a club team. Hames started playing varsity volleyball in eighth grade and led her school to five state titles. When she signed with Nebraska back in November, Coach John Cook called her a “combination of Lauren Cook and Kelly Hunter.”
You won’t find much higher praise for a setter than that, but the Huskers will probably have to build a little depth somehow. Nebraska is obviously no stranger to the transfer market and the program has plenty of appeal for high-profile setters looking for a fresh start.
A player like Olivia Dailey could fit the bill. An honorable mention All-American at Kentucky in 2016, Dailey played behind true freshman Madison Lilley in 2017. Lilley was named the SEC Setter of the Year as the Wildcats earned a top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament, losing to Nebraska in the regional final.
Any such transfer, however, won’t be on campus any time soon as Cook told Brent Wagner of the Lincoln Journal Star that the Huskers aren’t looking to add anyone in time for the spring semester, which begins next week. Hames won’t be on campus either, meaning Nebraska’s spring practices could get interesting.
Makes the quarterback race set to start over on the football side seem pretty tame by comparison.
The Grab Bag
- Fun read on the Georgia-Alabama title game as it's viewed in the "bi-cities" of Phenix City, Alabama, and Columbus, Georgia.
- Good by-the-numbers breakdown of Dawgs-Tide here, which focuses on Georgia's run game against Alabama's stifling run defense.
- Nebraska running back target Maurice Washington was named MVP of the Under Armour All-America Game on Thursday.
- ICYMI: Scott Frost will have a big presence on ESPN on Monday in the lead in to the national championship game.
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