Coach John Cook got some good news on Friday night as Hawai’ian star Keonilei Akana announced her commitment to Nebraska on Instagram.
Nebraska volleyball picked up a new 2020 commitment today in Keonilei Akana. She originally signed with USC but was granted her release after a coaching change.
She led Kamehameha Kapalama to a state championship in Hawaii this season. #Huskers pic.twitter.com/q3XdD1QH4E
— Jacob Padilla (@JacobPadilla_) April 4, 2020
Akana is from O’ahu, Hawai’i, and led Kamehameha Kapalama to a 39-4 record and a state championship as a senior. She played outside and opposite hitter in high school, but at 5-foot-9, she will transition to defensive specialist at the next level.
She averaged 3.9 kills per set on .233 hitting and 4.2 digs per set as a senior. She had 23 kills and 21 digs in the state title match, a 3-1 win. Akana was named girls volleyball player of the year by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. She also helped Kapalama win a state title as a freshman in 2017, averaging 1.2 kills and 2.4 digs per set.
Akana originally signed with USC in November but received her release in March after then-USC coach Brent Crouch left to take the Auburn job.
Nebraska did not have any seniors on its roster in 2019, but the Huskers have seen four players transfer away since the end of the season including two defensive specialists. Akana joins a 2020 class that already included Superior middle blocker Kalynn Meyer, Breese Central (Illinois) middle blocker/outside hitter Abby Johnson and Waverly setter Annika Evans.
Jacob Padilla has been writing for Hail Varsity since 2015. He covers football, volleyball men’s basketball and prep sports. He also co-hosts the Nebraska Preps Postgame and Nebraska Shootaround podcasts for the Hurrdat Media and Hail Varsity podcast networks. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.