Nebraska volleyball may have just won a national championship less than a month ago, but there’s no such thing as an offseason for Coach John Cook and his staff who have been hard at work upgrading the roster for next season.
Cook signed four players ranked inside the top 60 nationally by PrepVolleyball.com during the early signing period in November and now he’s added one more to that 2018 recruiting class.
Cook announced on Tuesday that outside hitter Kashauna Williams has joined the class after enrolling in classes for this semester which began on Monday.
Williams is a 6-foot-1 outside hitter from Lancaster, California, who originally signed with Alabama in April of 2017. Williams received a release from her letter of intent to Alabama and spent last semester attending classes at a junior college in California.
Williams graduated from El Camino Real Charter High School where she was named the team’s player of the year as a sophomore, junior and senior. She was named the Los Angeles Times City Section Division I Player of the Year as a junior in 2015. Williams spent her freshman year at Sylmar High School, where she became the first freshman ever to play at the varsity level for the team.
Williams competed at the 2016 AAU National Championships with her club team, Mizuno Long Beach, and she she trained with the USA Women’s Junior A1 National Team in 2017.
“Kash is an incredibly dynamic athlete and will have an opportunity to earn a role on our team this spring at outside hitter,” Cook said in a release. “She has a lot of talent and we are excited to have the chance to work with her and see how she fits in at Nebraska. She will greatly improve our overall athleticism the day she gets here.”
Williams will compete with the Huskers during the beach and spring seasons to help her get read for next year. She did not play volleyball last semester and will be a classified as a freshman next season for the Huskers.
Williams is the second outside hitter in the 2018 class, joining Capri Davis, the No. 21 overall recruit from Mansfield, Texas. Outside hitter was one of the biggest positions of need for the Huskers after the midseason retirement of Olivia Boender and the graduation of Annika Albrecht.
Mikaela Foecke, who will be heading into her senior season, is the only outside hitter with significant experience left on the roster. Sami Slaughter appeared in just seven sets across six matches as a freshman last year, notching five kills with two errors on 11 swings.
Jazz Sweet and Anezka Szabo are both southpaws and are natural right side rather than outside hitters.
Last season, both Foecke and Albrecht played all six rotations in every set with Albrecht getting nearly 1,000 sets as the second left side hitter. Nebraska will need to find someone to replace that production and Williams will provide some competition for Davis at that position.
The addition of Williams follows the departure of setter Hunter Atherton, who announced that she was going to seek to transfer last week, leaving incoming freshman Nicklin Hames as the only setter currently on the 2018 roster.
Nebraska could still be active on the transfer market moving forward to add depth to a roster that lost five seniors as well as Atherton.
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. 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.