Nebraska is No. 1 once again.
Wednesday marked the beginning of the signing period for 2023 prospects in many sports and the Nebraska volleyball program introduced its five-player class, ranked first nationally by PrepVolleyball.com.
The class includes the nation’s No. 2 player in Harper Murray (the second-ranked outside hitter), No. 4 player in Bergen Reilly (the top-ranked setter), No. 5 player in Laney Choboy (the top-ranked libero), No. 7 player in Caroline Jurevicius (the top-ranked opposite hitter) and No. 13 player in Andi Jackson (the third-ranked middle blocker).
With recruiting coordinator Jaylen Reyes coordinating their efforts, this is the second time in the last three years that Nebraska has had the top-ranked recruiting class. The 2022 class was ranked second prior to the reclassification of Maggie Mendelson, who was originally the second-ranked player in the 2023 class before enrolling early at Nebraska to compete this season.
“The class of 2023 is a special class,” Coach John Cook said in a. release. “We fill our needs at every position, and they all have very high-level international experience representing the USA. The bonds they formed on those teams have run deep and they all plan to start school in January. All five of them are also exceptional students. We have been inspired being around them as they have big goals and they ‘Dream Big.’ This group of athletes are super competitive, fun to watch, and they will raise the level of our gym. I want to thank Kelly Hunter and Jaylen Reyes for their hard work on this class, along with all the people at Nebraska who work with our program. This is why we say, ‘There is No Place Like Nebraska!'”
All five signees will compete in the upcoming Under Armour All-America Game in January before enrolling at Nebraska. Murray, Reilly, Choboy and Jackson played with Mendelson for the USA Volleyball U19 team at the Pan American Cup in July. Reilly earned MVP and Best Setter, Choboy earned Best Receiver and Murray earned Best Striker as the Americans captured the gold medal. Murray, Reilly, Choboy and Jurevicius played alongside Mendelson and Bekka Allick for the U18 team USA team at the 2021 FIVB World Championships in Mexico, earning the bronze medal.
The 6-foot-2 Murray attends Skyline High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and averaged 6.0 kills per set on .410 hitting and 3.4 digs per set with 73 aces as a senior. She racked up 2,425 kills, 1,423 digs and 362 aces during her four-year varsity career. She plays her club ball for Legacy.
“We have recruited Harper for a very long time, going back to when she was 13 years old,” Cook said. “From a young age she has been one of the top six-rotation outside hitters in this class. Coming from a Big Ten family (her late father, Vada, played football at Michigan and her sister currently plays volleyball at Michigan), she understands and thrives in a space where there are high expectations. Harper has played on the U.S. Under 18 and Under 19 Teams the past couple of summers, so she is coming to Lincoln with some valuable international experience. We expect Harper to come in right away and push to be a six-rotation outside hitter from the day she steps on campus.”
The 6-foot-1 Reilly attends O’Gorman High School in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and is a two-time South Dakota Gatorade Player of the Year after as she led O’Gorman to back-to-back Class AA state championships in 2020 and 2021. She played outside hitter as a senior, averaging 4.6 kills per set on .310 hitting and 3.6 digs per set with 58 aces. Reilly played five varsity seasons for O’Gorman — two as a hitter and three as a setter in a two-setter offense. She plays her club ball for Kairos.
“Bergen is from Sioux Falls and is the top-ranked setter in this class,” Cook said. “She has a ton of high-level experience playing on the U.S. Under 18 and 19 Teams, where she won Best Setter and Tournament MVP at the Pan Am Cup this summer. She also got to compete with the U.S. National Team in the Dominican Republic, which is extremely rare for a high school player to be called up to the senior national team. Not only is Bergen a phenomenal technical setter, but what sets her apart is her demeanor on the court. She has a very calm presence and is a great leader. The setter position requires a lot of intangible skills, and we can see those in Bergen. We expect her to be the leader and glue of our 2023 class and to fight for the starting setter position next fall.”
Choboy was a late addition to the class, committing to Nebraska last Wednesday. She was originally committed to Minnesota before coach Hugh McCutcheon announced he’d be stepping down after the season. She attends Leesville Road High School in Raleigh, North Carolina. The 5-foot-3 Choboy played outside hitter as a senior and averaged 3.6 kills per set on .220 hitting and 4.3 digs per set. She plays her club ball for NC Volleyball Academy and is a three-time club MVP.
“Laney was a very recent addition to our class, but she’s a very important addition,” Cook said. “All of our best teams the last eight years have had two great liberos on our roster. As a top-five recruit and the No. 1 libero in this class, once Laney decided to re-open her recruiting, we jumped at the chance to get her to Lincoln. She has played with the rest of her classmates the past couple summers on the U.S. Under 18 and 19 Teams as the starting libero. As a solid serve receiver and an elite defender, Laney will come in and compete for a spot on the court. Her competitiveness and work ethic will be contagious to the rest of our team.”
The 6-foot-2 Jurevcius attends Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin High School in Chardon, Ohio. The daughter of former NFL wide receiver Joe Jurevicius, she averaged 4.7 kills per set on .350 hitting as a senior. Jurevicius plays her club ball for AVC.
“Caroline is one of the best opposites in this class,” Cook said. “In recruiting, finding a player who can play opposite at an international level can be difficult. Caroline played on the U.S. Under 18 Team that went to the World Championships in 2021, so she brings invaluable international experience as well. Having a mom who was a college track star and a father who played in the NFL, CJ has the physicality to be an international level opposite, and we are excited that she chose to be a Husker so we can help her achieve her goals. She brings a physicality that will instantly raise the level of our program and we expect her to push to play once she gets to Lincoln.”
Finally, the 6-foot-3 Jackson attends Brighton High School in Brighton, Colorado. As a senior, she averaged 3.5 kills per set on .386 hitting with 67 aces. She plays her club ball for The Diff.
“Andi comes from a family of elite athletes. Her mom was a high jumper and her dad played hockey in Alaska where she was born. Andi is a once-in-a-decade type of athlete and has only gotten more and more physical the older she’s gotten. She played outside hitter for both her club and high school teams but has spent time as a middle blocker with the U.S. Under 19 Team this summer. We discovered Andi when Christina Houghtelling sent me a video of her as she was giving her lessons and told me she could be a special player for Nebraska, but we would have to work to get her. What is so interesting is she reminds me a lot of Christina and has tons of potential for development just like Christina did. Andi is a fun player who works hard and does it all with a smile. We expect her to come in and make a big impact on our team from day one and compete hard for playing time.”
Wednesday was a big day for the Huskers, but their recruiting momentum doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. The Huskers currently have PrepVolleyball.com‘s top-ranked 2024 class as well a year ahead of signing day.
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.