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Nebraska Volleyball Middle Blocker Lauren Stivrins Waves to Fans
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

John Cook Says Lauren Stivrins is Returning in 2021, Pending Health

June 28, 2021

Nebraska volleyball is running it back in 2021.

Senior Lexi Sun already announced that is will return for a “super senior” season in Lincoln. Sun announced her return on May 19.

As for senior Lauren Stivrins, Husker fans have been waiting to hear more about her future. In an interview with VolleyballMag.com, Coach John Cook seemed to provide a small update. He said that while the decision for Sun was “pretty easy” because she’ll have an opportunity to make money under new name, image and likeness legislation while earning her master’s degree, Stivrin’s decision wasn’t quite the same.

“For Lauren, it was a little different,” Cook said. “She ended up having back surgery so she can’t go right now. Her best option was to stay with us and rehab.”

Cook also confirmed that Stivrins played injured during the 2020–21 season. While she’s returning to Nebraska, it’s not yet clear if she’ll be able to play. Cook noted it’s all dependent on her back, but she will try if able.

Stivrins later added additional clarity to the report, saying she has not yet made a final decision. Her focus in Nebraska is currently on rehabbing from her injury.

The 6-foot-4 middle blocker posted the best season of her career in the delayed 2020-21 campaign, averaging 3.18 kills and 1.03 blocks per set while hitting .468, tops in the Big Ten and second all-time in program history. She was named an All-Big Ten First Team performer and an AVCA First-Team All-American.

The native of Scottsdale, Arizona, has started since her redshirt freshman year in 2017 and has grown into one of the best players in the country, regardless of position. She’s a three-time AVCA All-American (First-Team in 2018 and 2020, Second Team in 2019) and helped  the Huskers capture a national title in 2017.

Fellow seniors Jazz Sweet and Hayley Densberger opted against taking advantage of the extra season of eligibility. If Stivrins does return, Nebraska will have all six opening day starters plus its libero from the 2020-21 season and adds the top recruiting class in the nation.

Nebraska is set to open the season at the Devaney Center on Aug. 27.

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