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August 2021 "Another Day in the Sun"
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Lexi Sun Leads the 2021 Nebraska Volleyball Issue of Hail Varsity

August 19, 2021

All of the ingredients were there for Lexi Sun to be one of the stars of the dawn of college athletics’ NIL era. She’s a great player, well known, with a large social following and she plays volleyball in place where the passion for the sport is about as high as it gets.

Sun was ready, too. She had an LLC formed prior to July 1, the first day when Nebraska’s new NIL legislation could take effect, and she had a product–a since sold out sweatshirt in collaboration with REN Athletics.

Her deal this week with Borsheims, however, so far represents the high-water mark for Nebraska student-athletes and the NIL potential Husker teams are keen to highlight in their recruiting pitches. The passion is here. The opportunities are here.

I wouldn’t call myself a jewelry or advertising expert, but this is a well-executed campaign. It looks good, high-end, and it provides value not just for the brand but also the consumer. What die-hard Nebraska volleyball fan wouldn’t want to at least look to see what Sun selected for her curated collection? I did.

August 2021 Hail Varsity Cover

Nebraska outside hitter Lexi Sun on the August 2021 cover of Hail Varsity. Photo by Eric Francis

Name, Image and Likeness is perhaps just a small part of why Sun is back for another year of Nebraska volleyball, as Jacob Padilla explores in his cover feature for the August issue of Hail Varsity. The chance at a more normal final season, hopefully, was a draw. After a loss to Texas in last year’s NCAA Tournament, there was also a sense of unfinished business.

“I think, as a team, the hardest thing about that was we knew our potential and what we could accomplish as a team, and I just feel like we completely missed the mark on that,” Sun said in the story.

There’s more volleyball for the Husker obsessed in this issue. People usually have a general sense that Nebraska coach John Cook and his staff take sports science seriously, but deputy editor Erin Sorensen’s feature shows just how detailed Nebraska’s fine-tuning can be when it comes to sleep, nutrition, managing practice loads and measuring recovery.

To round out our volleyball coverage, editor Mike Babcock caught up with Brigette (Root) Pettepier, a former setter for the Huskers who played in 13 matches over a four-year career but was one of Nebraska’s co-captains as a senior. Babcock also offers an excellent column on his fondness for Champaign, Illinois, where the Huskers will open the football season on Aug. 28.

Staff photographers Eric Francis and John Peterson take you inside fall camp with a photo essay for this issue. Peterson was also on hand to capture the first match of Nebraska soccer’s 2021 season.

We’ve also got an exclusive Q&A with new Athletic Director Trev Alberts as well as plenty more on football and recruiting this month.

The August 2021 issue of Hail Varsity arrives this week. Make sure you don’t miss an issue by subscribing today.

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