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Nebraska Defensive Specialist Keonilei Akana Enters Transfer Portal

April 26, 2022

Defensive specialist Keonilei Akana announced on Tuesday that she is transferring after two seasons at Nebraska.


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Hail Varsity confirmed that Akana’s name is in the transfer portal. She led the Huskers with 18 digs in Saturday’s spring exhibition against Kansas in Grand Island.

Akana was a key part of Nebraska’s “Legion of Boom,” the talented back row that made Nebraska one of the best defensive teams in the country in 2021. She was third on the team in digs, averaging 2.54 per game, and she notched 10 or more digs in 19 of her 34 matches. She also developed into a weapon from the service line as a sophomore, leading the team with 42 aces (0.35 per set) while recording just 37 errors.

Akana made an immediate impact as a freshman, appearing in all 66 sets during the 2020-21 spring season. She was second on the team in aces with 21 (0.32 per set) and third in digs at 2.41 per set.

A native of Hauula, Hawaii, Akana originally signed with USC out of Kamehameha Kapalama High School in Honolulu but reopened her recruitment after a coaching change for the Trojans and chose Nebraska.

Akana’s departure leaves Nebraska with senior Kenzie Knuckles and sophomore libero Lexi Rodriguez with back-row playing experience. Maisie Boesiger, a standout setter at Norris High School, joined the program this spring as a walk-on defensive specialist. Setter Nicklin Hames, an elite back row defender, also decided to return for a fifth season.

Akana has up to three season of eligibility remaining.

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