Nebraska Volleyball Announces Three Roster Additions
Photo Credit: James Wooldridge

Nebraska Volleyball Announces Three Roster Additions

July 27, 2018

Some new faces have joined the Nebraska volleyball team (although one will already be familiar to Huskers fans). Coach John Cook shared the news Friday that three student-athletes have been added to the Husker volleyball program for the 2018 season. Former Nebraska setter Brooke Smith will return to the program for her senior season, while junior setter Mari Kurkova and freshman defensive specialist/libero Chen Abramovich join the team.

Smith was originally a back-up setter at Nebraska as a freshman in 2015, and also was a serving specialist in 2016. She produced nine aces in 18 matches over her two seasons with the Huskers. Smith transferred to Kansas State for the 2017 season, where she split time at setter. She averaged 4.71 assists per set and 1.71 digs per set, and was also second on the team with 27 total aces.

“Brooke found out she missed Nebraska and the relationships she built in her first two years here,” Cook said in Friday's announcement. “She is a great addition to our team because she is such a hard worker, great teammate and a player everyone really respects. We are very excited to have Brooke back for her final season.”

Kurkova comes to Nebraska from Opava, Czech Republic, where she played club volleyball for PVK Olymp Praha while attending Přípotoční High School. She has also been a part of the Czech Republic women’s national team, playing in the 2014 FIVB World Grand Prix and the 2015 FIVB World Grand Prix . She was also part of the U20 team that competed in the 2015 World Championship.

Kurkova has completed her bachelor's degree and will be a graduate transfer. She has two seasons of eligibility.

“After Hunter Atherton’s transfer we began looking for another setter, and we found out about Mari and started the process,” Cook said. “She is unique in that she is a grad student, so she will be working on a master’s degree for the next two years. We felt that she would be a good fit at Nebraska because she has experience, she knows what she wants, and there is also a great Czech population in the state of Nebraska.”

Abramovich is a freshman defensive specialist/libero. From Kfar Saba, Israel, she played club volleyball for Hapoel Kfar Saba last season and helped lead her team to the ISR National Championship. She also competed with the Israel Junior National Team at the 2016 European Championship.

“Chen approached us about playing volleyball at Nebraska once she completed her army commitment,” Cook said. “Chen comes from a strong volleyball family, and her mom is a national hero for starting the Mother’s Volleyball League in Israel, and now it has spread all over the world. Chen played in a league that played with international rules where the libero is not allowed to serve, but she has seen a lot of tough serves and will be a great addition to our back row.”

The Huskers begin their 2018 season with the Red/White Scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 18.

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