Junior outside hitter Olivia Boender has chosen to end her volleyball career at Nebraska by seeking a medical release, according to Coach John Cook in a release by the university.
“Olivia has been struggling this season to stay healthy, and between her and the doctors it’s been determined that she is going to take a medical release from playing volleyball and end her playing career,” Cook said. “Olivia has been a really valuable part of our program, and the energy she has brought to games and practices has been second to none. I’ve loved coaching Liv and with her being from Waverly, watching her fulfill her dream by playing here at Nebraska, it’s unfortunate that it’s ending a little bit sooner than we all hoped. But she’s going to graduate in May and we’ve really enjoyed having her be a Husker, and she’ll be a Husker for life.”
Boender, a 6-foot-2 left side hitter, appeared in 12 sets across seven matches this season, recording four kills on 13 attempts with eight digs and a service ace. During her three-year career, Boender played in a total of 43 sets and 26 matches, recording 78 kills on .267 hitting with 45 digs. Boender finished with 16 kills on 22 swings without an error against Montana State as a sophomore. During her redshirt freshman season, Boender had 15 kills and eight digs in a 3-2 comeback win against Oregon and followed it up with 10 kills and 13 digs two matches later in a sweep over South Florida.
“My dream of becoming a Nebraska volleyball player was a dream come true,” Boender said. “Being a part of this program is something that will always hold a special place in my heart. I met some of my closest friends through this program and for that I am forever thankful. And I want to tell the fans that you are truly the greatest fans in the world and I can never thank you enough. My time here was something I’ll cherish forever.”
Boender was tabbed as the No. 56 recruit in the nation by PrepVolleyball.com after a stand-out career for Waverly (Neb.) High School hat earned her numerous honors including the Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year award as a senior.
Boender's departure leaves the Huskers with true freshman Sami Slaughter, who has appeared in just two sets this season, as the only left side hitter providing depth behind starters Mikaela Foecke and Annika Albrecht.
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.