Huskers and Nittany Lions Set for Friday Morning Battle

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Posted By: Sports

Courtesy: UNL Media Relations

The top-seeded Nebraska volleyball team begins the Lincoln Regional with a semifinal showdown against 16th-seeded Penn State on Friday at 11 a.m. at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on ESPNU. Doors will open at 10 a.m. Eighth-seeded Washington will face Arizona in the other regional semifinal in Lincoln. That match will begin at 1:30 p.m., or 30 minutes after the conclusion of Nebraska-Penn State but no sooner than 1:30 p.m. The winners will advance to Saturday’s regional final, set for 3 p.m. on ESPNU.

Nebraska-Penn State will also be streamed online at Paul Sunderland will have the play-by-play and Karch Kiraly will provide color commentary. Husker Sports Network will broadcast the match statewide on HSN affiliate stations, including 107.3 FM in Lincoln and AM 590 in Omaha. John Baylor and Diane Mendenhall will call the action, while former Husker All-American Lauren Cook will report from the sidelines.

The Huskers (29-2) earned their nation-leading 32nd regional appearance with a 3-0 sweep over TCU in the second round. Nebraska will be hosting its first regional in Lincoln since 2013. The Huskers will meet Penn State for the third time in a span of 36 days, having won 3-2 in University Park on November 4 and 3-0 in Lincoln on November 16.

Nebraska has faced Washington in regionals two years in a row and has UW in its regional for a third straight year. The teams have met in regionals five times in the past eight years. The Huskers haven’t faced Arizona since 2002. The teams met in a regional final in Lincoln in 2000, head coach John Cook’s first year at Nebraska. The Huskers won 3-0 on their way to the national championship.

Regional winners will advance to the national semifinals and championship final co-hosted by the Ohio State University and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio on December 15 and 17.

About the Huskers

• The defending national champion Huskers are aiming to become the first Husker team to repeat as national champions, as the three previous NCAA title teams (1995, 2000, 2006) came up short of a repeat. This year’s NCAA Championship is set for December 15-17 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

• Nebraska won the Big Ten Conference title this season for the first time since 2011. Its 18-2 Big Ten record marked its most wins in the conference since joining in 2011.

• Nebraska is the top seed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006. This season marks the fifth time Nebraska has been the No. 1 overall seed since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1998. The Huskers won national titles in 2000 and 2006 as the top overall seed, were runners-up in 2005 as the No. 1 seed and reached a regional final in 2004.

• The Huskers are making their 35th straight NCAA Tournament appearance and are hosting a regional for the 15th time in program history, but for only the second time since 2003.

• The Huskers were ranked No. 1 in 12 of 15 AVCA Coaches Polls this season but enter the NCAA Tournament ranked second.

• Nebraska Head Coach John Cook was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year, while Kelly Hunter, Amber Rolfzen, Kadie Rolfzen and Justine Wong-Orantes were on the All-Big Ten team. Wong-Orantes was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season. Mikaela Foecke and Briana Holman received honorable mention.

• All six of the players were on the AVCA All-North Region team, while Cook was the AVCA North Region Coach of the Year, his fifth career regional coaching honor.

• Nebraska leads all Big Ten teams in opponent hitting percentage (.139) and ranks fourth in the nation.

• Nebraska averages 14.39 kills per set this season to rank first in the Big Ten and 11th in the nation.

• The Huskers are hitting .288 as a team, which ranks third in the Big Ten and seventh nationally.

• Nebraska’s .886 win percentage under Cook is the best by any program since Cook took over in 2000.

• Nebraska has won 29 matches this season, marking the 16th time in his 17 years that Cook’s Huskers have reached at least 25 wins.

Nebraska vs. TCU Post-Match Notes

• Nebraska improved to 29-2 on the season, including 16-1 at home. The Huskers have won their last 11 home matches.

• The Huskers won their eighth straight NCAA Tournament match while improving to 100-30 all-time in postseason play.

• With its win over TCU, Nebraska joined Stanford as the only two programs to win 100 matches in the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinal own 111 victories, while the Huskers sit at an even 100.

• Nebraska advanced to an NCAA Regional for the 32nd time in the Huskers’ 35 all-time NCAA Tournament appearances. Nebraska’s 32 regional appearances are tied with Stanford for the most in NCAA history.

•The Huskers have advanced to a regional in 22 of the last 23 seasons, more than any school in that span.

• Nebraska improved to 68-6 all-time at home in the NCAA Tournament, including a 14-2 record at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.

• The Huskers have won 46 of their last 49 home NCAA Tournament matches.

•John Cook improved to 58-13 in NCAA Tournament play as Nebraska’s head coach.

•Nebraska never trailed against TCU, marking the fourth match this season where the Huskers never trailed (also vs. No. 4 Wisconsin, at Rutgers and at Indiana).

• Senior libero Justine Wong-Orantes had 24 digs in the match – including 14 in the first set – to become Nebraska’s all-time leader in career postseason digs. Wong-Orantes has totaled 254 digs in 16 career NCAA Tournament matches, topping the record previously held by Kayla Banwarth (253 digs in 16 career NCAA Tournament matches).

• Wong-Orantes’ 24 digs also tied the Nebraska record for digs in a three-set NCAA Tournament match. Kayla Banwarth also had 24 digs in a three-set win over Coastal Carolina in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament.

•Junior setter Kelly Hunter had 28 assists and 10 digs to post her ninth double-double of the season and 20th of her career.

Huskers Host Loaded Lincoln Regional

• The four teams in the Lincoln Regional have combined for as many national titles (12) as the 12 other remaining teams combined.

• The Lincoln Regional field has combined for 20 more NCAA Regional appearances than any of the other three 2016 regional fields.

• The Lincoln Regional features nine of the last 11 national champions (2005 – Washington; 2006 – Nebraska; 2007 – Penn State; 2008 – Penn State; 2009 – Penn State; 2010 – Penn State; 2013 – Penn State; 2014 – Penn State; 2015 – Nebraska).

• All four teams in the Lincoln Regional rank in the top 15 in NCAA history for most regional appearances (Nebraska: t-1st; Penn State: 3rd; Washington: t-12th; Arizona: t-14th)

• Three teams in the Lincoln Regional have won a national title. Only one team has won a national title in each of the other three regionals (UCLA in Minneapolis Regional; Stanford in Madison Regional; Texas in Austin Regional).

• Nebraska and Penn State both rank in the top three in NCAA history in NCAA Tournament appearances, NCAA Tournament wins, NCAA Regional appearances, NCAA Semifinal appearances and NCAA titles.

• Nebraska and Penn State have combined to win eight of the last 10 national titles (Nebraska in 2006 & 2015; Penn State in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014).

Scouting Penn State

• Penn State is 24-9 overall and finished 14-6 in the Big Ten for fourth place in the standings.

• The Nittany Lions rank fourth nationally in hitting percentage at .294.

• Penn State’s opponent hitting percentage of .167 ranks 22nd nationally and is second in the Big Ten behind only the Huskers.

• Simone Lee leads the team with 4.15 kills per set, which ranks 38th nationally. Haleigh Washington is second in the nation with a .435 hitting percentage. Both players were unanimous All-Big Ten selections.

Scouting Washington

• Washington is 28-4 overall and went 16-4 in the Pac-12 to win the outright conference title.

• The Huskies rank 16th in the nation with 2.78 blocks per set. Their .271 hitting percentage ranks 18th.

• Washington is led by Courtney Schwan, who averages 3.75 kills and 2.78 digs per set. Schwan was the Pac-12 Player of the Year, leading four Huskies on the all-conference team.

Scouting Arizona

• Arizona, the only unseeded team in the regional, is 20-14 and went 10-10 in the Pac-12. The Wildcats earned their way to Lincoln with a 3-2 upset at ninth-seeded Michigan State.

• The Wildcats rank second in the Pac-12 in aces per set (1.16) and are third in digs per set (15.67).

• Setter Penina Snuka was the Pac-12 Setter of the Year with 10.76 assists per set, 3.05 digs per set and a team-best 34 aces.

• Kalei Mau was an All-Pac-12 outside hitter with 4.10 kills per set and 2.48 digs per set.

Series History with Penn State

• Nebraska holds an 18-10 lead in the series with Penn State. The Huskers have won four straight in the series and five of the last six dating back to 2014. Nebraska won 3-2 (22-25, 25-17, 25-23, 23-25, 15-11) at Penn State on November 4 and 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-22) on November 16.

• In the first match, Mikaela Foecke and Andie Malloy each had 19 kills, and Nebraska held Penn State to .166 hitting, its lowest mark in Big Ten play this season.

• In the last meeting in Lincoln, Malloy again had a big night with 11 kills on .400 hitting, while Foecke had 10 kills. In the two matches against Penn State this season, Malloy is averaging 3.75 kills per set on .338 hitting.

• Nebraska is 15-3 all-time against the Nittany Lions in Lincoln, including two straight sweeps.

• The teams have met nine times in the NCAA Tournament with Nebraska holding a 6-3 edge. The last meeting between the teams in the postseason was in the 2008 NCAA Championship in Omaha, a 3-2 win for Penn State.

• NU and PSU will be meeting for the sixth time in the regional round, and all six regional meetings have been in Lincoln. Nebraska is 4-1 in the five previous regional matchups in Lincoln. The Nittany Lions won the 1994 regional final, 3-1.

• John Cook is 10-19 all-time against Penn State but is 9-5 against the Nittany Lions as coach of the Huskers.

Series History with Washington

• The Huskers are 5-2 all-time against Washington, including a 3-1 win in a regional final last year in Kentucky and a 3-1 win in a regional semifinal in 2014 in Seattle.

• A meeting between the teams this year would mark the sixth time in nine years the teams have met in a regional.

• Nebraska is 4-2 against Washington in NCAA Tournament play and has won the last three postseason meetings.

• Washington’s last win against Nebraska was in a 2010 regional semifinal in Seattle, 3-1.

Series History with Arizona

• Nebraska is 5-1 all-time against Arizona. The Huskers have won the last five meetings, the most recent of which was in 2002. Arizona’s only win came in 1983.

• The Huskers are 1-0 against the Wildcats in NCAA Tournament history. The lone meeting was a 3-0 sweep in the Lincoln Regional final in 2000, Cook’s first season at Nebraska, and the Huskers went on to win the national title.


• Nebraska head coach John Cook is in his 17th season at Nebraska and 24th overall season as a head coach. Cook is 497-64 at NU and 658-137 overall.

• Russ Rose is 1,213-195 in his 38th season as head coach at Penn State.

• Keegan Cook is 59-7 in his second season as head coach at Washington.

• David Rubio is 479-290 in his 25th season as head coach at Arizona.

Wong-Orantes Named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Again

• Senior libero Justine Wong-Orantes was voted the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season and also earned All-Big Ten and AVCA All-North Region selections.

• Wong-Orantes is averaging 4.27 digs per set this season to lead the back row, which has helped the Huskers outdig their opponents in 25 of 31 matches this season.

• Wong-Orantes broke Kayla Banwarth’s Nebraska career digs record this season – she currently has 1,848 – and also set a new single-match school record with 35 digs against Minnesota on October 23, surpassing the previous record of 34 by Maria Hedbeck in 1993.

• Wong-Orantes also broke Banwarth’s career postseason digs record with 24 digs against TCU to get to 254 digs in 16 career NCAA Tournament matches. Her 24 digs tied the Nebraska school record for digs in a three-set postseason match, also held by Banwarth.

• Banwarth is the starting libero for the U.S. Women’s National Team, and Wong-Orantes is trending on that path. Wong-Orantes played with the U.S. Women’s National Team at the Pan American Cup over the summer, averaging 4.8 digs per set while helping the Americans to the bronze medal.

• Wong-Orantes was a third-team AVCA All-American as a junior in 2015, leading the Huskers to the national title with 4.55 digs per set and 555 total digs, the third-most by a Husker in school history.

Kadie Rolfzen Earns Fourth Career All-Big Ten Selection

• Senior outside hitter Kadie Rolfzen was a unanimous selection to the All-Big Ten team this season, making her the third Husker in program history to earn four first-team all-conference honors at Nebraska. The others were Sarah Pavan (2004-07) and Greichaly Cepero (1999-2002), both in the Big 12 Conference.

• Rolfzen was also an AVCA All-North Region selection, making her the first Husker since Pavan to receive four all-region honors at Nebraska. She will look to join Pavan as the only four-time All-Americans in program history when awards come out next week.

• Rolfzen was a first-team AVCA All-American in 2015, her third career All-America honor but first selection to the first team.

• Rolfzen leads the Huskers with 3.21 kills per set and adds 2.48 digs per set. She has 46 career double-doubles, has served a career-best 24 aces this season and is hitting .299.

• An NCAA Senior CLASS Award finalist, Rolfzen ranks seventh in school history with 1,534 career kills and is seventh in career digs with 1,216. She joins Jordan Larson as the only Huskers to rank in the top seven in career kills and digs.

• Rolfzen, who was chosen to the CoSIDA Academic All-District 7 team this year, was named Big Ten Player of the Week on October 17 after posting 21 kills and 11 digs at Ohio State and nine kills and eight digs at Maryland.

• Rolfzen is one of five Huskers all-time with 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs.

• Rolfzen was named the most valuable player at the Nebraska Invite, Lobo Classic and Ameritas Players Challenge this season.

• Rolfzen was not only productive on the court in 2015, she excelled off of it. The graphic design major posted a perfect 4.0 GPA in 2015-16 to earn Big Ten Distinguished Scholar honors.

Amber Rolfzen Named to All-Big Ten Team for Second Time at Middle Blocker

• Senior Amber Rolfzen switched positions to middle blocker before her junior season in 2015, and the result has been back-to-back All-Big Ten honors and AVCA All-North Region honors for the 2015 AVCA second-team All-American.

• Rolfzen is averaging 1.92 kills per set and a team-high 1.43 blocks per set this season while hitting .314. Rolfzen ranks second in the Big Ten and 14th nationally in blocks per set.

• In just two seasons as a middle blocker, Rolfzen ranks fifth on NU’s career block assists chart with 491 and ranks eighth in school history in career blocks with 542. She was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week twice this season and five times in her career.

• Rolfzen picked up a plethora of awards the week following her standout performances vs. Wisconsin and Minnesota on October 21 and 23, respectively. Rolfzen had a career-high 16 kills in both of those matches and hit .560 with nine total blocks. She was named the Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week, espnW National Player of the Week and Big Ten Player of the Week.

• Rolfzen was named to the All-America Second Team and the All-Big Ten Team after posting 1.58 blocks per set in 2015, which led the Big Ten and ranked fourth nationally. Her block average was the best by a Husker since Melissa Elmer’s school-record 2.17 in 2005.

• Rolfzen was named to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team after 10 kills and four blocks with a .625 hitting percentage in the championship win over Texas.

Hunter Leads Huskers, Receives First All-Conference Honor

• Despite being in her first season as the Huskers’ starting setter last year, Kelly Hunter was picked as one of the team captains. Now a junior, Hunter is the Huskers’ lone captain as selected by head coach John Cook.

• Hunter was named to the All-Big Ten team this season, becoming the first Husker setter since Lauren Cook in 2012 to make the All-Big Ten team. She also received AVCA All-North Region accolades for the second time in her career.

• Hunter has had a standout year, posting 11.25 assists per set to rank third in the Big Ten. An all-around contributor, Hunter also chips in a team-high 26 service aces and has a team-best nine double-doubles, averaging 2.22 digs per set.

• Hunter was named Big Ten Setter of the Week four times this season, giving her six career awards. She set a career high with 61 assists at Penn State on November 4.

• The Papillion, Nebraska native guided the Huskers to the national title in 2015 and received AVCA All-America honorable mention. She was named to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team after posting 42 assists, four digs and three blocks in the championship match.

Foecke in Rare Company

• Mikaela Foecke was the NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player last season, becoming just the third freshman to earn the honor, after 19 kills on .385 hitting in the championship win against Texas. The other freshmen to win the award were Deja McClendon (Penn State, 2010) and Kerri Walsh (Stanford, 1996).

• This season, Foecke is averaging 2.94 kills per set and is hitting at a .309 clip, significantly outpacing her .277 average as a freshman.

• Foecke, who made the AVCA All-North Region team and received All-Big Ten honorable mention, played a pivotal role in big matches this season, just like she did as a freshman. Foecke posted 20 kills against No. 3 Minnesota on October 23, 19 kills at No. 11 Penn State on November 4 and 18 kills against No. 18 Michigan in the Big Ten title-clinching win.

• Foecke received AVCA All-America honorable mention and was a unanimous selection to the All-Big Ten Freshman team in 2015. Following her freshman season, Foecke was a finalist for the AAU Sullivan Award, presented annually to the top amateur athlete in the United States.

Holman Strengthens Huskers’ Middle

• Junior middle blocker Briana Holman was an AVCA All-North Region pick and received All-Big Ten honorable mention this year in her first season playing for the Huskers.

• Holman is averaging 2.37 kills per set and 1.19 blocks per set with a team-best .343 hitting percentage, which ranks eighth in the Big Ten.

• On opening weekend, Holman had an immediate impact. She was named the espnW National Player of the Week after averaging 2.57 kills and 1.43 blocks per set while hitting .571 in the wins over No. 10 Florida and No. 2 Texas. Holman had 10 kills and seven blocks against the Gators, and eight kills and three blocks against Texas with a .727 hitting percentage.

• Holman was a first-team AVCA All-American at LSU in 2014 with 3.94 kills and 1.47 blocks per set. She was a two-time All-SEC performer for the Tigers and represented the U.S. Collegiate National Team at the World University Games in South Korea in July 2015.

• Holman is a big addition to the Husker lineup this season after sitting out the 2015 season when LSU did not give her a scholarship release.

Malloy Brings Experience to Husker Roster

• Senior transfer Andie Malloy gives the Huskers more depth and experience at outside hitter. A two-time All-Big 12 performer at Baylor, Malloy earned her degree in 2015 and had one season of eligibility remaining.

• Malloy is averaging 2.60 kills per set for the Big Red. She had a season-best 19 kills at Penn State and was a member of the Lobo Classic all-tournament team in September.

• Malloy came to Nebraska after ranking second in the Big 12 in kills per set (3.89) and double-doubles (17) in 2015.

Cook Adds to Legacy

• Nebraska head coach John Cook is in his 17th season as the Nebraska volleyball head coach in 2016. He has led the Huskers to three national championships, six final fours, 11 conference championships and 14 top-10 final rankings since 2000. Cook has 658 career wins and is the fifth-winningest coach in NCAA history.

• Since taking over the program in 2000, Cook has led the Huskers to a nation-leading .886 win percentage in that time (497-64).

• Under Cook, the Huskers have achieved 45 All-Americans and 18 Academic All-Americans, both among the best in the nation. He is a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year, earning the prestigious honor in 2000 and 2005, and a six-time conference coach of the year, including Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2016, his first Big Ten honor with the Huskers in their Big Ten era (2011-present).

• Cook was named the AVCA North Region Coach of the Year this season, his fifth career regional coaching honor and fourth while at Nebraska.

• Cook is one of only four active coaches – and one of six all-time – to be a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year and was honored in 2008 by USA Volleyball, receiving its All-Time Great Coach Award.

Huskers Ranked No. 2 in AVCA Coaches Poll

• Nebraska is the No. 2 team in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll. The Huskers were No. 1 in 12 of the 15 polls this season.

• The Huskers began the year at No. 1 in the preseason poll for the fifth time in school history (2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2015) and spent the first six weeks of the season at No. 1. The 2006 squad went wire-to-wire to win the national title. This year’s Husker team is aiming to become the first in program history to repeat as champions.

• The Huskers have been ranked No. 1 in 98 all-time polls, the most in NCAA history.

• The Huskers have been ranked in the top 10 a total of 456 times, which is also the most in NCAA history.

• Nebraska has been ranked in the top 10 in the last 32 polls dating back to December of 2014.

• Nebraska has appeared in all 509 AVCA Coaches Polls since it was established in 1982. Nebraska and Stanford are the only two programs to be ranked in every poll all-time.

Tamas’ Bring Instant Impact

• Chris Tamas is in his second season as a Husker assistant coach, while his wife, Jennifer (Joines) Tamas, is a volunteer assistant. The two came to NU in May from Cal Poly, where they spent two seasons in the same roles. Both Chris and Jen are former U.S. National Team captains. Chris was a first-team AVCA All-American in 2003 at Pacific, while Jen was the Big West Conference Player of the Year in 2003 at Pacific.

• Chris Tamas’ impact on the program was felt immediately, as the Huskers won the 2015 NCAA Championship in his first season on the bench. With Tamas guiding the Huskers’ block and defense, Amber Rolfzen was an AVCA second-team All-American and an All-Big Ten middle blocker. The Huskers posted the top opponent hitting percentage in the Big Ten (.167) and were second in blocks per set (2.94). Rolfzen’s 1.58 blocks per set ranked fourth in the nation and was the highest block total by a Husker since 2005.

Husker Fans Set Attendance Standard Once Again

• Nebraska fans are poised to lead the nation in attendance for a fourth straight season as their 8,224 average per match in the regular season significantly outpaced the rest of the nation.

• For the third straight season, the Huskers led the nation in attendance in 2015, this time with a new NCAA attendance record of 8,206. NU’s average was 1,301 more than runner-up Hawaii.

• In 2013, the Huskers led the nation in attendance (8,175) for the first time since 1992, ending Hawaii’s 21-year reign as the national leader.

• The Huskers repeated as attendance champions in 2014 with 8,083 fans per match, which included a school-record 8,585 fans at the Oct. 3 win against Penn State.

• Nebraska has ranked in the top three nationally in attendance every season since 1990 (26 straight seasons).

• The Huskers have sold out every regular-season match since 2001, a streak of 219 consecutive matches, the longest sellout streak in the history of NCAA women’s athletics.

• The Devaney Center has hosted the three largest regular-season crowds in NCAA history and seven of the 10 largest.

Busboom Kelly Named Next Head Coach at Louisville

Nebraska volleyball assistant coach Dani Busboom Kelly was introduced as the new head coach at the University of Louisville on November 27. She will finish the season with the Huskers before beginning her stint at Louisville. Busboom Kelly replaces Anne Kordes, who resigned for personal reasons after six seasons as Louisville’s head coach. Busboom Kelly was an assistant on Kordes’ staff in 2011 before joining Cook’s Nebraska staff in 2012. In her one season at Louisville, Busboom Kelly helped the Cardinals to a 24-9 record and a trip to the semifinals of the Big East Tournament. She’ll take over a program that finished the 2016 regular season 12-18.

“When Dani told me she wanted to be a coach after she was finished playing for the Huskers, I suggested that she go away from Nebraska to see how the real world of coaching was different from Nebraska. Louisville was one of her stops,” Cook said. “I know from many conversations she loved Louisville, Tom Jurich the AD, and of course Muhammad Ali said it is the greatest city in the world. One of the proudest days of my coaching career was hiring Dani back to Nebraska to be a coach. Although I still can’t believe it, I am very proud of the coach she has become. She is ready for this job. She has been a captain of a national championship team, coached a national championship team, changed our recruiting, and has made me a better coach. We are so happy and proud of the work that she has done to get to this point in her coaching career. Louisville is getting a young rising star coach in Dani. We will miss her and Lane, and we thank her for all that she has done for Nebraska volleyball.”

In the last five years, Busboom Kelly has played a vital role in the Husker program, assisting with Nebraska’s setters, liberos, outside hitters and recruiting. Regarded as one of the best recruiters in the nation, Busboom Kelly helped Nebraska’s resurgence to the forefront of college volleyball in her five seasons, as the Huskers captured the 2015 NCAA Championship at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, the same place Busboom Kelly won the national title as a player for the Huskers in 2006. Behind Busboom Kelly’s recruiting efforts, the Huskers’ 2015 signing class ranked fifth in the nation by, and from that group Mikaela Foecke went on to become the third freshman to be named most outstanding player of the NCAA Championship.

“I am so thankful for the last five years I spent with Nebraska volleyball,” Busboom Kelly said. “Being a part of Nebraska as a player and a coach has been incredibly rewarding and no doubt has greatly influenced my career and myself as a person. I can’t thank John Cook enough for being a mentor and a friend. He has prepared me for this next step and I’ve appreciated his support throughout the process. He has always taught us to set goals and dream big. There are still goals to be accomplished in the next three weeks, and I will cherish the time remaining with the 2016 team.”