NU Vball: Huskers Add Four Talents for 2015

Posted By: Sports

sports@klkntv.com

Huskers Add Four Talents for 2015

Lincoln – Nebraska volleyball head coach John Cook announced the 2015 Husker newcomers on National Letter of Intent Signing Day Wednesday. Mikaela Foecke, Kenzie Maloney, Tiani Reeves and Brooke Smith will all join the Husker program as freshmen next season.

“We could not be more excited to get the 2015 class on campus,” Cook said. “They provide depth at all positions and should expect to compete for significant playing time. All four athletes are great competitors who are used to winning and competing at a high level. They are all great students and leaders on their teams and in their communities, so we believe that they will have a great impact in our life skills program and as future leaders on our team.”

Mikaela Foecke, 6-3, MB/OH, Fort Madison, Iowa (Holy Trinity Catholic)
Mikaela Foecke (pronounced FECK-ee) will join the Huskers from Holy Trinity Catholic High School in Fort Madison, Iowa. Foecke was one of the country’s most highly touted recruits, rated the No. 2 prospect according to PrepVolleyball.com. Foecke earned MaxPreps 2013 Junior Volleyball Player of the Year honors after averaging more than six kills per set as a junior and leading Holy Trinity to a 45-6 record and the Iowa Class 1A state championship match.

Foecke, 6-3, is capable of playing every attacking position. She was the Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year and Iowa Girls Coaches Association Player of the Year last season, and she was named to MaxPreps’ Preseason All-American Volleyball Team prior to her senior season. Last week, Foecke was named an Under Armour First-Team All-American. She was a member of the USA 20-and-Under National Team as a 17-year-old, winning gold at the Norceca Championship in Guatemala last summer.

Foecke led the state of Iowa in kills as a sophomore (5.43 per set), junior (6.08 per set) and is on pace to do so again as a senior (6.35 per set). She is hitting .635 this season and has become an all-around force with 369 career service aces and 470 blocks. She played club volleyball with Club Fusion.

Coach Cook on Foecke: “Mikaela Foecke is the type of player that was made for the Nebraska volleyball program. She is a small-town Iowa kid who has an outstanding work ethic and attitude. She has one of the most powerful arms in the 2015 class, and we will expect her to contribute to the team right away as a freshman. Most of her experience is at middle blocker, but she is talented and athletic enough to play multiple spots on the floor. Mikaela has been a starter on the U.S. Youth National Team, as well as on the Junior National Team, so she has plenty of experience on the ‘big stage’.”

Kenzie Maloney, 5-8, DS/L, Louisville, Ky. (Assumption)
Kenzie Maloney joins the Huskers as a defensive specialist/libero from Assumption High School in Louisville, Ky. Maloney was named an Under Armour Second-Team All-American last week, as well as the Kentucky Seventh Region Player of the Year this season. She is rated as the top libero by PrepVolleyball.com and the No. 24 overall prospect.

The 5-8 Maloney helped lead Assumption to three straight state championships from 2011-13 and was a Kentucky 3-A first-team all-state pick. In her sophomore season in 2012, Assumption finished 41-2 with a No. 5 national ranking.

Along with Foecke, Malone was a starter on the U.S. Youth National Team that won a silver medal in the Youth World Championships in 2013. Maloney played club volleyball for KIVA and developed a reputation as an outstanding athlete who can cover the whole court.

Coach Cook on Maloney: “I have had the opportunity to see Kenzie develop since she was 13 years old playing club at KIVA. From the first day I saw her, I knew she was going to be something special. Her athletic ability and smoothness as a player has developed her into the top-ranked libero of the 2015 class. Kenzie knew Nebraska was the place for her within 15 minutes of her visit, and we could not be more excited to see what she will bring to the culture of our program. Kenzie was a teammate of Mikaela Foecke and a starter on the U.S. Youth National Team in 2013, and that experience can only help her transition to big-time college volleyball.”

Tiani Reeves, 6-1, MB/OH, Gothenburg, Neb. (Gothenburg)
Tiani Reeves joins the Huskers from Gothenburg High School in central Nebraska. Reeves was named an Under Armour Third-Team All-American last week. As a junior, the 6-1 middle blocker/outside hitter amassed 369 kills and hit .350 for the Swedes and was a Lincoln Journal Star first-team Super-State pick. She helped Gothenburg finish 27-5 last season and displayed one of the best reaches in Nebraska high school volleyball history.

Reeves played club volleyball for Nebraska ONE and was a standout track and field athlete, winning the Class B long jump and triple jump state titles, while finishing second in the 200 meters. Reeves also competed in the track and field Junior Olympics

Coach Cook on Reeves: “Tiani Reeves is one of the best athletes in the state. Originally it looked like Tiani would do track at the collegiate level, as she is an outstanding track athlete on the high school and national level. So we feel blessed to get a heck of an athlete that we can develop into a great volleyball player. This summer Tiani was one of the best athletes at our Elite camp and blew the entire coaching staff away by the level of her improvement with the short amount of time she has been focusing on volleyball.”

Brooke Smith, 5-10, S, Weatherford, Texas (Azle)
Brooke Smith joins the Huskers from Azle High School in Weatherford, Texas. Smith is the lone setter in the Huskers’ 2015 class. She will provide depth behind Kelly Hunter, the only other setter on the Huskers’ roster for next season. Smith led Azle High to a 20-16 record in 2013 and helped her Tejas Volleyball club reach the Junior Olympics this summer.

Smith is a three-time first-team all-district selection and was named the district newcomer of the year, two-time district server of the year and three-time MVP of her varsity squad.

Coach Cook on Smith: “Brooke Smith rounds out our 2015 class and will fill a much needed position at setter (with the only setter on the roster for next season being Kelly Hunter). She is a great athlete and fiery competitor who we can’t wait to get in our gym and see compete. Her mother, Janine, was a national champion volleyball player at the University of Texas and was the head coach at UT-Arlington for 10 years. Her father, Warren, was a pole vaulter and decathlete at Texas, and Brooke is also a great pole vaulter. Brooke’s aunt (Jill Gremmel) was also an all-Big 12 setter. So she has some tremendous bloodlines, and we’re fortunate that she wants to be a part of our program.”