As Practice Starts, Cook Says Huskers Have to Be Better

Aug. 9, 2021, 3:45 p.m. ·

Husker volleyball coach John Cook
Huskers volleyball coach John Cook. (Photo from live stream)

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Just four months after Nebraska lost in the regional final of the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament in Omaha, the Huskers are back on the court getting ready for the start of a new season in three weeks.

It’s been a long time since the Huskers played in front of a crowd at the Devaney Center, but they’ll get that chance August 21st in the Red and White scrimmage. Practice for the new season started this week and coach John Cook said he expects this to be the Big Ten's best season ever.

“Really the one program that lost the most was Kentucky, who won the national championship, otherwise everyone is kind of returning everybody, freshman and seniors,” Cook said. “We’ve tried to mentally prepare our team over the summer for the grind and the level of competition we’re going to see and what we did last year was not good enough, it’s going to have to be better.”

The Huskers lost to Texas in the regional final of the NCAA tournament in April. Cooks said even with a veteran team, nobody is guaranteed a starting job.

“Everything is earned, nothing is given,” Cook said. “We going to make them earn their playing time and their starting position. I don’t care if they’re freshmen, seniors, fifth-year seniors, super seniors or whatever they call them, people are going to have to earn their way on this team and we’ve got sixteen players that can all play.”

Lauren Stivrens will return for a sixth season, but won’t play right away because of a back injury. The Huskers open the season at home against Tulsa on August 27th.