In December Nebraska’s sophomore libero Lara Dykstra declared her decision to transfer to Pepperdine to be closer to her family in Redondo Beach and to pursue her sand volleyball passion. This announcement came only a month before Nebraska decided to sponsor a sand team of their own. Nebraska Head Coach John Cook said he was very surprised by her announcement, and his team will have to work hard on their passing to fill her spot. He even suggested the possibility of creating a lineup without a libero, a step almost unheard of in Division I ball these days.
Also leaving the Nebraska indoor roster are all five seniors: Gina Mancuso, Hannah Werth, Allison McNeal, Lauren Cook, and Paige Hubl. The incoming recruits will have their work cut out for them to fill those shoes, starting with Amber and Kadie Rolfzen, twin outside hitters from Omaha who graduated early and started at Nebraska in January where they will play on the inaugural Husker sand volleyball team.
Arriving in the fall with the rest of the recruiting class of 2013 is Justine Wong-Orantes, a familiar face in the pages of VBM ever since she popped up as our cover girl in November 2008 after becoming the youngest player ever to receive a AAA rating from the California Beach Volleyball Association, doing so at the age of 12. “Honestly, indoor is my passion,” said the 5'6" libero when she committed to Nebraska in October. She didn’t mind then that Nebraska had not yet decided to add a sand program, but maybe she was gambling on the likelihood that they would and we hope to see her playing outdoors as well.
Originally published in March/April 2013