Freshman Proving To Be The Real Deal in NU Practices

By Lincoln Arneal

After the first week of practices, Nebraska’s freshmen aren’t just surviving, they are thriving. 

In his first media session since the start of fall camp, NU coach John Cook cited the play of several of the freshmen who had stood out early on. 

While he isn’t close to figuring out a starting lineup – Saturday’s Red-White scrimmage will go a long way to help figure that out – Cook said the competition level at the gym has encouraged him.

Freshman defensive specialist Laney Choboy said the biggest challenge is to not go too hard and learn to pace themselves for the long season ahead. The Huskers backed off a bit on Wednesday with just one practice, but Choboy is eager to show off all the hard work they’ve put in.

“With this team, we can conquer anything,” Choboy said. “We’ve seen so many things in practice and throughout all the games that we played so far, and I just think that it’s gonna be really incredible to watch, and so we’re all super excited for that.”

Here are some of the takeaways from the first nine days of preparation: 

>> With the team having gone through spring season and summer practices before the Brazil trip, the coaches haven’t had to spend much time installing drills or getting newbies used to the gym and expectations. 

Instead, Cook said they are focusing on diversifying their offense and creating shots from all over the court. During a scrimmage on Saturday, the connections were on for the front-row hitters, but the back-row attacks were a mess. 

“It just reminds me it takes time to develop that because it’s just different angles off the net,” he said. “You gotta watch the 10-foot line. The timing’s a little bit different. The hitters gotta know when to go. A lot of times it’s in transition, and they may be on the ground or whatever. So we’re just really trying to work hard on incorporating connecting on front-row and back-row attacks.”

>> Cook said freshman setter Bergen Reilly has been the best server based on their grading during fall camp.

>> While freshman Harper Murray hasn’t played a match yet, she is showing signs that she can carry the workload of a six-rotation outside hitter. 

“At this level, that is hard to do,” Cook said. “Now she’s gonna be able to do it every day, and like I tell her all the time, she’s gonna go back-to-back in the Big Ten.”

>> Freshman middle blocker Andi Jackson said she has been most impressed this fall by classmate Caroline Jurevicius. She said the opposite hitter has grown a lot since she arrived on campus in January. 

Cook said Jurevicius has increased her athleticism and physical strength over the summer which has led to positive results on the court. 

“She is probably the hardest hitter on our team,” he said. “She’s probably the most physical blocker. … One of the reasons why we recruited her was because it’s hard to find players that can hit the ball and be that physical. She gets kills just by how hard she hits the ball.”

>> Since missing the second practice on the first day of training sessions, junior setter Kennedi Orr has been a full participant everyday and has no restrictions. 

She’s even handled the extra workload required by setters. She was among the last people working in the gym on Wednesday. 

“She just had a little deal and was out for maybe half a practice or so,” Cook said. “I think it was the first day (the media was) here. But she’s been full go.”

Articles You Might Like

Share This Article

More Stories