By Lincoln Arneal
The Nebraska volleyball team added two members to its 2024 recruiting class as Skyler Pierce and Olivia Mauch signed letters of intent Wednesday. Both signees plan to enroll at Nebraska in January.
Pierce is ranked as the No. 4 overall prospect according to PrepDig and the top outside hitter. PrepVolleyball has Pierce as the No. 20 recruit and fourth outside hitter. The 6-foot-3 outside hitter recorded 4.6 kills and 2.4 digs per set as a senior for Olathe (Kansas) Northwest with a .402 hitting percentage.
She was back-to-back Sunflower League player of the year and an AVCA first-team All-American. Pierce helped the Ravens place third in the Kansas 6A state tournament. As a junior, she led her class in kills (488) and kills per set (5.8).
“Skyler is an incredibly gifted athlete who is not only a great attacker, but can serve, pass and play defense in the back row as well,” NU coach John Cook said. “She has a very calm but stable demeanor to her but is a fierce competitor who wants the ball in big moments.”
Pierce represented the national team in the U21 World Championships this fall and played with the Legacy Club team in Kansas City that finished as national runner-up this summer.
Mauch, of Bennington, is ranked No. 16 overall by PrepVolleyball and the top defensive specialist/libero, and No. 49 by PrepDig and the fourth best at her position.
The 5-foot-7 senior averaged 7.1 digs per set for Bennington High and only committed two receiving errors all season on 508 attempts. She helped the Badgers go 29-8 and reach the Class B semifinals. She was the starting libero for the U19 World Championship team.
As a junior, Mauch averaged 8.4 digs per set while averaging 7.4 digs per set over her high school career.
“Olivia is one of the most technically sound and steady liberos in the country,” Cook said. “She’s got a feel for the game that you really want to see in a libero. Olivia is always in the right spot at the right time and just makes it look easy.”
The Huskers had a third verbal commitment as part of the class, but last week, middle blocker Ayden Ames announced that she was switching her pledge to the in-state Texas Longhorns.
Nebraska doesn’t have any seniors on its roster this season. NU coach John Cook has previously said they have a plan to deal with the scholarship numbers but declined to provide specifics.