NU Volleyball Gains Lincoln Lutheran Commit

By Lincoln Arneal

Keri Leimbach’s phone buzzed two minutes after midnight June 15. 

“Hey Keri, are you up?”

On the other end was Nebraska assistant coach Jaylen Reyes reaching out moments after communication was permissible to 2025 prospects. 

Of course, she was up. She was too excited to sleep. So she jumped on a Zoom call with Reyes, coach John Cook and assistants Kelly Hunter and Jordan Larson. They offered her a scholarship to join the Husker volleyball program. 

Leimbach, a 5-foot-4 libero who will be a junior this year at Lincoln Lutheran, said she went into the contact period with an open mind and wanted to take time with the process, but when her top choice offered, it simplified everything. 

“It’s always been a dream of mine to represent my hometown, especially because I’m from Lincoln,” Leimbach said. “It hasn’t set in yet that I’m going to play volleyball at Nebraska. I’m just so excited, and I’m very blessed.”

Leimbach said it was difficult to tell other schools no after building connections with them over the years, but that task was made easier by knowing she was going to her dream school. Leimbach had planned to go to several camps later this summer to check out other schools, but with her commitment, she has already canceled those trips. 

She is the second member of the 2025 class after setter Campbell Flynn gave her pledge to the Huskers on Friday. 

Leimbach has been a lifelong Husker fan and comes from a volleyball family. Her mother, Stacy, won a title at Lincoln Northeast in 1991 as an all-state setter and coached at North Star and Lincoln Lutheran. Her older sister, Hope, wrapped up her career at Midland and was named the NAIA National Setter of the Year and was a two-time All-American.

Keri began playing volleyball when she was in kindergarten. While she initially followed the path of her mother and sister as a setter, she started to focus on defense on the advice of her coach Christina Boesiger, the Norris coach and mother of current Husker sophomore Maisie.

“She switched me to libero, and that was probably the best decision that has ever happened,” Leimbach said. 

Now, Leimbach is the No 36 overall recruit, according to and the sixth-rated libero. PrepDig has her as the top prospect in Nebraska, No. 39 overall and the fifth-best libero. 

She has won two state titles at Lincoln Lutheran and helped the Warriors go 40-0 last fall. Leimbach averaged 4.9 digs per set, recorded 68 aces and was a team captain as a sophomore.

She was shocked to be named captain but honored to receive the recognition of her leadership. After the team lost seven seniors from her freshman year, Leimbach knew she would have to step up. 

“I knew that it’s not just given, I have to earn it,” she said. “I have to always be a constant voice. I have to support the girls. I have to hold them accountable and I just have to be that leader that the coaches want me to be.”

Leimbach said the Nebraska coaches like her team-centric approach, how other players enjoy being on the court with her, and her defensive skills. She tries to build confidence in teammates by talking to them on the court and having their back no matter what. 

She will join a Husker program that has produced some stellar liberos the past decade. Justine Wong-Orantes and Kayla Banwarth each won Olympic medals for the United States, and junior Lexi Rodriguez has earned All-American honors her first two campaigns. While Rodriguez will be gone by the time she gets to NU, Leimbach said she’s excited to play with freshman Laney Choboy and 2024 commit Olivia Mauch. 

“I feel like Nebraska has one of the best legacies with the liberos,” she said. “Nebraska is so set and focused on serve and pass and how it’s the most important part of the game. I’m just really excited to learn from them and just grow my game even more when I get to college.”

Leimbach has attended the Nebraska camp for the past two years and was at the Creighton camp earlier this week. She plans to attend the Husker Dream Team camp next month and the National Team Development Program in Florida before attending camps with her Lincoln Lutheran teammates. 

Now that she’s made her college decision, she will work with Flynn to add a few more future Huskers. 

“Me and Campbell are gonna try and get some people,” she said.

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