By Lincoln Arneal
The offseason has officially begun for the Nebraska volleyball team. Junior setter Anni Evans entered the transfer portal on Saturday as a graduate transfer, according to an NU athletic department spokesperson. She has two seasons of eligibility remaining.
On Sunday morning, Evans wrote in an Instagram post she will be graduating in May, and Nebraska does not offer the graduate program she plans to pursue. She is majoring in psychology and minoring in communications.
The Waverly graduate won the NCAA Elite 90 Award at the 2021 Final Four for the highest grade point average of all participating student-athletes. Evans was also Nebraska’s recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship award for 2022.
Evans said playing for Nebraska was a dream come true, especially after growing up nearby.
“It has truly been such an honor to wear the Nebraska jersey these past three years and is something I will cherish forever,” she wrote. “Playing in the Bob (Devaney Sports Center) is so special and am so grateful I got to do it with my best friends.”
With Evans’ departure and Nicklin Hames finishing her eligibility, Kennedi Orr is the only returning setter. Bergen Reilly, the No. 4 overall 2023 prospect, will join the Huskers in January. Because Evans was a walk-on, the Huskers are currently at the scholarship limit for the 2023 season.
Evans appeared in 89 sets this season over 27 matches for the Huskers. She averaged 4.37 assists per set and was often the second setter in the Huskers’ 6-2 system.
Evans recorded a season-high 36 assists against Tulsa in the second match of the year as she ran a one-setter offense. She also finished with five double-doubles this year, averaging 1.76 digs per set. As a sophomore, Evans was primarily used as a serving specialist and recorded 10 aces.
Evans was one of three Waverly graduates on the Huskers’ roster with freshman middle blocker Bekka Allick and sophomore opposite Whitney Lauenstein.
The 5-foot-9 Evans initially committed to Colorado State in high school but switched her pledge before her senior year and accepted a walk-on offer from Nebraska. She was placed on scholarship for the 2022 spring semester. Her brothers, Tyler and Erik, each played football at Nebraska.
In her post, Evans thanked the NU staff and teammates for their time together.
“It has been an honor to (have) been able to play by all of you. I am so grateful that Nebraska volleyball has given me so many lifelong friends,” she wrote. “I will forever be a Husker.”