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After successful indoor season, Nebraska is ready for the next challenge — beach volleyball – Omaha World Herald

LINCOLN — A month after finishing the 2021 season as the national runner-up, Nebraska went back to the basics.

For all the success NU experienced during the indoor season, the Huskers are an inexperienced group when it comes to beach volleyball.

Of the 15 players listed on Nebraska’s beach roster, only three have participated in a match in the sand. Senior Nicklin Hames and juniors Madi Kubik and Kenzie Knuckles participated in the truncated 2020 season, which ended after 10 matches, and NU didn’t participate in the 2021 season as the indoor season was moved to the spring.

“It’s kind of like everyone has a blank slate and it’s all fresh and learning and growing,” Kubik said. “It’s been really fun to go through that together and I think even us (returners), we haven’t played beach since I was a freshman. I feel like I haven’t played in a long time too, so I feel like I’m learning.”

Nebraska will kick off this beach season Friday at 8 a.m. with matches against Wayne State at Hawks Championship Center with another dual against Park later in the day at 4 p.m. The competitions are closed to the public, but matches will be streamed on the Huskers’ social media channels.

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Nebraska assistant coach Jaylen Reyes, who leads the beach program, said they usually focus a lot on the fundamentals during the early part of the beach season, but they was emphasized even more this year with plenty of passing, setting and attacking drills.

“We spend a lot of time doing fundamentals in indoor so we do the same for beach,” Reyes said. “The thing about beach is everyone has to perform every single skill.”

Sophomore Keonilei Akana might be one of the more experienced newbies as she grew up playing beach volleyball in her hometown of Hauula, Hawaii. However, she said she was a little nervous at the start of practices because she hadn’t played a competitive match since her junior year of high school and it’s been a little bit of a transition after focusing on indoors for so long.

“It’s been a while since I was able to play sand,” said Akana, who committed to NU in part because she could play both sports. “Of course when I go back home I always play, but I was just really excited to play with this group and especially because of the trips we’re gonna take to Florida, California and Hawaii.”

While the weather took a turn for the worse this week and led to a cancellation of Thursday’s scheduled opener against Oklahoma Wesleyan because of inclement travel conditions. However, the Huskers have practiced several times outside in February, which Reyes said will benefit them during the next few weeks.

“Typically we don’t get a chance to (practice outside) so we go to our first tournament outside just trying to navigate the wind is really hard for the girls,” he said. “The fact that we have some experience now I think is massive.”

The Huskers figured out their lineup for the opening matches last weekend during scrimmages, but the top five pairs will be interchangeable as they figure out the best pairings and lineup slot.

After experimenting for the first few weeks, Reyes said they will likely stick with the same partners for the first weekend, but might switch the lineup later on. In addition, NU will not have redshirt freshman Kalynn Meyer …….

Source: https://omaha.com/sports/huskers/volleyball/after-successful-indoor-season-nebraska-is-ready-for-the-next-challenge-beach-volleyball/article_4b557388-9517-11ec-943d-df8b37546b1c.html

LINCOLN — A month after finishing the 2021 season as the national runner-up, Nebraska went back to the basics.

For all the success NU experienced during the indoor season, the Huskers are an inexperienced group when it comes to beach volleyball.

Of the 15 players listed on Nebraska’s beach roster, only three have participated in a match in the sand. Senior Nicklin Hames and juniors Madi Kubik and Kenzie Knuckles participated in the truncated 2020 season, which ended after 10 matches, and NU didn’t participate in the 2021 season as the indoor season was moved to the spring.

“It’s kind of like everyone has a blank slate and it’s all fresh and learnin…….

LINCOLN — A month after finishing the 2021 season as the national runner-up, Nebraska went back to the basics.

For all the success NU experienced during the indoor season, the Huskers are an inexperienced group when it comes to beach volleyball.

Of the 15 players listed on Nebraska’s beach roster, only three have participated in a match in the sand. Senior Nicklin Hames and juniors Madi Kubik and Kenzie Knuckles participated in the truncated 2020 season, which ended after 10 matches, and NU didn’t participate in the 2021 season as the indoor season was moved to the spring.

“It’s kind of like everyone has a blank slate and it’s all fresh and learnin…….

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