Husker newcomers earn praise after NU’s volleyball scrimmage in front of nearly 8,000 fans

Husker newcomers earn praise after NU’s volleyball scrimmage in front of nearly 8,000 fans
Nebraska’s Nicklin Hames, left, and Anezka Szabo go for the ball. (World-Herald News Service)

LINCOLN — It was the biggest crowd Callie Schwarzenbach had ever played in front of, about 160 times bigger by her count. But while the attendance at the Devaney Center was novel for the Huskers’ seven newcomers, it at least brought the familiarity of a match.

Blocking, attacking, high fives and smiles after each point. This was what they were used to.

“I know a lot of the freshmen and I haven’t played in front of a group of people over 50, so it was a really big difference,” said Schwarzenbach, a freshman middle blocker. “But after a couple serves I know I got a lot more comfortable, and the girls helped a lot with that, too, making us feel a part of a team. Once we started playing, it was just a lot more fun to see how we’ll play.”

Several NU newcomers acquitted themselves well in Saturday’s scrimmage, in which the Red team took the first two sets (25-19, 25-17) before the White squad won the final set 25-20.

The Red squad was made up mostly of the Huskers’ more experienced players, including Mikaela Foecke, Jazz Sweet, Lauren Stivrins and Kenzie Maloney. The White team featured several newcomers, a few returners and former Husker All-Americans Amber and Kadie Rolfzen.

Schwarzenbach, vying to be NU’s second starting middle, had the same kind of match that coach John Cook had seen from her in practice. The 6-foot-5 rookie from Kearney, Missouri, blocked Kadie Rolfzen in the first set and finished with five kills on .333 hitting while adding a team-high five blocks.

“You just kind of don’t notice her, but then you look at her stats,” Cook said. “Every day in practice we stat her like, ‘Is Callie there today? Whoa, she had pretty nice stats here.’ When she figures it out, look out.”

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