Whitney Launstein has emerged as the brand new X Issue for Nebraska volleyball. volleyball

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Sam McEwen Omaha World-Herald

Do not rotate it. 16 nationwide volleyball recruit in her class, so it is not just like the hitter’s exterior Nebraska sophistication simply stumbled over a spectacular opening weekend. John Prepare dinner thought she might do it – and expects her to do extra.

However in three video games of 2022 – in 9 units – Lauenstein achieved half of the kills he dedicated in 67 units the earlier yr. Waverly hit .353 and had a complete of 13 blocks in wins over Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Tulsa and Pepperdine final weekend. She is second solely to senior Maddie Kubik in whole factors, and surpassed two sophomores, Lindsay Krause and Ellie Bettenhorst, who had been forward of her earlier season.

A piece-in-progress final season blossomed into an X issue this season.

“She’s beginning to perceive it slightly bit,” Prepare dinner mentioned Tuesday forward of this week’s matches towards Loyola Marymount and Mississippi. “Final yr was her new yr, simply attempting to outlive. Now I really feel like she’s on a mission, she is aware of what she needs, she’s gone after it, she needs to play, she needs to be nice.

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A telltale signal, Prepare dinner mentioned: Lauenstein obtained lifter of the yr. At 6-foot-2, he already had the athleticism that some huskers take pleasure in. He is fast off the ground, Prepare dinner mentioned, and has a robust, sharp hand.

“She performed basketball, ran monitor, she’s a late bloomer,” Prepare dinner mentioned. “The Distinguished Nebraska Athlete – Multisport, She’s Had It All.”

The nice clay, in a way, which Prepare dinner didn’t make – however might form.

And the way in which he is formed it’s to work on Lauenstein’s mindset, transferring it away from utilizing it in the course of the 300m hurdles and towards one thing extra analytical on the volleyball court docket. Off the court docket, she makes use of the Calm app — supplied free to Huge Ten athletes — and works on altering egos.


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On the court docket, as an alternative of guessing, she is watching the opponent – and studying.

“I have to see the cross — that is a giant deal he is saying — watch the cross, see the set response, so that is what I am doing,” Lauenstein mentioned. “I have been so calm. For those who noticed me final yr, everybody’s like, ‘Oh, I’ve plenty of vitality’ and I am like, ‘Woo!, all that stuff. I nonetheless have vitality and I I benefit from the recreation, however I have to hold calm.”

Setter Kennedy Orr mentioned that Leonstein “brings a smile to everybody’s face.” His competitiveness has by no means been in query. Nonetheless, Orr has seen enhancements in Lauenstein’s “composition”.

“She would not let her feelings get the perfect of her,” Orr mentioned.

With a sports activities psychology group from Nebraska, Launstein discovered her internal “killer.” quiet. Mute. After which she assaults.

“It offers me a job, I embrace it,” Lauenstein mentioned.

He has developed his abilities as a right-side hitter after spending most of his membership and highschool profession enjoying on the left. He has additionally labored on hitting a wider vary of photographs, moderately than counting on the ability shot.

After one season “denying” that she could be a right-side hitter, she adopted the swap over the summer season. Hitting within the weight room improved his velocity, vertical leap and response time. And Lauenstein’s mission, as she sees it, is not towards private targets, however moderately is altering the tune on the finish of this season.

“Final yr, I obtained to see all my teammates – how we performed within the nationwide championships – and I actually need that to occur once more,” she mentioned. “And I actually need us to see joyful faces after that. Successful it. And holding trophies. And, like, sporting hats. And confetti is falling on us. That is my mission this yr, to try this.”

Prepare dinner says Texas deserves the highest spot: Nebraska Volleyball did not lose a single set in its opening weekend, but the Huskers fell from No. 1 to No. 2 on Monday within the AVCA coaches ballot. Texas, the staff that added two former NU gamers, rose to No. 7 after two wins at No. 1 Ohio State.

“They had been price it, they proved it,” Nebraska coach John Prepare dinner mentioned Tuesday after his staff defeated three unreserved foes over the weekend. “We performed with some good groups, however Pepperdine is not within the high 10. I am assuming that is it. They performed very effectively – allow them to take it.”

Prepare dinner mentioned he and his staff usually are not fearful concerning the rankings.

“I’m extra involved that we’re final in aces per recreation,” Prepare dinner mentioned of NU’s rating within the Huge Ten. The footwork, positioning, service receiving sample and blocking approach made his record of enhancements.

“Do I wish to hold going?” Prepare dinner mentioned. “Defensive place, being in the appropriate locations. He obtained an ideal lecture yesterday about serving.”

ORR evaluates itself after the opening weekend: Kennedy Orr appears to be steadily discovering her rhythm in her first yr as a beginning setter for the Huskers. When requested what grade she would give herself for final weekend’s matches, she mentioned that she would give herself a B.

“I feel I’ve quite a bit to enhance however I feel I nonetheless did an ideal job,” Orr mentioned.

Orr mentioned that whereas she was slightly nervous earlier than going into the primary recreation, her nerves went rapidly as soon as she began enjoying together with her teammates.

“That is what’s nice about our staff,” Orr mentioned. “If we get nervous we are able to see one another.”

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