Follow along as the Huskers travel throughout Japan and China.
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Huskers Embark on International Trip- Daily Blog

By NU Athletic Communications

Blog Entry- Jack Riggins (July 4)

The Huskers had a great Fourth of July touring the Beijing Olympic Park and Climbing the Great Wall of China.   Check it out: 

Mary Pollmiller and Dan Meske checked in fron the top of the Great Wall:

That is a wrap for the International Tour 2014. We are boarding the flight and headed back to Lincoln. What a great experience on and off the court. Thanks Husker Nation for all the support! Go Big Red!  

Blog Entry- Jack Riggins (July 3)

The Huskers awoke today to the sight of "Everything American" at the Kelly Hotel Breakfast buffet, prior to taking in the sights around Beijing. The Huskers have been on a pretty serious regime of local food since departing Lincoln on June 17th. Here is what some of the Huskers had to say about seeing an "American" breakfast:

Kelsey:  It was seriously the best breakfast buffet ever!

Meg:  It was really good....I mean really good....I had everything!

Everyone:The OJ was soooooooo....good.  

Mel: Where is the German World Cup game Showing?   

Bottom Line: These ladies were stoked to find the American breakfast buffet.Mel on the other hand, is desperately tracking any and all information about Germany in the World Cup!  

On to the Summer Palace, where street calligraphers were once again at work. You can see below, Mr. Woo took the time to draw Kelly and offer a wonderful "Hello" to the Huskers. It was a pretty awesome cultural exchange.  

The Huskers spent about 3 hours at the Summer Palace taking in the sights.  Check out some of the pictures.

After the Summer Palace, the Huskers toured Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Once into the wide open Tiananmen Square the Huskers, like many previous stops, continuously posed for pictures with local folks. Children and babies took particular interest in the Huskers at this stop. You can see Mel, Kadie, Alicia, Kelsey, Meg, Justine and Cici stopping for a photo op at the insistence of a mother with her son, right in front of the entrance to the Forbidden City.  


Here Mel and Kira get stopped inside the Forbidden City.   

Here is the Husker Group shot inside the Forbidden City.  

The Huskers wanted to give a shout out to the USA on the 4th of July.   Happy Independence Day, America!  

Go Big Red and Go America!  

Kelsey rocking "old glory" at the Summer Palace!  


Blog Entry- Jack Riggins (July 2)
The Huskers started the day visiting a Chinese Garden in Tianjin. The Garden was full of people practicing Tai Chi and practicing calligraphy with human sized brushes. The experience was very serene and peaceful, especially considering Tianjin is a city of 14 million people.   

Here is Kelly Hunter standing at the edge of the lilly-pad pond. 


After the Garden the Huskers jumped another bullet train and headed to Beijing. Beijing is the fifth city in China the Huskers have visited in eight days in China. This will be the Huskers final stop before heading home. Once in Beijing, it is imperative for every visitor to eat duck and climb the Great Wall. The Huskers went after the duck first.  

Here is an exchange between a few Huskers:

Kira to Kadie:  "What is that?"

Kadie back to Kira:  "It is some kinda of just tastes a little different."

The Tour guide:  "It is octopus!"

There have a been a more than a few surprises at the dinner table on this trip.  None the less, the duck was as advertised and outstanding. The Huskers have accomplished one of the tourist challenges while visiting Beijing. As you can see below Coach Dan Meske found something at dinner that was a little spicy! 

The Huskers are staying at the luxurious Kerry Hotel in the Beijing Financial District, which offers many of the amenities we are all used to back home. Having a Starbucks in the hotel is a big morale booster, as well as the a world class gym and pool.  It is a nice change for the Huskers, who have been accustomed to Chinese style dorms and old school training regimes while working with the various Chinese teams. The Huskers cell phones have been returned and the hotel is wi-fi capable, so the Huskers are enjoying reconnecting with family and friends back home.   

Kadie and Amber had this to say about the Kerry Hotel:  "We get complimentary pop and juice and you can't go wrong with that....That is probably why it is a five star!"   

Maybe.....Maybe not.  We are all thrilled to be here, it is a nice change from grueling training and matches over the last few weeks.  

Volunteer Coach Peter Netisingha is connecting in style with his girlfriend in Omaha.  

Blog Entry- Jack Riggins (July 1)
The Huskers celebrated athletic trainer Jolene's Birthday in Tianjin.  Check out the photos of birthday cake and chop-sticks: 

The Huskers finished their final two-a-days in thrilling fashion by taking a scrimmage game from Tianjin in a very hard fought and grueling match. At one point, one of the sets went 38-36 with both teams refusing to loose.

Tianjin Coach (former Chinese national coach) addressing the Huskers post practice.  He repeatedly complimented the team on their tenacity and never-say-die attitude.  GO BIG RED! 

On their final evening in Tianjin, the Huskers visited the Tianjin Eye, and took a river boat cruise taking in the unbelievable river front of Tianjin, China.  Check out the photos.


Blog Entry- Jack Riggins (June 30)
Huskers had a chance to meet Li Shan (Gold medalist for China's women's Volleyball in 2004 Athens) who trained at Nebraska for six months in 2011.  The Huskers practiced two sessions today at Tianjin.  

Here is Alicia O back in her old stomping grounds!  

Alicia is back after having spent a month in 2012 training with Tianjin in order to improve her game. 

Mel handing Justine a ball doing her best Vana White impression and keeping the mood light during two-a-days at Tianjin.

Both clubs ended the day with a banquet that has become the custom with every stop in China.Tianjin is a extra special one for the Huskers because the Huskers are returning the favor of visiting after Tianjin came to Lincoln in 2011 to train and play a match against the Huskers.    

You can tell the mutual respect each team has for the other.


Blog Entry- Jack Riggins (June 29)

June 29:  Today the Huskers traveled six hours north via bullet train from Deqing to Tianjin. The day was also a rest and recovery day for the Huskers, who will train and scrimmage with the Tianjin over the next two days.  

Bullet Train

Fourth stop in China lugging the luggage Husker style

The Huskers also had a private Team only traditional Chinese dinner with dumplings included.  

Here are some Husker thoughts on the food:

Kelly:  Fun to try something new, but I like the Pizza King.

Kadie: if I don't know what's in it or can't pronounce it I won't eat it and if the food and I are having a staring contest...I don't want to lose, so I am not eating it.

Meg: Does wonders on the digestive system.

The day concluded with a traditional Chinese spa/massage visit by the Team.  Not a bad deal on a recovery day! 

Also up for the Huskers, Dani Busboom Kelly and Kira Larson are up with the latest interview from China:

Blog Entry- Jack Riggins

The Huskers won a thrilling five set match tonight in a rematch against Zhejiang in front of a sold out crowd loaded with Thundersticks and massive drumbeat chants.  (Can we get Thundersticks in Deavany?) The match was also televised throughout China.The crowd was electric and as the match see-sawed back in forth, the Chinese crowd began chanting "Go China!" bringing a "national pride" sentiment into the match. The Huskers battled thru the adversity and represented Nebraska and the USA fantastically in the big game environment.Kira Larson and Kelly Hunter in arguably their biggest game as Huskers leading the team with 10 stuff blocks and expert game management respectively.  

None the less, cell phones remain off-limits to the team, despite the plea's of Meghan Haggerty to Husker Nation. The only accessibility to information on the international trip remains through and this blog.

Earlier in the day the Huskers took a three hour bus ride from Cixi to Dijeng, China for their rematch. The bus ride allowed the Huskers to compete in a "Heads Up Tournament". The Heads up app is a modern form of charades using a smart phone or tablet. Dani Busboom was the champion, scoring an eleven, but all the Huskers enjoyed playing and ultimately used the bus ride and Heads Up experience as a positive team building event that carried over well into match. Six hours in a train tomorrow should bring some awesome team-building time and laughs! 

The food and accommodations have been outstanding and the hospitality very warm. In tonight's match, the Huskers were the first  foreign team to ever play in Dihjeg, China.The town of Dijeng really put on a show prior and during the match.Prior to warm-ups a 40 foot all human pyramid was built by local acrobats. The Chinese take crowd support the a new level (literally). In between sets, children constantly danced to music from around the globe keeping the crowd and Huskers entertained. After the Husker win, the Huskers were barraged with autograph and picture requests.  

This was a great day for building team unity and to grab a win. 

 -Jack Riggins

Blog Entry- Jack Riggins

Today the Huskers traveled via bus from Shanghai Olympic Land Village to Cixi, China for a match with the Zhejiang Jiashan Rural Commercial Bank Volleyball Team.  Zheijiang won the Chinese Volleyball Association National Championship last season. Upon arrival in Cixi, the Huskers attended a welcome banquet and feasted on five courses of traditional chinese cuisine for lunch. After the banquet, the Huskers had a small practice prior to the match. During the match the Huskers fell in the first set 25-17, however the Huskers took the next two sets 25-22 and 25-18. The lead didn't last long as Zhejiang won the fourth set, setting up a thrilling fifth set. Both teams battled right to the end, with the Huskers losing 15-12. The Huskers along with Zhejiang, travel to Deqing, China tomorrow and will have a highly anticipated rematch. 

June 27, 2014

The Huskers competed with the Cixi pro team in Shanghai, but lost a tough match in five sets. Meghan Haggerty and Dan Meske discuss the match and latest updates here:


Blog Entry- Dani Busboom

Hello from Shanghai!

I finally arrived in Shanghai to meet the team, so there was plenty to catch up on.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the girls in some STELLAR moods!  I could tell right away they really enjoyed Japan and were already missing their new Japanese friends.  The Ageo win and sushi put everyone in a good mood!

Our first Chinese experience entailed a downpour where we got pretty soaked getting our luggage on the bus.  The wet clothes were quickly forgotten when we arrived at a Pizza Express and got to enjoy an American meal! Next up, a Chinese Acrobatic show....showcasing some pretty incredible stunts. After the show we continued on to the Shanghai Pro team's complex.  We got checked in and went straight to bed to prepare for the next day of play. 

We were warmly greeted by an old friend, Juo Gun (June our Chinese volunteer from 2000). She is an amazing host who took care of us in every way she possibly could.  June was one of the best players in the world and won a gold medal for China.  We had a short practice and got ready for an afternoon scrimmage. The complex is full of Chinese pro sports teams so we get to experience a regular Chinese cafeteria.  Everyone has been pleasantly surprised by food.  A lot of rice and noodles, but no one has gone hungry yet!

The Shanghai Pro team is bigger and more physical than the Japanese teams, so it was a challenge adjusting to the play.  We lost 3-1 in a hard fought battle.  For my first game of the season, I was impressed with Justine. Wow, has she improved and is making some incredible defensive plays. Alicia Ostrander led us in kills today and that was also a highlight!

Tomorrow, we are off to another site where we will play in a public match. I can't wait to see who the next "highlights" are.


Blog Entry- Kelsey Fien

Day 8: The sun rose early in the morning and the Huskers were up for a hearty breakfast at Joy Full. All of us were asking the waitress to cook both sides of the egg.  After we had full tummies we're good to go to serve and pass. Here we did our usual walk through, going through rotations, serving, passing, etc. After that we had a nice cool down and then went off to lunch.

After a solid four hours spent at the hotel, the Huskers found the Wi-Fi hot spot. We all piled into one room as we update our Instagram accounts, checked our Snapchats, and even spent some time on Face Time with our families. Honestly, we enjoyed being connected to the world once again. You don't realize how much you love your phone until you don't have signal for two days. We definitely enjoyed our Wi-Fi for the amount of time we had it.

Next it was game time. We loaded the bus and headed to the court. The match featured great play between both teams, but the Huskers came out on top with a 2-1 victory over the Ageo Medics. It was a huge win for us! Coach was happy with our play and surprised us with sushi for dinner. Now remember only a select few on the team eat sushi on a regular basis, so most of us were in for a new experience. Let's just say the dinner was one to remember as Amber Rolfzen and I were both filmed eating sushi for the first time. By the expression on our faces, I don't think it was a hit. But hey when in Japan try fresh sushi! With day eight coming to a close the Huskers piled into one room with a quick debrief of the day and plans for tomorrow. The huskers made it through their last full day in Japan!

-Kelsey Fien

June 24, 2014

The Huskers took on the Ageo Medics in their first open match of the trip. Nebraska won the match 2-1 (25-19, 22-25, 26-24). Go Big Red!

Here is the Huskers' latest interview with manager Dan Mader and Amber Rolfzen:

Next up, the Huskers will travel to Shanghai, China!



Blog Entry- Cici Hall

Monday started with a wake-up call in the form of a knock on the door. We hadn't managed to set up our phones to the wifi so we only knew we had to make it to breakfast sometime between 7 and 9:30 a.m., and hopefully we'd leave somewhere around 9:30 a.m., for practice. We left after breakfast for a new hotel and the plus side of the new hotel was that we had washing machines!

Morning practice went well, even though we’re on day seven here in Japan I must say everyone still looked pretty happy and well fed :). We did setting and passing in lines for warm-up, a long stretch and then a burst of serve and pass. We were done around noon and then we had some lunch. It was the regular bento box and the whole team got really excited when we found out it had French fries and chicken in it. Haha.

We hung out in our assigned room until it was time for warm-up, playing games, listening to music and napping. This gym was different than the one we played in the day before, the architecture was really cool with a lot of wood.

The scrimmage started and the vibe was good. Focus of the day was to stay low error in serves and disciplined in blocking. We won two out of the four sets. Everyone did an awesome job, except me as a line judge, I ended up getting subbed out after a close call I definitely didn't see. :) . We stuck to the plan and in the last game we had a lot of blocks and controlled touches. I think the motto, "Day by day we get better and better" is following us on this trip!

We arrived to our new hotel after the scrimmage, showered real quick, and then the bus picked us up for the party, party! We met up with some of the girls of the Ageo Medics team and they showed us to the restaurant where the rest of their team and coaches were waiting for us. After speeches from the two head coaches we could finally say our "Kampai" (cheers) and start eating. We ate shrimp, steak, French fries, pasta, fruit and smoked duck. Everything was very good! The Japanese girls were so nice and funny and the conversation went smoothly. Most of them knew some English and we used all the Japanese we could (which is like 3-5 phrases :)). All and all another good day in Japan!

Thanks from Ageo, Japan. Hope you all are good wherever in the world you are at this very moment!

Best regards,


Blog Entry- Meghan Haggerty

Day four began waking up at 8 a.m. in our hotel in Kawasaki, Japan, a town outside of mainland Tokyo. After eating breakfast that consisted of eggs, rice, miso, soup and some mysterious looking fish, we packed our bags and headed off to Akihabara, the electronics district in downtown Tokyo. We got picked up by the Ageo Medics' bus and headed to downtown Tokyo, a scenic 35 minute bus ride.

Arriving at the Akihabara district, we split into groups of four and ventured off in different directions. We all stuck out like sore thumbs so there was no need to worry about getting lost. Most stores consisted of all the same stuff. Souvenirs, smart tablets, mp3 players, computers, etc. No one bought anything more than some postcards, T-shirts and some McDonald's.

After two hours of wandering, we all meet back to go to the Mizuno store. The store consisted of six floors of equipment and apparel. It was definitely a sweet pit stop to take on our off day, although no one bought anything.  We then meet our two tour guides who are students at our sister school here in Tokyo.  They were so friendly and spoke great English, so that was a nice change up for us. 

After meeting our tour guides, Mary & Tacowaca, we were off to see a shrine that was a 30 minute train ride away. The shrine was jaw-dropping and was a great tourism spot. We took a ton of photos there and got to see a different culture's traditions put into action.

It was a long day of walking to say the least. Our "off day" turned into a leg day with reaching about 20,000 steps. Our day was packed with not only a lot of walking, but we got to see a different culture's religion and see the lifestyle and interests of the Japanese

Today's lesson was patience. Everywhere we went there was either traffic, lines, waits, etc., adding to us all feeling tired. All in all, everyone had a great time there and the pictures all show it. Great memories in Tokyo :)


June 23, 2014

Coach Meske and Kelly Hunter catch everyone up on the latest happenings with the Huskers:

The Huskers scrimmaged with Ageo and went 2-2, executing a 6-2 offense.

June 22, 2014

Here is the Huskers latest update from Japan with Coach Meske, Kelsey Fien and Alicia Ostrander: 

The Huskers took one of three sets from Ageo as Cecilia Hall, Melanie Keil and Alicia Ostrander all had eight kills.

June 21, 2014

Coach Cook put on a coaching clinic today in Japan. Here is a clip of him in action: The Huskers also got to experience their first day sightseeing in Tokyo and posted some photos on Instagram

Blog Entry- Kadie Rolfzen

Today we had our last match against NEC here in Kawasaki City. Just like yesterday, we played together, played hard, fought point-for-point but our serve never seemed to get going and we lost all four sets, with three of the four being deuce games. As Cecilia Hall found out today, that just means we lost by two points.

After the game, we went back to the hotel and rested for a little while and went straight back to the gym for a quick practice to touch up on the things we need to improve on and we got a little lift in as well.

We had what we all came to name as a "Party Party" at night with the NEC girls. When they told us that we were going to be having 10 course meals, they weren't kidding. They just kept bringing out dish after dish with it being salad, pizza, tiramisu, noodles, pot stickers, and plenty of Coca-Cola. At my table, that was the go-to.

Although we don't speak the same language, we were all able to communicate with the girls and laugh and just enjoy the time together. As we move on to begin another leg of this trip, we are learning to enjoy the process, take things one day at a time and one practice at a time and just get as much time together as we can before we head back and begin the 2014 season.

-Kadie Rolfzen

June 20, 2014

The Huskers took on NEC in the morning, but fell 4-0. Kadie Rolfzen led NU with 11 kills. They then had dinner with the team and exchanged t-shirts with each other.

Coach Meske, Justine Wong-Orantes and Mary Pollmiller gave an update on how the team has done so far:

Mary Pollmiller also did three short interviews with one of the NEC players: and

Blog Entry- Coach Cook

After a great Japanese breakfast and trying to wake up with a 14 hour time difference, the Huskers had a great scrimmage games against the NEC Red Rockets.

The highlight came in game four when we mixed players from high teams. Even with the language barrier, they are still all volleyball players. The team of Kelly, Alexa, Alicia and Kira won a great 30-28 game.

Watching the teams compete and come together after each point was really cool. There was a lot of gambatte (encouraging each other to try hard and do well) on each team.

After the match we walked through the streets of Tokyo to a restaurant where we were able to grill all pieces of meat on our own grill at our table. Amber informed me that the beef tongue was the best!

Tokyo has over 20 million people and trains running everywhere, but it is amazing how quiet and peaceful it is was through the streets.

Round two is today against NEC and and then we have a party tonight with their team.  

This is my fourth trip to Asia with the Huskers and I am always amazed at how friendly and excited the Japanese players are to interact with the Huskers. It’s pretty cool. College age kids are college age kids everywhere in the world.


June 18, 2014

The Huskers spent their first full day in Tokyo. NU played in it's first match against NEC and took two out of three sets, 17-25, 25-19, 29-27. Kadie Rolfzen led the Huskers with nine kills, while Nebraska hit .150 and held NEC to a .109 hitting percentage.

Assistant Coach Dan Meske is taking care of the video duties in Japan, here he talks with Melanie Keil before their match:

Also, catch the Huskers' first lead of the trip: As Coach Cook said, "Make sure you get video of this."

The Huskers also spent time going over setter calls with their new teammates: and here is another look at them playing NEC:

The night was complete at dinner when everyone, yes everyone, tried pig tongue:

June 17, 2014- Wheels Down in Japan

The Nebraska volleyball team embarked on a special 19-day journey on Tuesday as the Huskers left for their 2014 international trip to Japan and China.

The team landed at 5:30 p.m. local time (3:30 a.m. CT) and jumped right into the action on Tuesday night, heading to practice before going to the hotel and calling it a night. Tomorrow they will practice at 10 a.m., and scrimmage at 3:30 p.m.




The team will spend time training in Tokyo, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Tianjin and Beijing as well as sightseeing around Japan and China. This is the Huskers’ fourth trip to Asia, as the team took foreign tours prior to the 2000, 2006 and 2010 seasons as well.

Here is the Huskers’ schedule while they are in Japan and China:
Tokyo (Kawasaki City) – June 19-21
Tokyo (Ageo City) -  June 21-24
Shanghai- June 25-26 
Zhejiang (Cixi and Deqing)- June 27-28
Tianjin- June 29-July 2
Beijing- July 2-4

Throughout the trip the Huskers will be chronicling their experience through a series of blogs and we’ll be updating them here on Be sure to also follow along with the Huskers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.



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