Melanie Keil and the Huskers will open the sand season in Hawaii this week.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Head to Hawaii, Arizona for Sand Season

By NU Athletic Communications

The Nebraska sand volleyball team is set to begin the 2014 season this week as they travel to Hawaii and Arizona for a string of matches from March 20-29.

The Huskers will start the season with matches against Southern California and Hawaii at Queens Beach at Waikiki in Honolulu, Hawaii on Thursday, March 20. Nebraska will then compete in the Hawaii Invitational against Hawaii, Arizona and Southern California on March 21-22. Nebraska will close its time in Hawaii on Sunday, March 23 against Hawaii Pacific and Chaminade in Honolulu.

The Huskers will then travel to Arizona to take on Arizona State in Tempe on Wednesday, March 26 at 4 p.m. CT. The Huskers will face Grand Canyon on Thursday, March 27 at 6 p.m. CT in Phoenix, before taking on Arizona on March 28 at 3:30 p.m. CT. The Huskers will close the week with the Grand Canyon Pairs Tournament against Arizona and Grand Canyon on Friday, March 28 and Saturday, March 29.

In their inaugural season in 2013, the Huskers posted a 6-3 team record in matches against some of the nation’s toughest competition. In addition to numerous pairs wins, Hayley Thramer and Amber Rolfzen finished third at the 2013 USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge.

Sand volleyball was added at Nebraska last season, giving the Huskers 24 intercollegiate programs, including 14 women’s teams and 10 men’s teams. Sand volleyball is the first sport Nebraska has added since women’s rifle began competition in the 1998-99 season. 

Nebraska Ranked Seventh in Preseason Poll

The Nebraska sand volleyball team is ranked seventh in the AVCA Sand Volleyball Preseason Poll, released on Friday, Feb. 28.

The Huskers earned the top-10 ranking, while Pepperdine led the poll at No. 1. Southern California came in second, while Long Beach State is third, Florida State is fourth, Hawaii is fifth and UCLA checks in at sixth. Following the Huskers is St. Mary’s College at eighth, Florida International at ninth and Stanford at 10th.

The top ten programs, as voted on by the participating institutions:

1. Pepperdine 
2. Southern California
3. Long Beach State
4. Florida State
5. Hawaii
7. Nebraska
8. St. Mary’s College
9. Florida International
10. Stanford

Projected teams for This Week

The projected pairs competing in this week’s matches are:
1. Justine Wong-Orantes and Melanie Keil
2. Kadie Rolfzen and Amber Rolfzen
3. Brenna Lyles and Alicia Ostrander
4. Cecilia Hall and Alexa Ethridge
5. Mary Pollmiller and Kelsey Fien
Alternate: Kira Larson


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