An offseason to forget for the Nebraska volleyball team added another chapter Monday when the school announced sophomore setter Alexa Strange is leaving the program.
Strange, the only setter currently on the Nebraska roster, plans to transfer to a school in California, according to a brief statement released by head coach John Cook. Strange is from San Clemente, Calif.
“Alexa Strange has decided to leave Nebraska,” Cook said in the statement. “She is returning to California and will focus on playing beach volleyball and will not be playing indoor. We wish her the best.”
Calls to Cook seeking further comment Monday were not returned, and attempts to reach Strange were not immediately successful. Strange's name already had been removed from the team's online roster
Strange's departure leaves NU without a setter on the roster heading into the summer. True freshman Kelly Hunter, one of the country's top setter recruits out of Papillion-La Vista South, will join the Huskers this fall, and was expected to compete with Strange for the starting job after All-American Lauren Cook completed her eligibility last season.
However, the job may be Hunter's by default. Cook said last week he had never started a true freshman as the lone setter in a 5-1 offensive system during his 14 years as Nebraska's coach. Current NU assistant Dani Busboom Kelly was one of the team's starting setters as a true freshman in 2003 when the team ran a 6-2 system. Redshirt freshman Rachel Holloway was the starting setter on Nebraska's 2006 national championship team.
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Strange will be Nebraska's second California native to transfer to a home-state school to play sand volleyball. Lara Dykstra, the team's starting libero the last two seasons, transferred to Pepperdine shortly after the 2012 season ended in December.
It also is the second time in a week Nebraska has lost an expected 2013 contributor — Cook previously announced senior middle blocker Hayley Thramer suffered a career-ending knee injury in the team's spring exhibition match with Wichita State on April 20.
Strange played in 25 matches as a reserve outside hitter during her freshman season. Her standout match came in the Huskers' five-set win at Indiana on Oct. 6, when she had seven kills. She also shined during Nebraska's inaugural sand season this March, pairing with Kelsey Robinson as the Huskers' top duo.
But Strange's transition to setter during the indoor spring season had its ups and downs. In her first extensive time running a 5-1 system, Nebraska went 2-2 and never hit better than .154 in three of the four matches.
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