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Middle blocker Ayden Ames commits to Nebraska volleyball

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LINCOLN — Ayden Ames grew up in California and may now live in Prosper, Texas, but the 6-foot-4 middle blocker knew she wanted to play Big Ten college volleyball.

“It’s my favorite,” said Nebraska’s newest commit. "You can’t beat it.”

The Huskers added their third recruit for the 2024 class on Saturday, and even by Nebraska volleyball standards, that’s fast. Last summer, Nebraska didn’t have a commitment for its 2023 class until mid-July.

This summer, Ames — the No. 5 prospect in the nation according to and No. 7 from Prep Dig — joins Lenexa (Kansas) outside hitter Skyler Pierce and Bennington libero Olivia Mauch in the 2024 class. It may not get much larger, given the work NU coaches did in the first week the NCAA allowed them to contact high school juniors-to-be.

A special athlete, Ames has been invited to try out for the United States U19 junior national team. She has played as an all-around outside hitter for her high school team and a right-side hitter for her club team, but she expects to play middle blocker in college. She was born in California before moving to Texas about one year ago. Soccer was her sport growing up, and she only got into volleyball in middle school.

Her first recruiting call with Nebraska coach John Cook was on June 15, the first day allowed.

“I was so nervous,” Ames said of the call. “I was talking to the big man of volleyball, really. But once I got going it felt so comfortable for me to talk to a coaching staff like that.”

She accepted the offer four days later but waited until Saturday to announce it. Her other finalists were Wisconsin and Ohio State.

“I was just so set. I had to commit super-fast,” Ames said. “Well, I didn’t have to, but it was a personal choice. I just felt so ready.”

Ames said NU’s staff can help her achieve the dream of playing for the U.S. Women’s National Team. She liked that Nebraska is a short flight from Dallas and how big Husker volleyball seems to be.

“I love all of the support that the town puts into the University of Nebraska, especially the volleyball program,” Ames said. “I’m so excited to be a part of an environment like that. It just makes me love the sport even more knowing that my town has my back.”

Nebraska also already has a strong recruiting class for the group of high school seniors. Husker commit Harper Murray is ranked No. 1 by for the 2023 recruiting class. The other Nebraska commits for that class are setter Bergen Reilly, right-side hitter Caroline Jurevicius and middle blocker Andi Jackson.

Ames met many of the other recruits in Nebraska’s next two classes last summer at Nebraska’s Dream Team camp.

“It’s a great group of girls — so talented and so nice. I’m so excited,” Ames said.


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