Nebraska volleyball announced the first five student-athletes who signed their national letter of intent during the November signing period.
Emma Gabel, Kenzie Knuckles, Madi Kubik, Fallon Stutheit and Riley Zuhn will join the Huskers next fall.
Gabel is a 5-foot-7-inch libero from Lincoln, Nebraska and played for Lincoln Pius X High School. She helped the Thunderbolts reach the Class A State Championship match in 2018. In her senior season, she had 596 digs, 24 service aces and 52 set assists. She was named to the AAU National Championships All-Tournament Team in 2017 and was a PrepVolleyball.com Club All-American in 2018.
Knuckles is a 5-foot-8-inch libero from Yorktown, Indiana. While she played outside hitter in high school, Knuckles will move to the defensive specialist position next year.
She led Yorktown High School to the 2018 Indiana Class 4A State Championship title, where she earned 14 kills and 10 digs in the winning match. She is ranked as the No. 34 overall prospect and No. 3 libero prospect by PrepVolleyball.
Kubik is a an outside hitter from West Des Moines, Iowa, where she played for Valley High School. She led her team to a 41-4 record and the Class 5A state semifinals in the 2018 season. Kubik competed on the U.S. Junior National Team, winning the gold medal at the 2018 NORCECA Women’s U20 Continental Championship. As a 6-foot-1-inch player, PrepVolleyball ranks her as the fourth-best player nationally. Kubik was named the Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year and the Iowa Class 5A Player of the Year in 2017.
Stutheit is a 6-foot-1-inch middle blocker from Johnson, Nebraska. Under the coaching of her mother, Tera Stutheit, she led Johnson-Brock High School to three Nebraska Class D1 state titles in her high school career. In her senior season, she recorded 475 kills (5.1 per set) with a .415 hitting percentage. She was a two-time Lincoln Journal Star Super-State selection and Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska first-team selection.
An outside hitter from Fort Collins, Colorado, the 6-foot-5-inch Zuhn attended Fossil Ridge High School. She averaged 3.7 kills per set with a .421 hitting percentage in her senior season and helped Fossil Ridge reach the quarterfinals of the Colorado 5A state tournament. Zuhn is ranked as the No. 32 overall prospect by PrepVolleyball and was a Colorado 5A all-state selection.
Knuckles, Kubik, and Zuhn were all named as Under Armor First-Team All-Americans, making Nebraska, Wisconsin and Stanford the only three programs to land three All-American recruits.
Head coach John Cook told Huskers.com he is very pleased with the incoming freshmen class and cannot wait to see what they will do for the program in the future.
“We feel like we’ve put together a strong class that addresses what we will need to replace after this senior class of Mikaela Foecke, Kenzie Maloney and Brooke Smith graduates,” Cook said. “We have five highly talented, high-character individuals joining our program, and we’re excited to have two Nebraska girls joining our team next season.”