Nebraska continues to have success getting high school volleyball players out of the state of California.
The Huskers picked up a commitment this week from Justine Wong-Orantes, a 5-foot-6 setter from Cypress, Calif.
Nebraska already has three players from California -- libero Lara Dykstra, outside hitter Kelsey Fien and right-side hitter Alexa Strange.
Only two other Californians lettered at Nebraska prior to last season -- Jackie Cook (1986-87) and Jennifer Saleaumua (2002-05).
Wong-Orantes may be the final piece to one of the top recruiting classes in the country, joining the 2013 class that includes outside hitters Kadie and Amber Rolfzen from Papillion-La Vista South and their setter, Kelly Hunter. Also in the class is Kira Larson, a middle blocker from Fargo, N.D.
Wong-Orantes has been a four-year starter at setter for her Los Alamitos High School team, which is one of the top teams in the state. Nebraska recruited Wong-Orantes expecting her to play libero and defensive specialist.
She was also considering Hawaii. As is the case for many back-row players, she said she’d have to walk on at Hawaii with the chance to earn a scholarship later. At Nebraska, Wong-Orantes says she’ll be on scholarship.
She made her official visit to Nebraska two weeks ago, when the Huskers played Michigan.
“I just fell in love with it,” she said. “The atmosphere was amazing, the players, the coaches, the people. The citizens of Nebraska were just so welcoming. It was a good fit for me.”
Like Dykstra, Wong-Orantes has an extensive background in beach volleyball. She placed ninth at a youth world beach championship last year.
Wong-Orantes knew Dykstra from playing beach volleyball, and they also played against each other in high school.
-- Brent C. Wagner