It was hard to tell who was more excited, the newest Nebraska volleyball recruit, Lauren Stivrins, or her extended family.
“It’s equal, let me tell you,” Stivrins said late Wednesday in a phone interview, shortly after giving NU coach John Cook the news that she was going to accept NU's scholarship offer. Cook is on vacation, but was happy to take the call.
Stivrins is from Scottsdale, Ariz., but has several ties to Nebraska. Her dad, Alex, was a basketball standout at Lincoln East, before a college career at Creighton and Colorado. He was playing professionally in Spain when he met his wife, Claire, who is from England.
Lauren Stivrins' grandma, Opal, is a NU volleyball season-ticket holder. So is her uncle, Tim Stivrins, a doctor in Lincoln. Her godparents live in Omaha and are season-ticket holders.
Stivrins is a promising recruit for the Husker program. She’s already about 6-foot-4 heading into her junior season in high school, and will play middle blocker in college. She joins an already talented 2016 class that includes outside hitter Molly Haggerty from Chicago, setter Hunter Atherton from Ohio and middle blocker Sarah Allick from Lincoln North Star.
Stivrins chose Nebraska over USC and UCLA.
“Why not choose Nebraska, honestly,” Stivrins said. “It’s the greatest place for college sports. Their fans are so loyal and energetic. The Devaney Center is beautiful, the team is amazing and I love the coaches.”
Stivrins plays for Chaparral High School. She’s also played on youth national teams and won championships with her club team, the Arizona Storm.
Stivrins' club coach, Terri Spann, previously coached at Texas Tech and Arizona State, and has been very impressed with Stivrins.
“It’s funny, John (Cook) told me flat out if he couldn’t get Lauren he was not going to recruit another middle out of this class, because there are honestly only a small handful of elite middle blockers. Lauren, in my eyes, is the best, but nationally, some coaches might say in the top one or two.
“We won 15 open and 16 open two years in a row for a reason. She was a huge reason why we did. She dominates in the middle. She’s explosive. She’s very rare, because most middles are just kind of there to block and maybe hit one or two types of sets. Our offense is run around her when she’s in the front row. We give her the ball more than anyone else, sometimes. Because of her jumping ability and athleticism, she just dominates.”
Stivrins has three siblings. Older brother Lucas is 6-11 and plays basketball at Nevada. A younger sister is an eighth-grader, and already a talented volleyball player.