Stivrins back on the volleyball court, “Can’t help but smile”


LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – Whether in practice or in the locker room, Lauren Stivrins of Nebraska says she can’t stop smiling. The All-American center blocker recently returned from back surgery that kept her out of action for over four months. Meanwhile, Stivrins debated whether to continue playing volleyball.

“She wants to be a pro,” said Nebraska head coach John Cook. “She wants to go to the national team. I think it’s his dream.

Stivrins’ injury was unrelated to volleyball, according to Cook. It started in the spring 2021 season, when Stivrins was out for one game at the NCAA tournament. Cook says he considered ending the Stirvrins season prematurely, but she chose to play through the pain.

The beloved elder says it was a long trip back to the volleyball court. Stivrins says she is still not 100% healthy, but is slowly improving. She started practicing a few weeks ago.

“I’m only here for a few more months, so I’m just trying to absorb it all,” Stivrins said.

With 17 kills in two games, Stivrins has an immediate impact for the Huskers. She hits 0.566 and the Huskers have swept away both opponents, Michigan and Michigan State, since Stivrins’ return.

She ranks the standing ovation during start lineups on Friday as one of her favorite times as a Husker.

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