The No. 5 Nebraska volleyball team opens the 2015 regular season with the Nebraska Invitational at the Bob Devaney Sports Center this weekend.

The Huskers will host Tulsa on Friday night at 7 p.m. in the season opener. NU will then play Grand Canyon at noon and Pittsburgh at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Each team will play three matches in the round-robin tournament. Nebraska’s matches will not be televised but will be streamed online at BTN2GO.com with a BTN Plus subscription.

Saturday’s matches are split into two sessions, a 10 a.m./Noon session and 5 p.m./7 p.m. session. Fans will have to clear the arena between the Noon and 5 p.m. matches and re-enter with a separate ticket for the evening session. Doors open 60 minutes before matches not involving Nebraska, and 90 minutes before Husker matches. New this year, a shuttle bus will transport students to and from the arena. The shuttle will run 90 minutes before Husker matches and will run every 20 minutes, making stops at the same locations as for basketball.

Nebraska Head Coach John Cook enters the 2015 season three wins away from number 600 for his career. Cook is 597-131 entering his 23rd season as a head coach. With three wins, he will become the 15th active Division I head coach to reach 600 career wins.

Experienced Huskers Set for 2015
One year after rolling out the youngest team in school history, the Nebraska volleyball team enters 2015 with an experienced group that has been to three straight NCAA regional finals. The Huskers had just one senior last season but have four this year. Additionally, the Huskers have three juniors who have started nearly every match the past two seasons.

Junior outside hitter Kadie Rolfzen is a two-time All-American and All-Big Ten selection who recorded 3.55 kills per set last season. Senior outside hitter Kelsey Fien is also coming off All-Big Ten honors after 3.21 kills per set last year. Junior libero Justine Wong-Orantes is the first player to lead the Huskers in digs as both a freshman and a sophomore after recording 3.85 per set last year. Sophomores Annika Albrecht and Sydney Townsend are back after solid freshman seasons in the back row. NU has great depth at middle blocker with seniors Meghan Haggerty and Cecilia Hall, as well as junior Amber Rolfzen in the fold.

The Huskers are reloading at setter, where sophomore Kelly Hunter takes the reins after redshirting last season. Hunter was the nation’s top high school setter in 2012-13 by PrepVolleyball.com and played in 16 matches as a freshman in 2013. She and senior outside hitter Alicia Ostrander will captain the 2015 squad. Outside hitter Olivia Boender is ready to step on the court for the Big Red after redshirting in her first year at NU.

Talented Newcomers Join the Fray
NU welcomes one of the nation’s top recruiting classes, including outside hitter Mikaela Foecke (West Point, Iowa), the No. 2 overall prospect by PrepVolleyball.com, and Kenzie Maloney (Louisville, Ky.), the publication’s top-ranked libero. Setter Brooke Smith (Weatherford, Texas) and middle blocker Tiani Reeves (Gothenburg, Neb.) also come highly acclaimed, though Reeves is set for a redshirt season. Junior middle blocker Briana Holman, a first-team All-American at LSU and January transfer, must sit out 2015 without her scholarship release from LSU.

Scouting Tulsa
Tulsa went 22-9 last season and 14-6 in the American Athletic Conference. The Golden Hurricane return their libero and four starters, including Erica Bohannon, a first-team All-AAC outside hitter last season with 4.03 kills per set. Tulsa is led by second-year coach Ryan Wills, a 2008 graduate of Tulsa. Former Husker Megan Pendergast is an assistant coach.

Scouting Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon, in its third year of transition to Division I, went 21-11 last year and 6-8 in the WAC. The Antelopes welcome back four starters, led by outside hitter Natalie Tardy, the 2014 WAC Freshman of the Year (3.44 kills per set). Kris Naber is in her 21st year leading the Antelopes. She is a 1991 graduate of Grand Canyon.

Scouting Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh posted a 25-6 overall record last season with a 13-5 mark in ACC play. The Panthers have three starters back. Middle hitter Amanda Orchard leads the way, as she garnered first-team All-ACC and honorable-mention All-America accolades in 2014 after averaging 2.11 kills per set and 0.85 blocks per set. Dan Fisher, a 1999 Pacific graduate, is in his third year as head coach. He guided the U.S. Women’s National Team to the Pan American Games title in Toronto in July.