Done Deal: Texas Longhorns confirm the signing of three high-profile players

Eat it, John Cook: Texas volleyball adds three high-profile transfers, including one from Nebraska

Texas Longhorns volleyball coach Jerritt Elliott is making bold moves to fortify his team’s quest for a third consecutive national championship, leaving Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach John Cook potentially seething with dissatisfaction. The Longhorns recently secured commitments from three high-profile transfers, notably impacting both the offensive and defensive aspects of their game.

The first significant addition to the Longhorns’ roster came in the form of outside hitter Whitney Lauenstein, who hails from Nebraska. Standing at 6’2″, Lauenstein brings two years of eligibility to the Longhorns after sitting out the 2023 season to focus on personal matters following the passing of her father. Lauenstein’s impressive performance with the Huskers in 2022, including 297 kills, 111 blocks, and 28 service aces, earned her all-region honors.


Subsequently, the Longhorns secured commitments from two more talented players. Reagan Rutherford, an outside hitter and former Kentucky transfer, joins the team after finishing second in kills at Kentucky in 2023 with 271. Rutherford, with one year of eligibility remaining, reunites with former teammate Madisen Skinner, providing the Longhorns with additional firepower in the outside attack.


The third addition is Baylor transfer Averi Carlson, a rising junior and highly regarded setter. Carlson, ranked as the No. 4 recruit and top setter in the 2022 class, adds depth and versatility to the Longhorns’ roster. The strategic move to incorporate Carlson may indicate Coach Elliott’s intention to employ a 6-2 rotation in 2024, optimizing offense and defense by utilizing double substitutions for the outside hitter and setter.

While Coach Cook expressed discontent with the Longhorns’ roster-building strategy, emphasizing the reliance on transfers, Coach Elliott remains focused on assembling a well-balanced and experienced team. The Longhorns’ additions address specific needs, bolstering both the offensive and defensive aspects of the team, and positioning them as formidable contenders for another national championship.


As the Longhorns prepare for the upcoming season, the strategic acquisitions underscore Coach Elliott’s commitment to staying competitive and addressing potential challenges. With the talent and depth added through these transfers, the Longhorns aim to defy expectations and continue their dominance in collegiate volleyball. Coach Cook, facing the evolving landscape, might need to explore the transfer portal to keep pace with Texas’ formidable roster.



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