Larson dubs Husker hometown girl USA’s rock

Jordan Larson described Mikaela Foecke as Team USA’s “rock” after the outside hitter squeezed in her wedding before helping Karch Kiraly’s side to successive home victories at the FIVB Volleyball Nations League.

One of Nebraska’s most celebrated volleyball players, who only left the Huskers in December, Foecke returned to Pinnacle Bank arena to play in front of a hometown crowd this week and did not disappoint.

A pair of USA victories in Lincoln gave the Husker Nation a reminder of what their prized 6’3″ hitter is capable of as she served impeccably and scored nine points in Wednesday’s 3-1 defeat of Korea before plundering another 14 in a straight sets defeat of Germany the following day.

When asked about 22-year-old Foecke’s importance to the USA team, fellow Nebraska alumnus Larson told reporters: “She’s awesome.

‘Like a rock’

“She held her own, those serves aren’t easy. She’s like a rock… she’s just really consistent.

“She reminds me a lot of myself kind of at that young age, just willing to grind and grind it out. It’s really awesome to play next to her.”

Foecke, who married her sweetheart last week and will take his name to become Mikaela Richter, paid tribute to the Husker fans who turned out in droves to see their heroes battle to victory.

“I just tried to hang in there, be mentally tough and grind,” she told KLIN radio.

‘Unbelievable feeling’

“I think that just being back in Lincoln is an unbelievable feeling and knowing that we have an opportunity to play in front of Husker fans again is just so satisfying.”

As Team USA prepare to face Brazil in the last of their three VNL fixtures on home soil, coach Kiraly hailed Foecke’s form but also underlined the importance of her personality in the camp.

“She has all the tools,” he said. “She can serve, pass, hit, block [and] defend.

“She connects well with people. She’s a good teammate. She plays very even and poised. She’s a steadying influence.

“There are a lot of things to like about her.”