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Early freshmen Nebraska volleyball

Freshmen Kenzie Knuckles (left) and Madi Kubik joined the Nebraska volleyball team in January.

The recruiting class that will join the Nebraska volleyball program for the 2019 season has been ranked as the No. 2 recruiting class in the nation.

PrepVolleyball.com finished its ranking of the top-30 recruiting classes this week. Staff from the website compile the rankings with the assistance of a panel of college coaches.

Nebraska’s recruiting class includes three players who rank in the top 40, according to PrepVolleyball.com. Outside hitter Madi Kubik is ranked No. 4, outside hitter Riley Zuhn is ranked No. 32, and libero Kenzie Knuckles is No. 37.

There are also two walk-ons in the class, with defensive specialist Emma Gabel from Lincoln Pius X and middle blocker Fallon Stutheit from Johnson-Brock.

Kubik and Knuckles each got an early start on their college careers by graduating from high school early and practicing with the Huskers this spring. They were each starters in the spring match.

Kubik and Knuckles were a big factor in Nebraska's No. 2 ranking in the list.

“Kubik brings a lot of international experience to the Nebraska gym and is a true six-rotation outside hitter with the ability to help fill the void left by the graduation of (Mikaela) Foecke, one of the great outsides in Cornhusker history,” the report said.

“Knuckles is an athletic, instinctive defender with exceptional ball control who should pair well with her former (club) teammate, rising sophomore Megan Miller, to give the Huskers a terrific tandem in the back row.”

Stanford was the unanimous No. 1 team in the rankings, giving the Cardinal a third top-ranked class since 2012. Four of Stanford’s five incoming players are ranked in the top-10 of the class.

Texas was ranked No. 3, followed by BYU, Ohio State, TCU and Oregon.

Former Husker Dani Busboom Kelly signed the No. 16-ranked recruiting class at Louisville. The class includes Amber Stivrins, the sister of Nebraska middle blocker Lauren Stivrins.

Nebraska’s 2018 recruiting class of Nicklin Hames, Callie Schwarzenbach, Capri Davis and Miller was ranked No. 5.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7435 or bwagner@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJSSportsWagner.

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