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Dylan Raiola, volleyball and no waiting out the rain

Welcome back to the Just Askin’ mailbag.

The premise is straightforward. You ask me some questions — or vent your frustrations — about Nebraska Athletics. Any sport. I attempt to answer them.

If you want your question included in the next edition of the mailbag, find me on Twitter/X at @Amie_Just, Threads/Instagram at @_amiejust or email me at I suppose you can attempt a carrier pigeon as well.

Thoughts on Dylan Raiola? — Multiple

First off, let’s clear one thing up.

His last name isn’t said like ray-ola. It’s rye-ola, like rye bread. 

I liked how he looked on Saturday. Obviously, I’m not going to read far too much into one singular practice where the quarterbacks weren’t live, but he looks like the front-runner for the starting QB position. 

People are also reading…

No. 1: That touchdown pass to Jaylen Lloyd. The touch on that was sublime. The catch, an over-the-shoulder number, from Lloyd was pretty, too.

No. 2: That 2-point conversion throw. Tight window. Plenty of zip. Lots of confidence to make that throw. Needed zero hesitation, too.

No. 3: I liked how he took the blame for his interception even though it wasn’t necessarily his fault. Spoken like a veteran in that moment.

Nebraska coach John Cook (right) huddles with the team during a match against Northwestern on Nov. 8, 2023, at the Devaney Sports Center.

What are you watching for in the Nebraska volleyball spring game? — Multiple

I’ll have a longer preview column on this later this week, but for now, here’s what I’ve got:

How is Lindsay Krause? Nebraska’s star outside hitter missed a sizeable part of last season due to the injuries she sustained in a hit-and-run car accident and then an injury she sustained to her ankle/foot in practice. What does she look like? Is she as explosive? How high is she getting on her jumps?

And then, what does the rotation at outside look like?You have Krause, of course, and then there’s freshman Skyler Pierce, who will suit up for Nebraska on the indoor court for the first time. But after that, I’m not so sure what things will look like.

Will Harper Murray play? Not much clarity on that yet.

It’s important to note that Merritt Beason is an opposite, not an outside, and that incoming transfer outside Taylor Landfair isn’t with the team yet.

And, as a reminder, outsides Caroline Jurevicius, Hayden Kubik and Ally Batenhorst have all transferred out of the program (Batenhorst is still practicing with the team, but she won’t play Saturday).

When a player enters the portal do they still get access to the training table, tutoring help etc? — Ken P.

It depends on the coach, honestly.

On one hand, you have people like Nebraska’s John Cook. He has not only allowed Ally Batenhorst, who is transferring to USC for the fall, to use the weight room and other facilities, but he has embraced her and let her train with the team this spring.

Then, there’s what happened with Colorado’s exodus of football players last year. According to a recent article written by the Athletic’s Max Olson, the players cut from Colorado’s team were immediately locked out of the football facility and couldn’t access the training table.

Both of those examples are, presumably, outliers.

I understand the viewpoint from each, but as a human being who cares about other human beings, I fall on Cook’s side. I know it’s a “business,” but at the end of the day, we’re talking about young adults here who are trying to make the best decision for themselves and their future. Exiling them — especially right now right before finals week — is a bad look, in my opinion. But there isn’t a handbook on what to do and what not to do.

NU Softball Senior Day, 4.28

Nebraska’s softball team rolls up a tarp after its game against Northwestern on Sunday was canceled due to weather.

Why did baseball get all three of its games in this weekend, while softball had to cancel its third game? — Matt S.

*insert Lisa Bluder voice here*

They had a flight to catch.

Getaway days are always tricky because you have to manage “drop dead” times with the teams that have to travel. For Northwestern softball, their “drop dead” time was 2 p.m., because they had a 4:55 p.m. flight out of Omaha. So, they had to leave Lincoln before the weather was clear.

Since Nebraska baseball played Iowa — who bused to Lincoln rather than flew — they had all the time in the world, basically, to get their games in. By Big Ten rule, the first pitch of the last game had to be thrown by 9 p.m.

It turned out to be a gorgeous evening at Haymarket Park. It’s unfortunate for Nebraska softball, though, that Northwestern had an early-ish flight.

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