Five things we learned from Husker middle blocker transfer Kaitlyn Hord
Nebraska volleyball transfer Kaitlyn Hord joined HuskerOnline for Husker Chat Live for an in-depth discussion on her decision to transfer from Penn State to Nebraska, her official visit and much more.
Here are five things we learned from the three-time All-American:
1. Hord transferred to Nebraska partially because of the players' chemistry
Hord said the chemistry that the Husker volleyball team had with one another was one of the main reasons she committed to Nebraska.
She told her future teammates she wanted to come to Nebraska before telling Head Coach John Cook. Hord said she had a "gut feeling" and committed on the spot at her official visit.
"Some of the main things that gravitated me toward the team and the town is just seeing how well the team interacts with each other," Hord said. "I've seen it from the other side of the net but now I've seen it from a different perspective. They're all really close and I wanted a chance to be a part of something like that."
She said the team was spending time at one of the player's apartments and she told the group she wanted to be a part of the special bond they had with one another.
2. Hord transferred from Penn State to "keep progressing in life"
Hord had the opportunity to learn from Penn State Head Coach Russ Rose, who retired after 43-years at Penn State and seven national championships. She said her decision to transfer wasn't because Rose was retiring.
"I felt like my time was coming to an end, I put in my four years here," Hord said. "I feel like I've grown a lot here and made some incredible relationships with teammates, friends. I've learned a lot but I just feel as though to keep progressing in my life, it's time to move on and spread my wings someplace else."
While playing for Rose, Hord said she learned how to work hard and go hard.
"I think I learned that your body can do a lot more than you think it can," she said. "Just being tough mentally and learning how to take criticism."
3. She visited Texas and had more visits scheduled
Hord, one of the top players in the transfer portal, said she had four official visits scheduled that she canceled after she committed to Nebraska during her official visit during the weekend of Jan. 27.
She said she took an official visit to Texas so they were "high up on her radar." Hord said she canceled visits to USC, Minnesota and Ohio State after committing to Nebraska.
4. Being on the other side of the net
Hord will now have played on both sides of the Penn State-Nebraska rivalry. While she battled against the Huskers for four seasons, she said there wasn't any awkwardness on her official visit.
"It was such a kind environment to walk into, I didn't feel like we were still in competition," Hord said.
She said she knew Nicklin Hames from playing against her in club volleyball and played with Madi Kubik and Kenzie Knuckles on the USA National team while in high school.
While she was at Penn State, Hord said preparing to play the Huskers was "stressful" and the Nittany Lions were "extremely focused" during that week.
"We're always on our toes. They're one of the only schools that has a record against us and I've actually never beaten Nebraska while playing here at Penn State," she said. "We're working very hard for Nebraska week. They are not taken lightly as no one should in the Big Ten but we give a little bit extra attention to the Cornhuskers."
Hord will be wearing red in the next matchup but said both programs are very similar in playing style, having decorated coaches and that she doesn't see many differences as of now.
5. What she's bringing to the Huskers
When asked about her personal goals at Nebraska, Hord said "I definitely want to win a national championship" but also wants to be the best teammate she can be on and off the court.
She said she is bringing a hard work ethic to Nebraska and is someone who is a "gym rat," like Penn State instilled in her.
"I think I'll just bring the attitude that you have to go hard all the time and go after every ball even if there is no chance that you might get it, still give 100 percent effort all the time," Hord said.