Nebraska's Keonilei Akana becomes the fifth transfer to join the Texas volleyball team
Keonilei Akana was in uniform for Texas' final match of the 2021 volleyball season.
Akana, though, was playing for Nebraska at the time. And after serving seven aces, she got to celebrate as the Huskers earned a four-set win over the Longhorns in an Elite Eight matchup at Gregory Gym.
But when Texas returns to Gregory this fall, Akana will be a Longhorn. She announced on Friday night that she will transfer to UT. Texas later confirmed that Akana had signed.
A 5-foot-9 defensive specialist who spent the past two seasons at Nebraska, Akana's decision to transfer comes during a busy offseason in which Texas has signed ex-UCLA libero Zoe Fleck and former Kentucky outside hitter Madisen Skinner. Colorado setter Jenna Ewert and Cal middle blocker Bella Bergmark have said they'll transfer to Texas as well, but Texas has not yet acknowledged those additions to its roster.
Akana averaged 2.54 digs per set last season for a Nebraska team that reached the NCAA championship match. She also led the Huskers with 42 aces.
Due to the arrivals of Akana and Fleck, who earned All-American accolades last season, the back row of the Texas defense will have a revamped look. Texas also signed prized Indiana recruit Emma Halter in November. Returning defensive specialist Reilly Heinrich has played sparingly during her two seasons with the Longhorns.
Meanwhile, former Texas libero Nalani Iosia announced this week that she will transfer to Michigan State. Iosia averaged 3.19 digs per set in 2021.