Laurie Bollig

Patience pays off for volleyball star Mancuso

by Laurie Bollig January 22, 2013 in Volleyball

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As her sister Dani was busy helping Nebraska win the 2006 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship, Gina Mancuso was tearing it up on the court as a sophomore at nearby Papillion-LaVista High School. Two years later, Gina was named the Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year – the first high school athlete from the state to win the honor.

So, taking up where Dani left off and making an immediate impact on the Husker volleyball team – no problem, right?

Wrong.

The most decorated high school volleyball player in the state of Nebraska and the national player of the year had to wait her turn. And if that doesn’t sum up the difference between being a freshman and a senior, not much does.

Mancuso made four starts as a freshman and five as a sophomore before breaking into the starting lineup for good as a junior. At the end of her junior season, Mancuso was a first-team All-American selection of the American Volleyball Coaches Association. She followed that up with second-team all-American honors this season. The two-time unanimous all-Big Ten selection led the Huskers both years in kills, kills per set and service aces.

A marketing major, Mancuso has been a member of both the academic all-Big Ten team and CoSIDA Capital One academic all-district team. A two-year member of the school’s student-athlete advisory committee, she most recently served as its community outreach officer. Mancuso is a member of the Husker Connect mentoring program and is a motivational speaker for a local foster care.

Patience isn’t always the easiest thing for a teenager to practice. But as she earned her playing time on the court, Gina Mancuso stayed the course and made sure her four-year college career was legendary – not only in her family but also as part of the strong Husker volleyball program.