Kearney native, UNK Volleyball alum Maddie Squiers practicing with Supernovas
OMAHA, NEB. - Less than 2% of college athletes make it to the pros, but the University of Nebraska-Kearney and the central Nebraska town may have a former Loper do just that, and it would happen to be in her home state.
Maddie Squiers is taking part in Omaha Supernovas training camp as the Pro Volleyball Federation (PVF) embarks on its first season. She received her initial call from Head Coach Shelton Collier in November.
“Once I heard of PVF, I thought it would be a really cool opportunity, but didn’t think much of it,” Squiers said. “Right before Thanksgiving break, Shelton [Collier] reached out to me, he knew I was in the area, and asked if I was interested in coming to the mini camp, I went, and got invited back to this training camp.”
Squiers established herself as one of the best setters in Lopers history.
During her tenure at UNK, she was a two-time All-American, recorded over 6,200 set assists, and 1,600 digs. In 2019, the Lopers were the national runner-up. All those accolades got Squiers a shot at pro volleyball over seas in Austria, but the Kearney native is happy to have the chance to play 200 miles from home, as opposed to 5,000.
“When I played overseas, it was a good experience, but I didn’t love it enough to go back because I was very home sick. It was one of the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” Squiers said. “You don’t have much of a support system at all, but I’m very excited to be, not only in America, but in my home state, and just down the road from where I grew up.”
Squiers just completed her second year as a UNK Graduate Assistant. While at UNK, Maddie played and worked for dad Rick who just completed his 25th season as Lopers head coach. When Maddie received the initial call, no one believed in her more.
“Right when I got the call, he had full faith in me,” Squiers said. “Said I’m good enough for whatever they need me to do, he threw me into some drills a week before mini-camp, because I hadn’t played in a year and a half. He’s very supportive, very happy for me.”
The sport of volleyball has grown worldwide. This past August, Nebraska set a world record for attendance at a women’s sporting event with Volleyball Day in Nebraska. As a Nebraska, native Squiers says she’s honored to represent her home state, one that’s become known as the volleyball capital of the world.
“Volleyball in the state of Nebraska is on another level… High school, NAIA, Division-II, Division-I,” Squiers said. “I think putting a team here is a very smart decision by the league, I’m just very honored that I am from here, grew up here, live here, and I’m very honored I got asked to come play for the Supernovas.”
The Supernova’s begin their season on Jan. 234, hosting Atlanta.