Gretna's Jensen Muhlbach commit to Nebraska

Gretna’s Jensen, Muhlbach commit to Nebraska


When September 1 arrived, college coaches across the country well about to call juniors in high school to make an offer. Some kids make it a huge deal. They make fancy graphics or take photos in their school shirt and post it on social media for the world to see.

For Gretna’s battery of Alexis Jensen and Carlie Muhlbach, their announcements committing to Nebraska were simple quote tweets and if one didn’t look close enough, they would scroll right past.

“They don’t want to put themselves on a pedestal,” said Gretna head coach Bill Heard, who also coaches both student-athletes in the summer with Nebraska Gold. “They don’t want to separate themselves from their teammates.”

Their ability to remain grounded and humble throughout the recruiting process fits in line with how Heard describes them. They are talented, caring and great teammates.

“They are both very talented individuals and a lot of it starts there. They care and that sounds simple but they really care about what happens around them and their team,” Heard said. “They want to be good teammates. When you’re better players are some of your better teammates, you have a shot to be ok.”

Through the first 14 games of the season, Muhlbach is batting .385 with three doubles, three home runs and 14 runs batted in. The junior catcher also transferred into Gretna from Hastings.

Jensen has played in 13 games and is batting .469 with six doubles, a home run and 13 RBIs. In the circle, she is 10-0 in 10 games played with a 0.74 earned run average, 93 strikeouts and 17 walks.

The battery began playing together this past summer with Nebraska Gold 15U National Perkins. While it was the first season for Muhlbach to work with Heard, who is an assistant to Marian head coach Chad Perkins, it was somewhere around eight for Jensen and Heard.

Heard guesstimated Jensen was around eight or nine years old when she began playing for him and he admitted she did struggle some at a young age.

“There were spurts,” Heard said. “You could see she had a chance to be good and then you would see spurts where she had some growing to do. It has taken some time for her to get to this spot. At nine, 10, 11 years old, she was not this. She wasn’t the best thing ever, She had to work at it. So to be able to see her grow into what she is today, it’s pretty cool. It’s amazing to think about.”

For Muhlbach, her summer season was a breakthrough for her.

“I think she got thrown into the deep end with the competition we saw and she really grew from it,” Heard said. “Really when she jumped off was in Colorado. There were 16 teams left on Sunday after 200-plus teams and we were the only 15-and-under team that got there. She went on a run, she had about seven or eight home runs against teams with multiple Division-I kids.”

When the two athletes committed to the Huskers, it not only secures a line of succession from Jordy Bahl to Jensen and Ava Bredwell to Muhlbach but it also brings more talent from Gretna that started in 2015 with the recruitment of Billie and Brooke Andrews.

Heard wanted to keep his nose out of the recruiting process but he does keep in contact with head coach Rhonda Revelle often.

“I didn’t want influence the kids on what they wanted,” he said. “Because there’s definitely a part of me as a coach that wanted to make sure they would be taken care of and Rhonda has done a great job of taking care of Brooke and Billie. You just want your kids in a place where you know they are going to be taken care of and Rhonda is going to do that.”

The verbal commitments from Jensen and Muhlbach proves that the homegrown talent in Nebraska belongs on the national stage and future of Husker softball is bright.

Volleyball Coaches Poll: 09.04.23

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