Athlete. From the heartland of America, this bright and successful high school and college athlete, three times an academic college All-American, graduated from Bertrand High School in Phelps County south of the Platte River in 1982. A four-year high school star in basketball, track and volleyball, she was all-state in both basketball and volleyball and the state champion in the l00-meter low hurdles in both 1981 and 1982. She was the all-class gold medal winner in the l00-meter lows in 1981. In volleyball, her knack for blocking the opponent’s slams created some unprecedented statistics, a trend which held true in college as she led the Nebraska volleyball team in blocks four consecutive years. In college, she was twice as All-American and the college player of the year in 1986. She completed her athletic career with success in professional volleyball.
Karen Dahlgren played a key roll in Nebraska’s 1986 national runner-up finish. A two-time All-American, Dahlgren was honored as a Honda-Broderick Award winner in 1986 after being named to the GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-America team three straight years. She is also Nebraska’s only player to be named all-conference all four years. One of the best blockers in school history, Dahlgren holds school records for solo blocks in three- and four-game matches. She also holds the top two single-season solo block marks as well as NU’s career solo block record. She ranks third on the all-time total blocks chart with 550. The Bertrand native is also second in school history with a career hitting percentage of .386. She is the only player to lead the Huskers in a statistical category (blocks) all four years. She also led the team in hitting percentage for three years.