HUSKER VOLLEYBALL: Rodriguez, Caffey and Kubik Named AVCA All-Americans

LINCOLN–(NU Athletics Dec. 15)–Three Nebraska volleyball players were selected to the 2021 American Volleyball Coaches Association All-America Team, the AVCA announced Wednesday. Lexi Rodriguez picked up first-team All-America honors, Kayla Caffey nabbed second-team recognition, and Madi Kubik earned third-team status. Additionally, Nicklin Hames garnered All-America Honorable Mention.

The Huskers’ three AVCA All-America selections boosted NU’s total to a nation-leading 98 certificates all-time. A nation-best total of 50 players have combined for the Huskers’ 98 awards in school history. The Nebraska volleyball program has had multiple All-Americans seven years straight.

Rodriguez is NU’s 49th first-team All-American and the AVCA’s first freshman first-team selection since Wisconsin’s Dana Rettke in 2017. She is just the third NU freshman to earn All-America honors, joining Sarah Pavan (2004) and Kadie Rolfzen (2013). Rodriguez and Pavan are the only two freshmen in Husker history to grab first-team recognition.

Rodriguez’s inaugural campaign as NU’s libero has seen her average 4.45 digs and 1.13 assists per set while adding 16 aces. She has brought in a slew of awards this season, earning AVCA North Region Freshman of the Year and AVCA North All-Region honors, Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, first-team All-Big Ten and Big Ten All-Freshman Team plaudits. The Sterling, Ill., native totaled at least 15 digs in 18 matches and has totaled 20+ digs eight times. She has helped NU limit opposing teams to .144 hitting, which is the league low and ranks eighth nationally.

Caffey followed up AVCA North All-Region recognition last week with second-team All-America honors for the first time in her career. The middle blocker has averaged 2.37 kills and 1.13 blocks per set while hitting a team-leading .376 in her senior season. The Chicago, Ill., native ranks fifth in the Big Ten for attack percentage, owns eight double-digit kill performances and has hit .400 or better 12 times.

Kubik, an outside hitter, previously earned All-America Honorable Mention as a freshman (2019) and sophomore (2020). Her junior season has included first-team All-Big Ten and AVCA North All-Region awards, and she has averaged 3.49 kills and 2.09 digs per set while adding 18 aces and 51 blocks. The West Des Moines, Iowa, native has led the Huskers in kills in 23 matches and finished in double figures 23 times. She was named to last week’s NCAA Austin Regional All-Tournament Team.

Hames was previously a second-team All-American in 2020 and honorable mention in 2018 and 2019. The Maryville, Tenn., native has earned three straight All-Big Ten and North All-Region nods and has averaged 10.71 assists, 3.35 digs, 0.46 blocks and 0.30 aces per set as a senior. In setting NU to its second NCAA Semifinal appearance of her four-year career, she has tallied 22 double-doubles. Hames was named to the NCAA Austin Regional All-Tournament Team and selected the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player last week.

No. 10 Nebraska takes on No. 3 Pitt in the NCAA Semifinal this Thursday, Dec. 16. First serve is set for 8:30 p.m. CT at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, and the match will be covered on ESPN.