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Huskers, Bluejays and Mavericks earn volleyball All-America honors

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Nebraska took out Texas 3-1 in Austin to return to the Final Four.

Nebraska libero Lexi Rodriguez was impossible to miss on the court since she wears a different color jersey than her teammates.

Rodriguez was also impossible to miss on the list of first-team All-Americans, released Wednesday by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

Rodriguez — who is from Sterling, Illinois, and will likely surpass 500 digs Thursday against Pittsburgh in the Final Four — was the only freshman on the 14-player first team, which included seven grad students, four seniors, two juniors and Rodriguez.

She headlines the list of local players garnering various All-America honors.

Nebraska middle blocker Kayla Caffey made the second team. Creighton outside hitter Norah Sis and Nebraska outside hitter Madi Kubik made the third team. Receiving honorable mention were UNO right-side hitter Sadie Limback, CU outside hitter Jaela Zimmerman, CU setter Kendra Wait and NU setter Nicklin Hames.

Sis and Rodriguez are two of three freshmen on the top three teams.

Rodriguez did her work trying to stop opposing hitters from making hay, as NU’s sparkling defense held teams to a .144 hitting percentage. She joins former Husker Sarah Pavan as the only NU freshmen to get first-team All-America honors.

Sis, a Papillion-La Vista graduate, spent her season dominating the Big East. Her 435 kills are 120 more than any other freshman in the nation and her third-team selection is tied for the highest honor any Bluejay has received. Zimmerman became an All-American for the second time.

At Nebraska, Caffey got her first All-America honor after hitting .376 from the middle blocker spot. Kubik, an honorable mention All-American the past two seasons, was third on the team this season with 3.49 kills per set. She became the go-to player on offense as NU developed freshmen Lindsay Krause and Ally Batenhorst, and middle blocker Lauren Stivrins returned from back surgery.

Limback, the Summit League player of the year, is the first Maverick in the Division I era to be recognized by the AVCA. She finished her career with 1,444 kills, including 415 this season.

Wait and Hames are all-around players known as much for defense as their work as setters. Wait, a freshman, ranked among the Big East’s top 20 in assists, blocks and digs. Hames, a second-team All-American during the spring 2021 season, had to battle through an early-season injury to help the Huskers return to the Final Four.


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