Freshman middle blocker Rylee Gray announced on Thursday that she is medically retiring from volleyball.
The Elkhorn South graduate redshirted this season and ends her career without getting a chance to play in a match. She did not participate in the Red-White Scrimmage back in August because of a shoulder issue. Gray will remain at Nebraska to finish her degree.
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Gray was part of the 2021 “Dream Team” recruiting class, one of three in-state products in the six-player class. The 6-foot-4 middle blocker was the 70th-ranked player nationally according to PrepVolleyball.com. She announced her commitment in July of 2018, choosing the Huskers over Stanford in part because she wanted to stay closer to home.
Gray led Elkhorn South to the school’s first Class A state championship as a senior, averaging 4.8 kills per set on .442 hitting and 1.2 blocks per set. She finished her standout career for the Storm with 1,383 kills, 476 blocks, a .423 hitting percentage and four state tournament appearances. Gray was also a force on the basketball court for Elkhorn South, averaging 9.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.3 blocks and 1.8 assists per game as a senior.
Gray’s retirement leaves the Huskers with three middle blockers for the 2022 season, pending Kayla Caffey’s eligibility ruling. Kalynn Meyer will be back after playing sparingly the past two seasons and John Cook’s 2022 recruiting class featured the top two middles in the country in Waverly product Bekka Allick (No. 2) and Fremont (Ogden, Utah) dual-sport star Maggie Mendelson (No. 4). Mendelson reclassified from 2023 and will play both volleyball and basketball at Nebraska. Caffey, who started the past two seasons after transferring from Missouri, is waiting on a ruling from the NCAA regarding a seventh season of eligibility. She redshirted in both 2016 and 2018 in Columbia.
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.