The AVCA released its All-America teams on Wednesday morning and four Huskers earned recognition for the 2019 season.
Junior middle blocker Lauren Stivrins was named to the second team, junior outside hitter Lexi Sun was a third-team pick and sophomore setter Nicklin Hames and freshman outside hitter Madi Kubik were both honorable mention selections.
The pair of All-Americans boosts Nebraska’s total to 92 all-time, second in the NCAA, and gives Nebraska multiple All-Americans for the fifth straight season. Among the 42 All-American selections, 13 were from the Big Ten. The Pac-12 was second with 12.
Stivrins earned All-America recognition for the second straight year after averaging 2.55 kills per set on .374 hitting and 1.07 blocks per set including a team-high 17 solo stuffs. She posted back-to-back matches with 17 kills on .394 hitting and 18 kills on .361 hitting in late October. In total, she had 13 matches with double-digit kills and she also hit over .400 13 times with a high of .727. She recorded five or more blocks 11 times with a high of eight (set twice).
The junior from Scottsdale, Arizona, was a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection after upping her attack numbers to 2.71 kills per set on .415 hitting in league play. She was named to the All-Big Ten first team in 2018 as well and was a first-team All-American last year.
Sun made a big leap in her second season in Lincoln, averaging a team-high 3.57 kills per set on .270 hitting, 2.45 digs per set and 6.2 blocks per set with 25 aces, second on the team. She recorded double-digit kills in 27 of her 33 matches and had 10 double-doubles.
She was an All-Big Ten first team selection as well, averaging 3.53 kills per set (eighth in the league) on .278 hitting and 2.44 digs per set in conference play. As a freshman at Texas in 2017, the native of Encinitas, California, was named an honorable mention All-American.
Hames led the Huskers to a .267 hitting percentage this season, averaging 10.89 assists and 2.87 digs per set and serving a team-high 26 aces. She led the Huskers with 16 double-doubles. She dished out a season-high 58 assists and notched 11 digs in Nebraska’s Big Ten-opening five-set win over Illinois. She also recorded a season-high 22 digs to go with 54 assists and four blocks in a five-set win over Penn State.
Hames joined Stivrins and Sun on the All-Big Ten first team, guiding the Huskers to a .284 hitting percentage in league play, second behind only Wisconsin, while dishing out 11.37 assists per set. As a freshman, Hames was also an honorable mention All-American.
Kubik stepped into a six-rotation role from day one, replacing one of the best hitters in program history in Mikaela Foecke, and she got better and better as the season went on. Kubik averaged 2.73 kills per set on .218 hitting and 2.52 digs per set. She recorded six double-doubles, 15 matches with double-digit kills and 13 matches with double-digit digs. She had a season-high 22 kills on .314 hitting in a four-set win over Purdue and 20 kills on .296 hitting with 17 digs in a five-set win at Minnesota.
Kubik was named the AVCA North Region Freshman of the Year. She was also a second-team All-Big Ten and All-Freshman team selection and was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. She boosted her attacking numbers to 2.96 kills per set on .241 hitting in conference play, and they were even better than that down the stretch.
All four Huskers were named to the AVCA All-North Region Team, making them eligible for All-America honors.
The Huskers, without a single senior on the roster, went 28-5 this season, finishing in a tie for second in the Big Ten with a 17-3 record and advancing to the regional finals in the NCAA Tournament before falling to Wisconsin.
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.