Four Huskers earned AVCA All-Region honors on Tuesday and will be eligible for All-America recognition.
Libero Lexi Rodriguez is the AVCA North Region Freshman of the Year while junior outside hitter Madi Kubik, senior setter Nicklin Hames and senior middle blocker Kayla Caffey joined her on the North Region team.
Rodriguez previously earned All-Big Ten First Team, Big Ten All-Freshman Team and Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors after averaging 4.48 digs per set for the best defensive team in the conference.
Rodriguez is the seventh Husker to earn AVCA Region Freshman of the Year, joining Madi Kubik (2019), Kadie Rolfzen (2013), Hannah Werth (2009), Jordan Larson (2005), Sarah Pavan (2004) and Greichaly Cepero (1999), and she is also the seventh freshman to earn a place on the all-region team, joining Kubik, Mikaela Foecke (2015), Rolfzen, Rachel Holloway (2006), Pavan and Jen McFadden (1993).
Kubik led the Huskers with 3.47 kills per set while adding 2.12 digs per set, 51 blocks and 17 aces. She earned all-region honors three years in a row and was an honorable mention All-American in 2019 and 2020.
Hames also earned her third straight all-region honor after averaging 10.7 assists, 3.36 digs and 0.31 aces per set for the Huskers. The three-time All-Big Ten setter recorded 20 double-doubles and is second in assists in program history (first during the rally scoring era).
This season is Caffey’s first all-region honor. She averaged 2.36 kills per set on a team-best .377 hitting and 1.12 blocks per set. Caffey’s inclusion is a departure from the Big Ten awards as the league’s coaches voted Lauren Stivrins to the First Team while excluding Caffey, likely a nod to Stivrins’ career and talent despite missing Nebraska’s entire nonconference slate and taking a step-back numbers-wise from last year following her offseason back surgery.
Minnesota outside hitter Stephanie, who won Big Ten Player of the Year the past two seasons, is the North Region Player of the Year. Illinois State’s Leah Johnson is the North Region Coach of the Year. Additionally, former Husker Dani Busboom Kelly is the East Region Coach of the Year after leading Louisville to an undefeated regular season and the overalll No. 1 seed int he NCAA Tournament.
The AVCA will announce its All-America teams on Dec. 15.
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.