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Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Senior Nicklin Hames to Return to Nebraska in New Role

January 09, 2022

Nicklin Hames is returning to Nebraska for her super senior year.

Her father, Jason Hames, broke the news — with her blessing — on the “If You Can’t Handle the Heat” podcast on the Out of System YouTube channel.

“She’ll be in a different position as well,” Jason Hames said. “I think in terms of her setting and what she’s done there, it’s like yeah, she can do that if that’s what’s necessary. But she had her time and I think Kennedi, it’s going to be her time in that role next year, probably, going in and Nicklin’s going to be there to help facilitate whatever needs to happen to make her the best she can be and for the team to be the best they can be, and if that means her playing a different position, which is what they’re looking at, then that’s what she’s going to do.

“And then it’s going to be a grad assistant year maybe the year after that where she then is a grad assistant, gets some coaching experience under a guy like Coach [John] Cook and Jaylen [Reyes] and kind of learning the ropes and the ins and outs from that side and then goes into coaching from there. I think that’s kind of what the plan looks like. I don’t know about what it looks like long-term for her playing; she hasn’t really even talked about that that much. But the coaching aspect seems to excite her.”

Nicklin confirmed the news herself on Twitter on Sunday morning.

Hames has spent the last four years as Nebraska’s starting setter, breaking the program’s rally scoring era record for career assists while leading the Huskers to two national runner-up finishes and two regional finals. Hames said late in the season that she had not yet made a decision about whether or not she wanted to take advantage of the extra season of eligibility and had not announced anything publicly prior to her father’s appearance on the podcast.

In addition to her 4,637 career assists, Hames has also racked up 1,362 digs and 114 aces in 432 sets as an elite defensive setter and one of Nebraska’s best servers, giving her other avenues beyond setting in which she can contribute. She’s also a three-year team captain.

Freshman Kennedi Orr, the top-ranked player in the 2021 recruiting class according to PrepVolleyball.com, started one match and played in two at the beginning of the 2021 season with Hames recovering from an ankle injury. Orr recorded 17 assists, 10 digs, two blocks and one kill in three sets against Colgate and then followed it up with 34 assists, 10 digs and a block against Kansas State while splitting time with walk-on Anni Evans.

Hames is one of three seniors who had a decision to make regarding the extra season of eligibility. Middle blocker Callie Schwarzenbach entered her name in the transfer portal while fellow middle blocker Kayla Caffey has yet to announce her decision.

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