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Nicklin Hames will return to play for Nebraska, but may not be starting setter
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Nicklin Hames will return to play for Nebraska, but may not be starting setter

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Campbell vs. Nebraska, 12.3

Nebraska setter Nicklin Hames keeps the ball alive against Campbell in a first-round match in the NCAA Tournament on Dec. 3 at the Devaney Sports Center.

Nicklin Hames is taking the fifth year of college volleyball she’s been offered.

The four-year starting setter announced on social media Sunday morning that she’ll stay with the team and play for the Huskers next season.

Hames was a senior this past season but had the option to return due to the 2020 season not counting against eligibility.

In her announcement, Hames said she'll be back, but at a new position. Then in 2023, she plans to remain with the program as a graduate assistant coach.

The Maryville, Tennessee, product has been the starting setter for two NCAA runner-up teams, in 2018 and 2021. She earned second-team All-America honors in 2020 and was an honorable-mention All-American in 2021.

She ranks second in program history in career assists and is No. 7 in career digs.

While Hames is returning, it’s possible that she may not be the starting setter in 2022. Coach John Cook has shown several times in his career he’ll play the players who give Nebraska the best chance to win championships. This season returning All-America outside hitter Lexi Sun wasn’t a starter at the end of the season.

Kennedi Orr will be a sophomore setter for the Huskers next season. She was the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2021 recruiting class. Orr will have been in the program for 1½ years when next season begins and fully recovered from knee surgery she had in 2020.

Orr played in two matches this season when Hames was out with an injury.

Hames is one of the best back-row defensive players in program history, and she could play a defensive or serving specialist position if she isn’t the starting setter.

Nebraska had three seniors who were eligible to return. Middle blocker Callie Schwarzenbach entered her name in the NCAA transfer portal, and Kayla Caffey hasn’t yet made her decision.

Lauren Stivrins and Sun have each used up their eligibility.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7435 or On Twitter @LJSSportsWagner.


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Husker volleyball/women's basketball reporter

Brent has worked at the Journal Star for 14 years. His beats include Nebraska volleyball, women's basketball and high school soccer and cross country.

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