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Kayla Caffey plans return to Nebraska volleyball, but eligibility pending for next season

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Check out the 50 Husker volleyball players who have been named AVCA All-Americans.

LINCOLN — Kayla Caffey is coming back.

The senior middle blocker is enrolled in classes at Nebraska for the spring semester, which started Tuesday, and will participate in the Huskers’ beach season this spring.

However, her eligibility for the fall has not been finalized. According to Nebraska coach John Cook, NU is submitting a waiver for her to play this fall for her seventh season of college volleyball.

“This will take time,” Cook said via text message on Tuesday.

All athletes who enrolled during the 2020-21 season were granted an extra year of eligibility because of the COVID pandemic. After an additional waiver was granted to allow players to return for a super senior season in fall 2021 and not impact scholarship limits, all scholarships must count toward the max of 12 for the 2022 season.

The Chicago product redshirted her freshman year at Missouri in 2016. After earning SEC all-freshman honors in 2017, she missed the entire 2018 season with an injury and was awarded a medical redshirt. She played one more season at Missouri and earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education before transferring to Nebraska.

Caffey has competed in two seasons at Nebraska, both during the 2021 calendar year. She was named an AVCA All-American in the fall season after she averaged 1.11 blocks and 2.41 kills per set on a .363 hitting percentage. She led the team in hitting percentage and was second in blocks and kills per set.

She graduated in December with a master's degree in teaching, learning and teacher's education.

Nebraska returns one other middle blocker from its roster last season — junior Kalynn Meyer. The Huskers will also add Bekka Allick and Maggie Mendelson. Allick graduated early and also started classes Tuesday, while Mendelson reclassified up a year and will join the program in May. Freshman Rylee Gray, who redshirted last season, is no longer on the team.

Reyes gets raise

NU assistant Jaylen Reyes received a raise after he was named the Huskers’ lead assistant coach in December. Under his new contract, which was completed last week, Reyes will be paid $115,000 annually through the 2023 season, which is an increase of more than $23,000 from his previous base pay.

Kelly Hunter was promoted from volunteer coach to a full-time assistant coach this month and received a two-year contract that will pay her $85,000 per year.

Both assistants are eligible for bonuses based on how the Huskers perform on the court in both conference play and the postseason tournament.

As associate head coach, Tyler Hildebrand was paid $175,000 annually before he left to take the Long Beach State head coaching job.

Meyer to throw

Meyer will be pulling double duty this spring as she will compete with the NU track and field team, according to a report by the Lincoln Journal Star.

At Nebraska, she’d throw shot put during the indoor season and discus outdoors. Meyer could not complete in track during her freshman year because the volleyball season was moved to the spring and overlapped.

The junior middle blocker will have a busy schedule this semester. The Huskers volleyball team plays a short beach season before switching to a monthlong indoor season. Nebraska’s indoor track and field schedule started last weekend, while the outdoor season begins in late March.

Meyer holds the Nebraska state meet record with a discus throw of 176-8 while at Superior. She also has one of the top 10 prep performances in the shot put in state history. Her father, Andy, and sisters, Alex and Leah, also threw for the NU track and field team.

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