COLUMBUS, Ohio–(NU Athletics Dec. 17)–Nebraska freshman Lexi Rodriguez’s awards haul continued Friday morning, as the libero was honored by the American Volleyball Coaches Association as the 2021 AVCA National Freshman of the Year.
Rodriguez is the first libero in AVCA history to earn the annual freshman superlative award.
She is just the second player in Husker program history to be named AVCA Freshman of the Year, joining four-time All-American Sarah Pavan (2004).
Earlier this week, Rodriguez was announced as a first-team AVCA All-American, becoming NU’s 49th first-team pick in program history. She is the second Husker freshman to earn first-team honors, keeping company alongside Pavan (2004).
Rodriguez’s inaugural campaign has seen her average 4.41 digs and 1.11 assists per set while adding 16 aces. She was previously tabbed AVCA North Region Freshman of the Year and also earned AVCA North All-Region honors, Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, first-team All-Big Ten and Big Ten All-Freshman Team recognition. The Sterling, Ill., native has totaled at least 15 digs in 18 matches and 20+ digs eight times. She has helped NU limit opposing teams to .147 hitting, which is the league low and ranks ninth nationally.
Nebraska will contend for its sixth NCAA title this Saturday, Dec. 18, facing Wisconsin in the championship match at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The 6:30 p.m. CT tilt will be televised on ESPN2.