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Madi Kubik lays the foundation for Big Ten volleyball 

Madi Kubik lays the foundation for Big Ten volleyball 
Nebraska junior Madi Kubik led the NCAA Tournament field with 77 kills across six different games, securing her spot as one of the best players in the entire country. (Credit: Nikos Frazier | Journal & Courier, Lafayette Journal & Courier via Imagn Content Services, LLC)

LINCOLN, Neb. (BVM) — Junior Madi Kubik capped off a historic year for the Nebraska volleyball program, not just with an appearance at the national championship game, but for her season statistics.  During the postseason, Kubik led the NCAA Tournament field with 77 kills across six different games (22 sets), securing her spot as one of the best players in the entire country. 

At the prep level, Kubik led Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa to a 41-4 record and made it to the Class 5A state semifinals as a senior in 2018 with 5.16 kills per set while having an above average .382 hitting percentage. She went on to compete on the U.S. Junior National Team, winning the gold medal at the 2018 NORDECA Women’s U20 Continental Championship while recording nine kills and two blocks in the championship match against the Dominican Republic. She was named the Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year and Class 5A Player of the Year in 2017 and followed by being named an Under Armour first team All-American in 2018. 

After all those accomplishments throughout four years of high school volleyball, Prep Volleyball ranked Kubik the No. 4 overall prospect in the nation going into her senior summer. Teams across the country were keeping their eyes on Kubik as she displayed a level of domination rarely seen in such a brief time span. 

Head coach John Cook offered Kubik a full ride scholarship to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which Kubik accepted, and the next year in 2019 she would be a redshirt freshman leading the front line of the championship winning Huskers.  

Kubik’s presence and work ethic made waves in Big 10 Conference volleyball right from the start. At the end of her freshman season, she earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association All-North Region and North Region freshman of the year and was also named VolleyballMag.com freshman of the year. She was named all-Big 10 second team, the all-Big 10 freshman team and named the Big 10 freshman of the year, all in her first season at Nebraska. She averaged 2.73 kills per set and 2.52 digs per set while starting all 33 matches on the Nebraska schedule.  

During 2020, half the season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Kubik still managed to leave her mark on the Big 10 that season. She averaged 2.85 kills and 2.38 digs per set in all 19 matches played on the Nebraska schedule, she also received he second consecutive AVCA All-American honorable mention with her 13 aces and 25 blocks on the shortened season.  

After UNL was cleared to play once again, Kubik exploded into the spotlight this past season. She was recognized for third team AVCA All-America, first team AVCA North All-Region and first-team All-Big 10 Honors. Kubik started in all 34 matches on the schedule, leading the team with 3.49 kills per set along with 2.11 digs per set and 21 aces and 55 blocks on the season. She led the Huskers in kills in 25 matches while finishing in double figures 25 times.

Madi Kubik Nebraska Cornhuskers volleyball vertical
Kubik started in all 34 matches on the schedule, leading the team with 3.49 kills per set along with 2.11 digs per set and 21 aces and 55 blocks on the season. (Credit: Nikos Frazier | Journal & Courier, Lafayette Journal & Courier via Imagn Content Services, LLC)

The Huskers came second in the Big 10 in the 2021 season with an overall record of 26-8, putting them in the NCAA volleyball tournament. The Huskers and Kubik alike stormed through the bracket, only dropping two sets to No. 2 Texas and No. 3 Pittsburgh. Kubik notched a season-high three aces against Pittsburgh in the national semifinal as well as tying her season high of 19 kills and 14 digs against No. 4 Wisconsin, which the Huskers ultimately lost 3-2. 

Entering the 2022 season, Kubik looks to take her place atop the Big 10 once more. The Huskers gained much needed experience in the postseason tournament field since most of them are underclassmen and they also worked with their new back support in Lexi Rodriguez. The Huskers will look for different opportunities heading into the late fall this year, hoping to get revenge on their rival Big 10 opponent Wisconsin.