Amy Cayemberg, ’94, a former All-America performer in both volleyball and track and field at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, died Monday, Dec. 6, of head injuries she sustained in a two-car accident two days earlier.
According to Calumet County police reports, the 40-year-old Cayemberg was a passenger in a car that collided with another vehicle at the intersection of U.S. 10 and Wisconsin 57 near Forest Junction. She was pronounced brain-dead and removed from life support at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah, where she was flown after the crash.
Following graduation from Manitowoc Lincoln High School, Cayemberg enrolled at UW Oshkosh through the recruiting efforts of former head women’s volleyball coach Marty Petersen. Cayemberg went on to play volleyball for Petersen from 1988 to 1991 and participate in track and field for former UW Oshkosh head coach Deb Vercauteren in 1989 and from 1991 to 1993.
In volleyball, Cayemberg gained All-America mention in three of her four seasons, including the 1991 campaign when she helped the Titans to a 42-8 record, the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) championship and a visit to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Final Four. Cayemberg become the school’s first three-time women’s volleyball All-America selection that season after recording a .467 hitting percentage with 651 kills and 86 solo blocks.
Cayemberg helped UW Oshkosh to a 41-20 record in 1988 and a third-place finish in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) District 14 Playoffs. In 1989, Cayemberg helped the Titans to a 39-16 record and the NAIA District 14 title. She collected second-team honors on the 1989 NAIA All-America squad after hitting .380 with 551 kills, 82 service aces and 62 solo blocks.
In 1990, UW Oshkosh posted a 44-5 record, captured the WIAC title and finished ninth in the NCAA Division III Championship. Cayemberg received NCAA Division III All-America accolades that year after hitting .370 with 645 kills, 421 digs, 47 service aces and 36 solo blocks.
Cayemberg currently ranks first in WIAC history with 2,292 career kills and second with a .387 career hitting percentage.
“Amy was probably one of the best middle blockers in NCAA Division III history,” said Petersen. “She had a big heart and loved her family, friends and animals. She was never serious and always had a smile on her face. It was infectious to be around her.”
As a participant in indoor track and field, Cayemberg was a four-time NCAA Division III All-American in the high jump, three-time WIAC high jump champion and member of four WIAC championship teams. Outdoors, she was a four-time NCAA Division III All-American in the high jump, WIAC champion in both the high jump and triple jump, member of one NCAA Division III championship team and member of two WIAC championship squads.
Cayemberg’s impact in track and field was felt immediately as she helped the 1989 Titans to a pair of WIAC championships. Indoors, she captured the league’s high jump title while finishing fifth in the event at the NCAA Division III Championship. Outdoors, she won WIAC high jump and triple jump titles while placing fourth in the high jump at the NCAA Division III Championship.
In 1991, Cayemberg helped UW Oshkosh to a pair of WIAC titles and a first-place finish at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championship. Indoors, she won the WIAC high jump title while finishing sixth in the event at the NCAA Division III Championship. Outdoors, Cayemberg charted fifth in the high jump at the NCAA Division III Championship.
In 1992, Cayemberg assisted UW Oshkosh to the WIAC indoor championship after winning the league’s high jump title. She also finished third in the event at the NCAA Division III Championship. Outdoors, she placed second in the high jump with a school-record leap of 5-9 3/4 at the NCAA Division III Championship.
Cayemberg’s last track and field season, the 1993 campaign, resulted in another WIAC indoor championship for the Titans. Indoors, she placed sixth in the high jump at the NCAA Division III Championship. Outdoors, Cayemberg placed fifth in the high jump at the NCAA Division III Championship.
“Amy was a very gifted student-athlete,” Vercauteren said. “She achieved great things individually and helped our teams attain a tremendous level of success. Amy was a well-liked teammate and friend to many. She will be missed.”
From 2002-2005, the 1994 UW Oshkosh graduate served as the head girls’ volleyball coach at Manitowoc Roncalli High School. Her husband, Mark Steeber, was her assistant coach.
Cayemberg, a 2005 UW Oshkosh Hall of Fame inductee, is survived by her husband.
A memorial service for Cayemberg will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 10, at Saint Francis of Assisi (1418 Grand Ave.) in Manitowoc. Visitation is from 3 p.m. until the time of the service.