KEARNEY – The third-ranked Nebraska-Kearney volleyball team scored the first eight points of the night and senior libero Ellie McDonnell set a new career dig record as the Lopers swept Missouri Southern State (-10, -16, -14) Friday at the Health & Sports Center.
UNK (23-1, 9-1) wins a 10th straight match and pushes its home court winning streak to 64 in a row. Meanwhile, the Lions fall to 2-18 (2-8).
Holding an opponent to a negative hitting efficiency (-.021) for the sixth time this fall, UNK needed just over an hour to win again. The Lopers managed 44 kills to MSSU’s 19 while serving up four aces.
McDonnell (Papillion-LaVista) came in needing seven digs to reach 2,100 in her career. She had three in the first set and managed the record breaker as the second set was winding down. Junior setter Kylee Kaaihue tried to dump one over the net but McDonnell was there to dig it up. That effort led to a kill by sophomore outside Madison Stearnes (Madison South) and a 23-15 Loper lead.
Grand Island native Liz McGowan set the previous dig record of 2,099 from 2011-2014. The only other Lopers to have over 2,000 digs are Angie Usher (’95/2,058) and Kelli Wemhoff (’09/2,042). McDonnell finished the match with a team-high 12 to push her career total to 2,105.
Hitting .297, UNK’s balanced offensive attack was led by Ogallala senior outside Kendall Schroer who had 10 kills and hit .304. Seven others registered at least one kill including Omaha sophomore right side Mary Katherine Wolfe (five) and Kansas junior outside Julianne Jackson (eight). Wolfe added nine digs, five assists and a block assists. Finally, Jackson served up two aces.
Mo Southern was led by sophomore libero Morgan Nash (17 digs) and junior outside Bridgette Jaeger (eight kills and five digs).
The Lopers host Southwest Baptist tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m.