Kearney, Neb. – The third-ranked Nebraska Kearney volleyball team swept Hawaii Pacific (-18, -17, -20) and Seattle Pacific (-14, -19, -16) Saturday evening in Honolulu. These matches were part of the Hawaii Challenge and held at St. Andrew’s Priory.
Against tourney co-host HPU (0-2), the Lopers hit .418 and served up four aces to win in three sets. Lincoln junior middle blocker Tara Ziegelbein had one of the most efficient days in school history, hitting .765 (14-1-17), with Yutan junior outside Kaitlynn Thomas providing 11 kills. The Sharks hung around in each set but hit just .188 (35-16-101). The Lopers managed 2.0 team blocks and dug up 42 balls to stymie the HPU offense.
Besides Ziegelbein and Thomas, freshman right side Anna Squiers (Kearney Catholic) had seven kills and hit .462 and freshman middle Madison Stearnes (Millard South) provided four kills in seven swings. In the late match against the Falcons (2-2), UNK hit a solid .284 while serving up nine aces, blocking nine balls and having 31 digs.
A balanced attack saw Ogallala junior outside Kendall Schroer have nine kills and three digs with Ziegelbein at seven kills and five blocks. Next, freshman Mary Katherine Wolfe (Omaha Marian) had three of the aces with Papillion junior libero Ellie McDonnell at a team-high 10 digs. UNK faces eighth-ranked Lewis University (2-0) Sunday at 5:00 p.m. Central.