Kearney, Neb. – The Washburn Ichabods hit .233 and had nine more kills to upset top-ranked Nebraska-Kearney in four sets (-22, 17-25, -19, -23) Saturday afternoon in Topeka.
The ‘Bods improve to 14-0 (2-0) while the Lopers fall to 13-1 (1-1). UNK is now 1-3 in its last four trips to Lee Arena.
An expected tight match proved true as there were 23 ties and seven lead changes. Washburn came out on top thanks to a 63-54 advantage in kills, five more team blocks and a slightly higher attack percentage. UNK’s opponents entered the weekend hitting just above .100.
A balanced offensive WU attack had four players reach double figures in kills. Junior outside Erica Montgomery led with a match-high 18 while Omaha senior middle Makayla Maxwell added 13 and Allison Maxwell (no relation) provided 12 more. Makayla Maxwell also hit .545 and had seven blocks with Montgomery coming in at .326. Kearney Catholic graduate Shayla Conner provided 52 assists, 13 digs, four kills and two blocks.
The ‘Bods finished the first set on an 8-4 run that featured four kills by Montgomery. UNK never trailed in winning set two but fell behind 19-9 in the third before making a late push. A tight fourth set was like the first as the Lopers held a lead before the 18th point was scored. However, the ‘Bods closed the match on a 10-6 run.
Sophomore MK Wolfe (Omaha Marian) led Kearney with 15 kills, 11 digs, three assists and two aces. Next, senior outside Kendall Schroer (Ogallala) had 13 kills and hit .294 with junior outside Julianne Jackson (Bonner Springs, Kan.) at 12 digs and 11 kills. Finally, junior middle Mackenzie Puckett (Grand Island) had eight kills and no errors in 12 swings (.667). UNK hosts the Fort Hays State Tigers (6-8, 0-2) Tuesday at 6 p.m.