Kearney, Neb. – The fifth-ranked Nebraska Kearney volleyball team served up seven aces and got 10 kills and five blocks from senior middle Tara Ziegelbein to sweep Pittsburg State (-22, -11, -21) Friday night in Kansas.
UNK is now 15-1 (4-0) while the Gorillas fall to 3-13 (0-4).
The match featured 17 ties and eight lead changes with the Lopers having just five more kills, 35-30, than Pitt. Kearney was plus 10 in the serve game as the Gorillas had 10 errors and only one ace.
The Lopers hit .465 (12-2-22) to roll in the second set but had to fight hard in the other two. In the first set, UNK closed on a 4-1 run that was highlighted by a block from Ziegelbein (Lincoln Lutheran) and sophomore right side Julianne Jackson (Bonner Springs, Kan.). In the final set, UNK was ahead 22-17 but committed an unforced attack error. However, Pitt followed with three of its service errors.
Ziegelbein reached her match-high kill total in 16 swings (.500 pct.) with all five of blocks being of the assisted variety. From the outside, Omaha freshman Madi Stearnes got the start and tallied six kills and two blocks with Jackson providing five digs, three kills and that key first set block.
Next, Grand Island sophomore middle Mackenzie Puckett had five kills and hit .400 with Papillion junior libero Ellie McDonnell digging up a match-high 13 balls. Finally, Ziegelbein and McDonnell both had two aces.
Pitt saw Noelle Dooley have nine kills, two blocks and hit .467.
UNK is at ninth-ranked Central Oklahoma (17-1, 4-0) on Saturday night.