Kearney, Neb. – Senior outside hitter Kendall Schroer had five kills in the fifth set and sixth-ranked Nebraska-Kearney scored the final three points to slip past Pittsburg State (20-25, -16, -18, 15-25, -13) Saturday evening in Kansas.
The Lopers (28-2, 14-2) are now 11-1 on the road and an unprecedented 6-0 in five sets matches. Meanwhile, an improving Gorillas squad falls to 18-11 (7-9).
In a match with 26 ties and 12 lead changes, UNK found itself down 13-12 in fifth set after an unforced attack error. The back-and-forth set saw the Lopers grab a 12-10 lead but Pitt used a kill, block and that miscue to take its final lead. Head coach Rick Squiers then called timeout.
The short break worked as sophomore right side Mary Katherine Wolfe (Omaha Marian) had a kill, Pitt committed an unforced attack error and Wolfe recorded a solo block, her eighth one of the fall, to end the match.
A bit of a defensive struggle, the teams combined for 99 kills and 62 attack errors. Each squad had 13.0 team blocks with UNK having one more dig, 87-86. Finally, Pitt had 13 service errors compared to eight for the Lopers.
Schroer (Ogallala), thanks to that big final set, had a team-high 13 kills and a team-high .314 attack percentage. She gave UNK a 1-0 lead in the fifth and then back-to-back kills made it 9-7.
Next, junior middle Mackenzie Puckett (Grand Island) had nine kills and hit .273, sophomore right side Anna Squiers (Kearney Catholic) supplied seven blocks and seven kills with Wolfe at 14 digs, eight kills, five blocks, two assists and an ace.
Pitt also had a balanced attack and was led by senior right side Lauren Regier (19 kills, eight digs, seven blocks and two aces.).
UNK hosts Missouri Western State and Northwest Missouri State next weekend to finish up the regular season.