Kearney, Neb. – The fourth-ranked Nebraska-Kearney volleyball team had a couple of miraculous rallies in the first and third sets to sweep Lindenwood (-26, -23, -25) Friday night in St. Charles, Mo.
The Lopers (21-1, 7-1) push its win streak to nine in a row and remain a match behind Washburn (20-0, 8-0) in the MIAA standings. Meanwhile, the Lions fall to 10-8 (2-6).
UNK was down 18-13 and 24-20 in the first set but managed to come back. Serving for the set, the Lions opened the door with an unforced attack error and then got aced by sophomore right side Mary Katherine Wolfe (Omaha Marian). A timeout didn’t help as the Loper run reached five straight thanks to two kills by senior outside Kendall Schroer (Ogallala) and another unforced Lion error.
Lindenwood fought off two set points, thanks to two kills, but UNK grabbed a 1-0 lead in the match after a kill by sophomore middle Josie Cox (North Platte) and an ace from junior outside Emma Benton (G.I. Central Catholic)
In set two UNK was up 23-20 before sophomore outside Alexa Pressley recorded back-to-back kills. After a Loper timeout, Schroer recorded one of her team-best 14 kills and then back-to-back service errors gave UNK a 2-0 match lead.
The match featured 20 ties and seven lead changes with the last tie coming at 25 all in the third set. UNK was down 24-22 but kills by sophomore middle Anna Squiers (Kearney Catholic) and junior outside Julianne Jackson (Bonner Springs, Kan.) squared things at 24. LWU countered with a kill of its own but then Squiers smashed home three straight to end the night.
Kearney finished with a slight advantage in kills, 48-43, was plus two in the service game and out hit the Lions, .288-214. Finally, LWU’s 10 service errors are the most by a UNK opponent to date.
Schroer reached her kill total in 39 swings (.231) with Squiers having 12 and no errors (.667). Next, Jackson got close to another double double (nine digs and nine kills) with Cox at seven kills and three blocks. Finally, Papillion senior libero Ellie McDonnell had a team-best 17 digs; she needs 27 on Saturday to become UNK’s all-time leader.
Lindenwood was led by Pressley (13 kills and five digs) and 6-2 sophomore middle Sadie Kosciuk (11 kills, .320 pct.). The Lopers face No. 16 Central Missouri (16-4, 6-2) Saturday at 2 p.m.