University of Nebraska Kearney Lopers logo.

UNK Volleyball: Lopers fall at NW Missouri in four sets

University of Nebraska Kearney Lopers logo.

The 12th-ranked Northwest Missouri State Bearcats recorded 18 blocks and had four players with a double digit kill total to down 8th-ranked Nebraska Kearney in four sets (-20, 19-25, -18, -22) Saturday evening in Maryville, Mo.

The Bearcats, who slipped past Fort Hays State in five sets on Friday night, are now in sole possession of first place in the MIAA (21-5, 15-3). UNK falls to 24-4 (14-4) with one week of the regular season remaining.

UNK came in hitting .266 on the year and averaging 14.0 kills set. Today, the Northwest defense held the Lopers to a season-low .080 efficiency (49-33-201) as the Blue & Gold had 15 unforced attack errors in addition to those 18 stuffs.

In a match with no ties or lead changes, Northwest hit just .154 (55-25-195) but served up five aces and took the dig battle by one, 82-21. They got 12 kills from both junior right side Jaden Ferguson and sophomore outside Payton Kirchhoefer with sophomore middle Abby Brunssen adding 11 more and sophomore middle Avery Kemp at 10.

Kemp (.320) and Brunssen (.296) were both efficient with Kemp and grad transfer outside Kelly Wiedmann at nine blocks apiece. A total of six 'Cats had at least three stuffs on the day. In the backrow, libero Kyan Luhring had 20 digs with Kirchhoefer at 22.

UNK was paced by Kansas freshman outside Emilee Lane who had 12 kills, two solo blocks and hit a team-best .184. No other Loper cracked .130 with Wyoming outside Emersen Cyza (13), Kearney middle Bailee Sterling (seven) and Hastings outside CeCe Beahm (seven) combining for 27 kills. Defensively, Minden libero Jensen Rowse was at 22 digs with Lincoln right side Lauren Taubenheim adding 21 more. Finally, Sterling (five) and North Platte senior Peyton Neff (four) combined for nine blocks.

The Lopers host Pittsburg State (Thurs.) and Missouri Southern (Fri.) next Friday in the Health & Sports Center.