Lopers Roll Past Defending Region Champs

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TOPEKA, Kan. - The sixth-ranked Nebraska-Kearney volleyball team hit .276 and got a combined 24 kills from senior outside Julianne Jackson and junior right side Mary Katherine Wolfe to sweep third-ranked Washburn (-19, -19, -20) Saturday night in Topeka.

UNK improves to 11-0 while the Ichabods, defending Central Region Champions, fall to 9-1.

Earning its fourth win in Lee Arena since 2012, UNK overcome a hot start by Washburn to control most of the match. The Lopers got kills from seven different players, dug up 64 balls and managed nine team blocks to hold Washburn in check.

Jackson (Bonner Springs, Kan.) had another big outing, going for 12 kills, 15 digs, four blocks and a .306 hitting efficiency. Next, Wolfe (Omaha Marian) was at 12 kills, six digs and a .289 hitting percentage.

WU hit just .120 as it had 36 kills and 20 attack errors. Recording 61 digs, they jumped out to leads of 3-0, 6-1 and 8-2 in the first set but the Lopers came all the way back to grab a 20-17 advantage after a Jackson kill. Junior setter Madison Squiers (Kearney Catholic) ended the set with a kill and UNK barely trailed the rest of the match.

Besides Jackson and Wolfe, junior middle Anna Squiers (Kearney Catholic) had seven kills and hit .500, freshman outside Kamryn Shuler (Gretna) came off the bench to provide eight kills and a .438 efficiency and Squiers tallied 30 assists, a team-best 14 digs, three blocks, two kills and an ace.

UNK hosts MIAA newcomer Newman next Friday night and Central Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon.