Kearney, Neb. – The fifth-ranked Nebraska-Kearney volleyball team finished off its East Coast trip with three more wins Saturday at the Merrimack College Invitational in North Andover, Mass.
The Lopers swept the host Merrimack Warriors (-14, -8, -8), East Stroudsburg, Pa. (-10, -13, -19) and Bentley, Mass. (-15, -9, -15) to go 6-0 for the week.
In the two-day tourney in suburban Boston, UNK head coach Rick Squiers never called timeout as his team posted a 5-0 mark. The Lopers (14-0) out hit the opposition by nearly 400 points (.340 to -.031) and averaged 13.2 kills, 12.9 digs and 2.7 blocks per set.
Facing Merrimack at 8:00 a.m. local time, the Lopers hit .419 and served up seven aces to beat the Warriors (1-13) for a second straight match.
Fifteen available Lopers made an appearance with Lincoln junior middle Tara Ziegelbein having seven kills in eight swings with no errors, good for a sparkling .875 efficiency. Omaha senior right side Annie Wolfe was right behind her with five kills and no errors in eight attempts. She also had three aces and four digs.
Finally, Colorado junior outside Ali Scheil had three kills and didn’t commit an error over two sets.
The ESU Warriors (8-5) put up a bit of a fight as they had 24 kills, 31 digs and 3.0 team blocks. However, UNK only trailed twice in the match as they hit .319 and dug up 45 balls.
Papillion sophomore libero Ellie McDonnell had a match-high 17 digs with Wolfe supplying nine and sophomore defensive specialist Morgan Stute (Kearney Catholic H.S.) having seven.
Once again in this tourney, no Loper reached double digits in kills but six had between five and nine. From the outside, Ogallala sophomore Kendall Schroer smashed nine home while committing just one error (.500).
Finally against the Bentley Falcons (2-10), UNK got a match-high 10 kills from Kansas freshman outside Julianne Jackson. Kearney hit a solid .324 and dug up 50 balls while only trailing during the first set.
Besides Jackson, Stute moved over to libero and had 18 digs with North Platte freshman middle Josie Cox having six blocks at the net.
On Tuesday, the Lopers start MIAA play when Fort Hays State comes to town.