Lopers Win over Hastings College

Lopers Win over Hastings College
September 20th, 2021 | Peter Yazvac

Kearney, Neb. – The now fourth-ranked Nebraska-Kearney volleyball team hit .308 and got kills from seven different players to sweep Hastings College (-19, -21, -13) Monday night at the Health & Sports Center.

UNK improves to 10-1 while the Broncos remain at 11-6 as this was an exhibition match per NAIA rules. The Lopers also move to 52-8-1 all-time against their longtime rivals.

To rebound from a four-set loss to now number one Washburn on Saturday, the Lopers registered at least 13 kills in each set, dug up 11 more balls than the Broncos and were plus three in the serve game. However, Hastings hung around as they got 10 kills apiece from Sydney Mullin and Emily Krolikowski and recorded eight team blocks.

“The match and the numbers lined up pretty well … we had to fight really hard to get away from them. Offensively, they passed well enough to run that quick stuff and had two or three hitters we never really solved,” UNK head coach Rick Squiers said. “Credit to them. They frustrated us a lot … it was a lot bad block touches on our part. We couldn’t get them on the run enough.”  

There were 10 ties and four lead changes with things really going back and forth in the second set. UNK broke a 14-14 tie thanks to a 7-3 run that featured four unforced Broncos errors and kills from three different players.

Kearney amassed 21 of its 49 kills in the final set led by six from Alliance sophomore outside Emersen Cyza and five from Kearney senior middle Anna Squiers. The Lopers jumped out to leads of 4-1, 13-7 and 20-13 with Hastings having four attack and three block errors in this set.

Squiers paced the UNK attack with 13 kills and a .435 attack efficiency with Oklahoma senior outside Hayley Daniel at 10 kills and a .280 hitting percentage. Next, Cyza had nine kills in two sets with Lincoln redshirt freshman right side Lauren Taubenheim at six kills, five digs and three blocks.

“We wanted to get Hayley on the floor for some action because she hasn’t had an opportunity to play a full match. She just got cleared a week or so ago and that was on the agenda,” Squiers said. “We also wanted to see Lauren get some reps as an attacker. I thought both of them handled the situation pretty well, at least offensively.”

Finally for the Lopers, senior setter Madison Squiers was at 17 digs, 39 assists and four digs. On the Hastings side, Mullin hit .500 with setter/hitter Makenna Asher at .263.

“This is a nice Nebraska talent showcase. A lot of the players know each other,” Squiers said. “And I’m also aware of the NAIA (UNK-Hastings) rivalry days.”


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