The Student News Site of University of Nebraska at Kearney

The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

Volleyball makes memorable season

Volleyball posing with MIAA championship trophy


Family, consistency, and resiliency are three ways to describe the 2018 UNK women’s volleyball team.

Coming into the season the Lopers had experience returning but lost a key performer in middle blocker Tara Ziegelbein to graduation. The Lincoln native was a four-year starter for UNK and a three-time All-American.

The loss of Ziegelbein and a lofty No. 3 preseason ranking didn’t faze UNK. To start the season, the Lopers went 12-0, winning the Cougar Classic in California, the UNK Fall Classic, and the California Vulcan Invite. During this time, they captured the No. 1 ranking in the country as well.

Tough five-set matches were another characteristic that defined the Lopers season. UNK was taken to the fifth set eight times in the regular season. In those matches, the Lopers were a perfect 8-0.

In conference play, Washburn was the only school to take down UNK. They defeated the Lopers at home, as well as away, at Buckle Court.

The second loss put the Ichabods in a position to win the regular season championship. To even have a shot at the regular season title, the Lopers had to win out and get help                     from Washburn.

UNK did just that, winning two five-set matches against Pittsburg State and Northwest Missouri State along the way. Washburn dropped two of three matches to end the season, making UNK MIAA regular season champions for the third straight year. In the conference tournament championship, the Lopers avenged their losses to the Ichabods, by winning yet another five-set match to claim the MIAA Conference Championship.

The fifth set magic ran out for UNK in the NCAA Regionals against Harding University. The Bison knocked off the Lopers 2-3, winning set          five 15-9.

Accomplishments on the season include being MIAA regular season and conference champions, as well as making the NCAA tournament for the 20th straight year.

Senior libero Ellie McDonnell was named a second-team All-American. She was also a first-team MIAA selection along with Lindsey Smith, and Julianne Jackson. Second Team MIAA selections were Mary Katherine Wolfe, Kendall Schroer, and           Anna Squiers.

Coming into next season UNK will have gaps to fill as they lose, libero McDonnell, middle blocker Schroer, and setter Smith. The Lopers look to be competitive in 2019 and aim for their fourth consecutive MIAA regular season championship as well as their 21st consecutive NCAA        tournament appearance.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Antelope

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Nebraska at Kearney . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Antelope

Comments (0)

All The Antelope Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *