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New Faces look for similar results

UNK Volleyball Team

The screams and shouts of the Harding Bison still bring back nightmares for UNK fans and players alike almost a year after the shocking loss in the NCAA Regionals first round. In 2019 the Lopers look to put 2018’s ending behind them, but they will need help from new faces.

“Our expectations are always to be a contender again and be competitive at the national level, UNK Coach Rick Squiers said.” “We have some holes to fill obviously losing four starters, but I think our players are looking forward to the challenge.”

One player joining this year’s team after redshirting a season ago is setter Maddie Squiers. In two seasons at Bellevue University she was a back to back NAIA All American.

She looks to set up the two returning starters from last season Julianne Jackson and sister Anna Squiers.

This year Unk is going for a four peat as MIAA regular season and tournament champions.

They come into the season as underdogs to Washburn University. The Ichabods a season ago nearly won the MIAA regular season championship but lost two out of three matches to end the season to open the door for UNK to win it’s third straight title.

“I would say Washburn is picked to win the MIAA because they return a lot of starters and return fire power from a team that went to the Elite Eight a season ago,” said Squiers.

The good news for the Lopers is they look to have lots of hard hitting from their outside hitters and blockers this season. This was put on display against Wyoming on August 24 in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

“We have more collective firepower this season as far as the number of attackers and different options.” “Last season we had to play without Sami Mauch who was one of our top incoming recruits due to a knee injury.” “We are trying to see her get back into the fold,” said Squiers.

UNK knocked off the Division 1 Cowgirls in four sets 25-23, 25-19, 23-25, and 25-22. A huge feat, especially since Wyoming is projected to finish second in the Mountain West Conference this season.

The big difference for the Lopers in the victory were the six aces they had. Three of them came from Maddie Squiers and two from Mary Katherine Wolfe.

The Lopers kick off the regular season September 6 against Adams State at 12 p.m. in the Loper Preseason Invite. Throughout the two-day tournament they will also play Findlay University, Oklahoma Baptist, and Augustana University.

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