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UNK Volleyball stays undefeated, wins Fall Classic

Maddi Squiers and Michaela Bartels go for a block at the net against Rockhurst. The Lopers won three sets to one

Jill-Sillina Mews

The UNK women’s volleyball team secured its second tournament win of the season in the Rosella Meier UNK Fall Classic Sept. 14-15. They improved to 9-0 on the season after Saturday nights victory. 

The No.8 rated team in the Division II AVCA rankings started Friday with a convincing 3-0 win over the University of Mary with scores of 25-16, 25-10 and 25-13. 

The Lopers were able to continue this strong play in the second game of the day against Arkansas Tech. They were the superior team and shut out the Golden Suns in three sets by scores of 25-14, 25-17 and 25-18. 

“We play opponent by opponent,” said Mary Katherine Wolfe, a UNK outside hitter. “Tomorrow will be a different story.” 

UNK started Saturday full of energy, willpower, and fighting spirit. The Lopers knocked off  New Mexico Highlands in straight sets 25-9, 25-6 and 25-8. 

Impressively, UNK finished the match with 42 kills compared to 11 for the Cowgirls. 

In the last game, the Lopers faced their toughest opponent of the tournament and received their first test this season when they faced No. 17 Rockhurst University. 

Both teams started strong in the match. UNK held narrow leads most of the time and eventually won set one 25-23. 

The second go-around was a long battle that was very close. The Hawks were in control at the end of the set, and as a result won 26-28. 

Libero Lindsay Nottlemann waits for a serve against Rockhurst

UNK answered back, taking a 24-10 lead in set three. The Lopers spread the ball around well on offense, winning the third set 25-14 on a Rockhurst attack error.

In the fourth, UNK powered through to win 25-22 and closed out the match with a 3-1 victory to remain unbeaten. 

“Anytime you win against Rockhurst you know you earned it,” said UNK coach Rich Squiers. “I am very proud of our girls for this battle. I thought that one was a match where we maybe did not play as clean as we would have liked and we had a lot of trouble getting things going offensively but we showed some grit and sometimes you got to do that so hopefully that is a sign of good things ahead.”

The Lopers did an excellent job of limiting the Hawks offense. This was thanks to an inspired defensive effort. 

“I am really proud,” said UNK libero Lindsay Nottlemann. “After playing four games this weekend it‘s hard to come in and give everything. Everyone has been tired but we played hard and won that game. The match against Rockhurst was definitely our toughest one. They have really good hitters and defensively, I thought we did really good picking up balls in the back row and our offense was very aggressive. It was good to play against a team that has that much talent.”

Emporia State and No.4 Washburn are next on the schedule for the Lopers. The matches are on Friday, Sept. 20 and Saturday, Sept. 21 in Kansas. UNK volleyball faces Newman University at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27 at the Health and Sports Center.

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