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UNK wins fourth straight MIAA season title

UNK womens volleybal team poses with their regular season conference championsip trophy after their Nov. 9 game at Missouri Western State.
UNK womens volleybal team poses with their regular season conference championsip trophy after their Nov. 9 game at Missouri Western State.


The Loper volleyball team picked up two more wins on the road last week and secured a piece of the 2019 MIAA regular-season title. 2019 marks UNK’s fourth-straight season with at least a share of the regular season MIAA championship.

The Lopers defeated Fort Hays State in three sets and Missouri Western in four sets to extend their record to 28-0. 

Despite Fort Hays having just a 6-19 record, the Lions had played well before welcoming UNK. They took fourteenth-ranked Northwest Missouri State to four sets and ninth-ranked Central Missouri to four. They were no match for the Lopers, however. 

UNK won 25-12, 25-12, 25-17 for the three-set sweep. The Lopers had big performances from freshman outside hitter Kamryn Schuler (Gretna), who had a team-high 12 kills, sophomore libero Lindsay Nottlemann (Lincoln), who had a team-high 15 digs, junior setter Madison Squiers (Kearney), who had a team-high 33 assists, and senior outside hitter Julianne Jackson (Bonner Springs, Kan.), had 11 kills and nine digs.

Early in the opening set, Mary Katherine Wolfe (Omaha) reached the career milestone of 1,000 career digs. Mary Katherine joins her sister, Annie (1,214), as one of the few Lopers to reach the four-figure career dig mark. After defeating FHSU and Mo West, Mary Katherine now has 1,034 career digs.

It took four sets, but the Lopers dominated MWS 25-14, 23-25, 25-17, 25-18 in St. Joseph, Missouri on Saturday night. 

Both Jackson and Wolfe led the team with 13 kills on the night. Freshman Kamryn Shuler (Gretna) was right behind with 12. Wolfe once again led the team with digs, picking up a career-high 25, and Squiers tallied a team-high 48 assists.

“We played great defense and other than the second set didn’t make a lot of unforced errors,” said head coach Rick Squiers. “We competed very hard and played some great volleyball early and late. Exciting to think we can still get better.”

UNK is ranked first in the regional rankings. These rankings determine the 64 teams that make up the NCAA Tournament. They’ll be released the next two Wednesdays until the field is announced on Monday, Nov. 25.

At 28-0, the Lopers are ranked behind the only other remaining undefeated team in the nation, Cal State San Bernardino (22-0).

With two games remaining on the schedule, UNK has a chance to finish out the season undefeated for the first time since 2004, a season where they reached the Final Four with a record of 40-1. 

“Obviously we don’t want to lose but going undefeated isn’t really something we have talked about,” Jackson said. “We just try and take it one game at a time and focus on the opponent ahead.”

UNK hosts Missouri Southern at 6 p.m. Friday and Pittsburg State at 5 p.m.  Saturday at the Health and Sports Center.

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