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The Antelope

UNK volleyball caps a perfect season

Photo by Kosuke Yoshii UNK bench celebrates a point in the march on Oct. 8 against Fort Hays State. UNK won the match 3-0. Photo by Kosuke Yoshii


        The second-ranked UNK volleyball team secured the 2019 MIAA regular-season title. With a win over Missouri Southern and Pittsburg State, the Lopers also completed their second-ever undefeated regular season.

        “It has been an incredible season,” said junior Monique Schafer. “This team is just insane.”

       On Friday night the Lopers started strong with a two-sets lead (25-15, 25-17) against Missouri Southern at the Health and Sports Center. Afterward, the Lions became more aggressive and did not make things easy for UNK. The Lopers had a little trouble with closing out the match and were in a back-and-forth tussle with Missouri Southern in the third go-around. In the end, UNK played cleaner and found a way to turn the momentum into points. The Lopers stretched a one-point lead to six to win the set 25-17.

        The UNK women finished the match with 44 kills and a .238 hitting percentage compared to 30 kills and a .071 hitting percentage for Missouri Southern.

        “We started to finish pretty well,” said Rich Squiers, UNK women’s volleyball coach. “I think we were clean most of the game. Missouri Southern played very well too. At this point in the season everyone is coming out to battle but we did close the deal.”

        In the regular-season finale, UNK faced Pittsburg State on Saturday night at the Health and Sports Center. The Lopers started strong and pulled out a dominant 25-14 first-set. They kept serving aggressively in the second go-around, winning 25-21 for a 2-0 match lead.

In set three, UNK struggled offensively. The Gorillas took control with a 15-6 lead to finish the set 25-20. The next set ended in a similar fashion. The Lopers could not find a way to outmatch their opponent who won the set 25-23 to tie the match at 2-2.

        After hitting below .200 in the third and fourth sets, the Lopers bounced back to tally a .269 mark in the fifth and closed out the match 15-8 to earn a 3-2 win over Pittsburg.

        “We started having trouble in service with one server and then all of the sudden it really just shifted our confidence a little bit,” Squiers said. “We never really came out until the halfway through the fourth set. That was a little bit too late. Pittsburg was on a roll and we tried not to lose and then it was really hard from that point forward. But I am very proud of the team, no question.”              

        The Lopers are the top seed in the 2019 MIAA Tournament. They will face Missouri Southern at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov.21. at the Hy-Vee Arena in Kansas City, Missouri. UNK (30-0) has won this event each of the past three seasons with all nine wins coming at the Health and Sports Center. The winner of the MIAA Tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

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