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The Antelope

All-conference setter continues Loper family legacy

UNK+setter+Peyton+Neff+celebrates+during+the+Lopers+3-1+victory+over+Washburn.+Photo+by+Shelby+Berglund+%2F+Antelope+Staff
UNK setter Peyton Neff celebrates during the Loper’s 3-1 victory over Washburn. Photo by Shelby Berglund / Antelope Staff

berglunds@lopers.unk.edu

To Peyton Neff, a UNK volleyball redshirt sophomore, family is important, and sports are an everyday thing. Coming from a family full of athletes, she ended up following in her parents’ footsteps by coming to UNK as a student athlete.

Neff’s mother played basketball and her father played baseball for the Lopers. Her older sister played volleyball at Doane and her older cousin played volleyball at UNK. 

“I look up to them a lot,” Neff said. “They’ve been a huge part of my athletics throughout my whole life. I’m just glad I can represent the family by going to the same college that they came to.” 

During the recruiting process, her parents didn’t want to influence her decision. Once she chose UNK, they were excited because of the family history with the program, and it’s close to home, Neff said.

Neff earned the MIAA’s Setter of the Week Award in week one this season and again in week six. She was also first-team All-MIAA in 2022.

As a redshirt freshman, Neff maintained a 4.0 GPA while being the Lopers starting setter. She was second in the MIAA in assists per set and played 121 out of 124 sets. 

In a match against Central Missouri in 2022, Neff set a career high of 57 assists. 

She had 1,330 assists by the end of the season. 

Neff considers everyone on the team to be pretty close, but junior Asha Regier has been her roommate since their freshman year, and they’ve become closer. They met each other at a volleyball camp in high school. When they both committed to UNK, they decided they wanted to live together. 

“[Neff’s] super competitive, hardworking and will do anything for her team, and it really shows on the court,” Regier said. “Off the court, she has a super laid back and easy to get along with personality and she’s all around just fun to be around.” 

Neff loves playing volleyball with her teammates, but outside of sports, she enjoys spending time with family, watching movies and hanging out with her roommates.

Neff will be graduating this May with plans to attend UNK’s graduate program while finishing out her years of eligibility playing volleyball. She hopes to go into school psychology after graduation. 

“I think she’s probably the most well-respected teammate we have,” said UNK volleyball coach, Rick Squiers. “I would say she’s probably one of our best assets. She’s also a tremendous student and a well-rounded person. She finds the positive things in all her teammates and has a really disarming personality.”

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Shelby Berglund, Photography Editor
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