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The Antelope

Volleyball struggles, soccer wins and more Loper athletics

Cordelia Harbison boosts a celebrating Lexi Stephens during the Lopers’ 3-1 victory over Washburn. The win was UNK’s first over the Ichabods since 2019. Photo by Shelby Berglund / Antelope Staff


Loper volleyball started the week off with a bang, defeating rival Washburn, 3-1, for the first time since UNK’s national runner-up season in 2019. After that, they faltered, dropping two straight on the road to #19 Central Oklahoma and Pittsburg State. The Lopers are now 21-3 on the year. 


After a rough showing last weekend, the Loper soccer team was able to get back on track this weekend, going 1-1. They dropped their road contest at Central Missouri 5-0 on Friday but were able to bounce back with a 2-1 victory over Missouri Southern on Sunday. Kearney native Gracie Perez got the Lopers on the board with her first career goal in the 64th minute off a dual assist from Katie Pagel and Aspen Brandich. Missouri Southern answered back in the 73rd minute, but the Lopers quickly responded with another goal in the 76th minute from Aspen Brandich off an assist from Cammie Davis. The 3-11-2 Lopers are back at home this weekend to take on Emporia State Friday at 2 p.m. and rival Fort Hays State on Sunday at 2 p.m. The Lopers are ninth in the MIAA and the top eight teams make the MIAA tournament that begins Friday Nov. 3. 

Swimming and Diving

The Loper swimming and diving team was in Pueblo, Colorado, for the CSU-Pueblo Triangular. The meet included UNK, CSU-Pueblo and Western Colorado. The Lopers would fall to CSU-Pueblo 244-164 and also fell to Western Colorado, 341.50-84.50. Sophomore diver Shayann Parlier won the 3-meter board and was the runner-up in the 1-meter board. Junior Karley Bennett and sophomore Maggie Waddington also had runner-up finshes in the 100-butterfly and 50-freestyle, respectively. The Loper’s next event is their home invitational at Kearney High on Nov. 3-4.

Cross Country

Both the UNK men’s and women’s cross-country teams finished fifth at the MIAA championships Friday in Columbia, Missouri. For the men, All-MIAA honors would go to Nick Abdalla and Brett Schoenhofer. For the women, Jordan Soto-Stopak and Grace Bonsall would earn All-MIAA finishes as well. The Lopers will be in action next at the NCAA Central Regional on Nov. 4 in Joplin, Missouri. 


Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams wrapped up their fall season in Topeka, Kansas, at the Washburn invite. On the women’s side, junior Masha Houtaka went 3-0 in her singles and doubles matches, where she was paired with senior teammate Jazmin Zamorano. Seniors Melissa Becerra and Narindra Ranavio would reach the “A/Blue” doubles finals, Ranavio and freshman Fabiana Gamboa would reach the “B/Red” singles finals and junior Alexis Berthal finished 3-0 in the “C/East” singles. For the men, freshmen Ahmed Abdelaziz and Tom van den Dungen made it to the “E/Orange” singles finals. Fellow freshmen Jip Mens and Andy Brisdon both finished 2-1 in the “C/Green” singles draw. Mens and van den Dungen also both picked up a win in doubles. The Loper tennis teams will now be off for the rest of the fall and will resume competition in February. 

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Traeton Harimon
Traeton Harimon, Sports Editor
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