No. 13 Nebraska-Kearney Upsets No. 3 Truman


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KEARNEY, Neb. - The 13th-ranked Nebraska-Kearney volleyball team swept Upper Iowa Friday afternoon to give head coach Rick Squiers his 600th career win and then used three late surges to upset 3rd-ranked Truman State Friday night.

The matches were part of the UNK Fall Classic, presented by Runza & Holiday Inn.

Against the Upper Iowa Peacocks (-19, -15, -12), UNK hit .330 as a team as junior Nikki Scott and sophomore Kelsey Werner combined for 17 kills and no attack errors in 26 attempts.

A Werner ace ended the match and pushed Squiers' career record to 600-138. Now in his 18th year as a head volleyball coach, the Iowa native has recorded 293 wins at UNK, 206 at Hastings College, 73 at Remsen-St. Mary (Iowa) High School and 28 at Seward County Junior College (Kans).

Also this afternoon, Truman (5-1) kept itself unbeaten - for a few hours - by sweeping the University of Mary (-19, -17, -22).

The much anticipated Bulldog/Loper match was the final one of the day. In 2004, Truman ended UNK's season in the national semifinals, handing that Kearney squad it's only loss of the season (40-1). A year later in the national quarterfinals, the Lopers turned the tables and beat TSU in four games.

Truman was fast out of the gates this time, leading 14-9 in the first set and 7-2 in the second but UNK roared back to win both sets and grab a 2-0 match lead.

An 11-1 Loper run erased the ‘Dawgs lead in the first set as Werner and Walkowiak combined for three kills and then Werner and junior Kelli Wemhoff each served up an ace.

Truman didn't help itself during this stretch, having six unforced errors. Now ahead 20-15, UNK cruised to a 1-0 match lead as Scott closed things out with a kill.

In the second set, a kill by Walkowiak started a 9-2 Loper spurt that erased Truman's early advantage. The key run featured back-to-back kills, and a solo block, from Scott.

UNK didn't trail the rest of the way and went into the locker room with a 2-0 lead. The Lopers then began the third set with a block from Werner and Scott but Truman dominated the rest of the set, out scoring Kearney 25-8.

The Lopers would have 12 attack errors in the third set alone; they had only nine in the other three combined.

Truman continued the momentum by leading 14-9 and 19-13 in the fourth set. However, UNK came back once again, tying things at 19 on a block from Walkowiak and Squiers.

Starting setter Cola Svec left the court after she and Scott collided while going after a ball at the end of the third set. Svec didn't return to action the rest of the night.

The UNK run would reach eight straight as Truman had an unforced error and Walkowiak pounded home her 15th and final kill of the night. Up 21-19, the Lopers didn't lose the lead again, getting a kill from Werner to final end things.

Scott (10) joined Walkowiak as UNK players in double digits in kills. Wemhoff finished with a team-high 27 digs with Squiers providing 12 assists, five digs, two kills and two blocks.

Truman, who had more kills and digs then the Lopers, was led by outside hitter Eli Medina, who had 18 kills, 16 digs and hit a solid .292.

UNK plays Mary (2:00 p.m.) and Incarnate Word (8:00 p.m.) on Saturday. Action begins at 10:00 a.m.

Other Tournament Scores
Incarnate Word (Texas) 3, Chadron State 2 (25-27, 23-25, -13, -16, -12)
Incarnate Word 3, Mary 0 (-24, -26, -26)
Upper Iowa 3, Chadron State 0 (-22, -31, -21)

Article courtesy of Nebraska-Kearney athletics.

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