MARYVILLE, Missouri – In a battle of top-10 teams in Bearcat Arena, No. 4-ranked Nebraska-Kearney was able to post a 3-1 win over No. 10-ranked Northwest Missouri State on Saturday.
The Lopers won by set scores of 25-20, 31-33, 25-20 and 25-20. UNK moves to 15-0 overall and 6-0 in the MIAA, while Northwest drops to 12-2 overall and 5-1 in league play.
The Lopers took advantage of a 4-0 start in the opening set and used that momentum to score a 25-20 first-set win. Northwest closed to within 9-8, but could not overtake UNK. UNK responded with a 5-0 run to take a 14-8 lead and force a Bearcat timeout. UNK would lead by as many as eight at 20-12 in the first set. UNK hit .239 with 14 kills and three errors, while Northwest hit .156 with 13 kills and six errors in the opening set.
Northwest and UNK began putting on a show in the second set that was extended to extra points in a Bearcat win. Northwest battled back from a 23-20 deficit to knot the set at 24-24. Northwest held off eight UNK set points, before the Bearcats finally converted on their second set point to take it, 33-31. Northwest recorded 22 kills and sided out at 67 percent in the second set. UNK hit .194 with 19 kills.
The pivotal third set featured 11 ties and five lead changes. Northwest and UNK were knotted at 17-17 only to have the Lopers run off an 8-3 spurt to end the set. The Bearcats hit .265 with 16 kills and three errors in the third, while UNK hit .333 with 17 kills and three errors. UNK sided out at 70 percent, compared to Northwest at 56 percent.
The Lopers completed the four-set triumph with a 25-20 win. UNK hit .239 with 14 kills and three errors as Northwest hit .132 with 15 kills and eight errors in the fourth. UNK led 16-10 only to see Northwest score four straight points and force a Loper timeout. However, Northwest could only climb to within two points four more times as the Lopers kept the Bearcats at arm’s length.
Northwest will be home next weekend with a pair of matches against Central Oklahoma (Friday, 6 p.m.) and Newman (Saturday, 6 p.m.).
NOTES: Maddy Ahrens moved up to No. 8 on Northwest’s all-time assists list … Ahrens has tallied 2,192 career assists … Ahrens surpassed Sherri Miller (2,185 – 1982-1985) and Jennifer Hepnurn (2,159 from 1989-1992) … Bethany Elkins secured a match-high nine blocks (eights assists/one solo) … Hannah Koechl posted a match-high 30 digs … Hallie Sidney secured a double-double with 17 kills and 21 digs … Rachel Sturdevant secured a double-double with 10 kills and 18 digs.
MARYVILLE, Missouri – The No. 10-ranked Northwest Missouri State University volleyball team put on a clinic Friday in a 3-0 sweep of Fort Hays State in Bearcat Arena.
Northwest won by set scores of 25-12, 25-11 and 25-9. The Bearcats forced the Tigers to hit -.099 for the match. FHSU had 15 kills and 25 errors in the three-set result.
The Bearcats won their sixth match in a row and stayed perfect in MIAA play at 5-0. Northwest is 12-1 on the season, while Fort Hays State is 6-8 and 3-3 in the MIAA.
Juniors Hallie Sidney, Morgan Lewis and Maddy Ahrens paced the Bearcats to the victory. Sidney registered a double-double with 11 kills and 11 digs, while Lewis powered down 11 kills and hit .474. Ahrens dished out 35 assists. Ahrens registered a match-high three service aces.
The Bearcats hit .265 in the opening set and sided out at 76 percent. The Tigers hit -.056 with six kills and eight errors in the opening set as Northwest tallied a 25-12 victory.
It was more of the same in the second set set as Northwest hit .406 and sided out at 90 percent. FHSU continued to be plagued by errors and hit -.031 with five kills and eight attack errors.
Northwest looked clinical in the third as the Bearcats sided out at 100 percent in 10 attempts. The Tigers hit -.212 with four kills and 11 errors in the third set as Northwest ran away with a 25-9 triumph.
Northwest will be back in action Saturday at 3 p.m. against No. 4-ranked Nebraska-Kearney in Bearcat Arena. UNK moved to 14-0 on the season with a five-set win at Central Missouri on Friday night.