UNK Volleyball: #4 Lopers Fall in Four at Central Oklahoma
(Edmond, OK) - Freshman middle Jenna Karp and sophomore outside Courtney Lane had 16 kills apiece to help Central Oklahoma down fourth-ranked Nebraska-Kearney in four sets (-20 -22, 19-25, -21) Saturday afternoon in Edmond.
The Bronchos improve to 10-2 (3-1) while the Lopers fall to 11-2 (2-2). UCO records its third all-time win over UNK at home while pushing its 2021 home mark to 6-0.
Hitting .242 and getting kills from eight different players, UCO controlled the first two sets. Lane and Karp both had five kills in the first as the 'Chos jumped out to a 4-0 lead and kept that cushion almost throughout with a Lane kill making it 1-0 on the scoreboard. UNK fell behind 14-10 and 19-15 in the next set but an Anna Squiers (Kearney Catholic) kill made it 23-20 and forced UCO to call a timeout. They responded with a Karp kill and another by Lane to hold off UNK. In this set UCO hit a stellar .333 (19-4-45).
The Lopers bounced back to take the third, closing on a 7-1 spurt that featured three kills from redshirt freshman right side Lauren Taubenheim (Lincoln Pius X). She finished with a season-best nine and hit .308 as well as having a .944 serve receiving percentage. Things were tied at 11 in the fourth but UCO went on a 7-2 run that kept them in the lead for good. Junior outside Lauren Jenkins had back-to-back kills with a block by Karp and Lane forcing UNK to call a timeout down five.
Karp ended the match with a stellar .419 hitting efficiency while also supplying four blocks. Next, Lane was 20 for 20 on serve receive and took a team-best 66 swings with freshman libero Katie Le at a match-high 31 digs. Finally, Jenkins had 13 kills and hit .278.
For UNK, Squiers had 13 kills, six digs, two blocks and hit .355 with Alliance sophomore outside Emersen Cyza at a season-best 17 kills. She reached that total in 49 swings (.265 pct.) with senior setter Madison Squiers at 52 assists, a team-best 22 digs, four kills and a solo block.
The Lopers host nationally-ranked Northwest Missouri State next Friday night and then face Missouri Western State on Saturday afternoon.