MARYVILLE, Mo. — Senior outside hitter Julianne Jackson and junior middle Anna Squiers had 18 kills apiece to help fourth-ranked University of Nebraska at Kearney beat 10th-ranked Northwest Missouri State (25-20, 31-33, 25-20, 25-20) in four sets Saturday afternoon in Maryville, Mo.
UNK (15, 6-0 MIAA) remains undefeated this season and has beaten three top 25 teams on the road in Northwest Missouri, No. 13 Central Missouri and No. 5 Washburn.
To improve to 20-2 all-time against the Bearcats (13-1, 5-1), UNK recorded 107 digs and outhit Northwest by 50 points. Jackson and Squiers both had career-high totals in kills with UNK having 65 as a team.
The Lopers never trailed in winning the first and fourth sets but the middle stanzas featured a combined 18 ties and eight lead changes. Northwest rallied from deficits of 23-20 and 24-22 to take the long second set and tie the match. UNK hit .333 (17-3-42) in the third to regain the lead and then got four kills from Wolfe and freshman outside Sami Mauch to finish off the Bearcats in the fourth.
Jackson reached her 18 kills in 69 swings (.174 pct.) while Squiers only had 32 attempts (team-high .485 pct.). UNK also got 12 kills from junior right side Mary Katherine Wolfe and eight kills and a .353 efficiency from freshman middle Michaela Bartels.
Defensively, five Lopers had a double-digit dig totals, including Jackson (11), junior Mo Schafer (season-high 27) and sophomore libero Lindsay Nottlemann (23). Squiers had seven blocks and senior outside Emma Benton had three of UNK’s five aces.
The Lopers host Fort Hays State (6-9, 3-4) at 6 p.m. Tuesday night at the Health and Sports Center.