EMPORIA, Kan. — Sophomore right side MK Wolfe had a season-high 17 kills to guide No. 1 University of Nebraska at Kearney past Emporia State in four sets Friday.
This was the MIAA opener for both teams. UNK improves to 13-0 while the Hornets drop to 5-8. Kearney was shorthanded as starting middle Anna Squiers was out with an injury.
Emporia State rallied from a 21-14 hole to take the first set by two points. After hitting .205 (15-6-44) in the first set, the Hornets struggled to duplicate their success offensively for the remainder of the match.
UNK bounced back by hitting .351 (15-2-37) in the second set to tie the match at one set apiece. Sophomore middle Josie Cox replaced Squiers in the starting lineup and had five kills in six swings. Wolfe recorded four kills in the set.
The match was decided in the third set as it featured seven ties and three lead changes. UNK was down 21-18 but finished on a 7-1 run to change the momentum. The key spurt featured two kills by Wolfe, a rare solo block by outside Kendall Schroer and four unforced Emporia State errors.
The Lopers never trailed in the fourth set and finished the match hitting 107 points higher, .190-.083, than the Hornets. UNK also had six more digs and was plus six in serves.
Wolfe reached her kill total in 31 swings and committed only two errors (.484). She also had 21 digs and two blocks on defense. Junior outside hitter Julianne Jackson tallied 13 kills, 22 digs and four blocks. Cox hit .312 and finished with three blocks, two digs and seven kills, while Schroer was at five kills and two blocks. Senior libero Ellie McDonnell dug up a team-high 26 balls.
Emporia also had a balanced attack as seven players had between four and 13 kills.
UNK’s road trip continues with a match against Washburn at 3 p.m. today (Saturday).