No. 12 Lopers too much for Grizzlies
KEARNEY, Neb.— The nation’s 12th ranked University of Nebraska-Kearney Loper volleyball team took full advantage of 26 Adams State College Grizzly hitting errors needing just an hour to post a 25-11, 25-13, 25-18 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference win over the visiting Grizzlies, Saturday night in the UNK Health & Sports Center.
The Lopers, now 10-2 overall and a perfect 3-0 in RMAC play, had five players all post between six and nine kills as they hit .306 en-route to third win in as many nights. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies hit .000 and fell to 3-8 overall and to 0-3 in RMAC play with their third setback in as many outings.
The Grizzlies, who were led by sophomore outside hitter Dominique Davis’ match-high 10 kills, never got rolling and committed 13 hitting errors in the first set alone. Hitting at a negative .286 clip in that set, the Grizzlies did improve in the second and third sets but were over-matched by the Lopers, who were paced by Ellie Pesavento’s nine kills. Jeri Walkowiak added eight more for the victors.
Defensively, the Grizzlies did finish with a slight 33-31 advantage in digs as junior libero AJ Palmer (Colorado Springs, Colo.) tallied 14 while Davis finished just one shy of a double-double with nine digs.
Katlyn Heiserman had 11 digs to lead the Lopers, who also dominated the serving ace category, 10-2 while out-blocking the Grizzlies, 7-2.
The Grizzlies and Lopers were tied at 6 in the first set before a 4-0 Loper run helped the home squad, playing before a large crowd of 1,462, build a 10-6 lead. Moments later, the Grizzlies self-destructed and committed five straight hitting errors plays before two successive Walkowiak service aces all contributed to what was an 11-2 Loper run.
Things got even more lopsided in the second set as five service aces and six Grizzly hitting errors, three coming because of Loper blocks, helped UNK build a mammoth-sized 16-2 lead.
The third set was a little tighter but still went the Lopers’ way as the home team jumped out to a 5-2 lead while gradually closing in on what was their 30th straight conference win.
The Grizzlies, who have yet to play in front of a home crowd will be on the road again next weekend facing New Mexico Highlands (4-8, 0-3 RMAC) on Friday at Santa Fe High School before going to visit Western New Mexico (4-4, 2-1 RMAC) in Silver City on Saturday.