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Hornets buzzed off Buckle Court

UNK volleyball head coach Rick Squiers addresses his team during a timeout on Nov. 14, 2017 when the Lopers faced Emporia State in an MIAA quarterfinal (KHGI)

KEARNEY --- The seventh-ranked Nebraska-Kearney volleyball team hit .365 and served up seven aces to sweep Emporia State (-13, -16, -10) in an MIAA Tournament first round match Tuesday night at the Health & Sports Center.

Pushing its home court win streak to 53 in a row, UNK also improves to 10-2 (9-0 at home) all-time in the MIAA Tournament. The Lopers hit .469 (16-1-32) in set one and then .424 (17-3-33) in set three to make quick work of a young Hornets (15-17) squad. This is the second straight year Emporia has had its season end on Buckle Court.

"We're not going to walk out here very often and out-athlete somebody," said head coach Rick Squiers. "We have good athletes but we have to be good in the serve and pass area and were definitely on the strong side of that tonight."

UNK was led by junior outside hitter Kendall Schroer, who was responsible for a match-high ten kills and a .310 hitting percentage. The Lopers also received solid performances from senior middle blocker Tara Ziegelbein (11 kills, .375) and freshman right side hitter Anna Squiers (9 kills, .563). All three of them came into the match having received all-conference honors in some capacity earlier in the day.

The top-seeded Lopers (31-3) will play Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the second semifinal match, which is being held in Kearney at the H & S Center. UNK faces No. 4 Central Missouri who beat Northwest Missouri State in four sets; the other semifinal match begins at 5 p.m. and it pits No. 3 Central Oklahoma up against second-seeded Missouri Western.

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