Experience excites Loper volleyball

UNK senior setter Lindsey Smith is all smiles at an Aug. 8, 2018 practice. (KHGI)

Loper volleyball returning a little earlier than normal this year because of the NCAA scheduling policy.

UNK spent the first few practices in Sioux City, Iowa before they arrived back in Kearney Wednesday for their first home sessions.

As they gear up for the season, it's simple; having such a strong core is the single most exciting thing this team has going for it.

"We have a lot of great talent this year and I think what we have this year that we haven't had in the past is we have a lot of experience this year," senior Lindsey Smith said.

UNK has nearly everyone back from a 33–4 finisher in 2017, including four–year players at setter (Smith), outside hitter (Kendall Schroer) libero (Ellie McDonnell) and defensive specialist (Morgan Stute).

"In some key positions, we have some older girls, so that's something we have been lacking in the past," said Smith.

"We had to play a few years where we couldn't say that and then last year we kind of started to feel like we had some veterans and then this year we have four seniors who are all going to play major roles, juniors who are going to be in the mix," added head coach Rick Squiers. "So it's definitely a more veteran team. I don't know that we're going to put anybody out there, initially at least, who hasn't played a little bit (in college)."

The Lopers finished with a disappointing result at the Central Regional last year, losing to MIAA foe Missouri Western in the first round.

Fun fact

Wednesday marks 30 years of marriage for coach Squiers.

He was working on the momentous day, so we tried to get the skinny on how the rest of the anniversary would go.

"I feel bad for my wife (Kim) because our anniversary is always right in the middle of volleyball season, so we'll go out, spend some time together," said Squiers. "She always gets the short end on this deal because not only is our anniversary in August, but her birthday is coming up in a week or so, so I have to make it up to her later on."

Wishing a happy anniversary to Kim and Rick Squiers from all of us at NTV.

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