Kearney, Neb. – Sophomore outside Jalyn Stevenson had 17 kills and 18 digs and redshirt freshman middle Austin Broadie had a match-high 18 kills to help 20th-ranked Washburn beat 12th-ranked Nebraska Kearney (-18, 19-25, -22, -20) in the MIAA Tournament Championship Saturday night in St. Joseph, Mo.
Sitting on the NCAA Tournament bubble to start the week, the fifth-seeded Ichabods (24-7) received the MIAA’s auto berth by knocking off the fourth-seed (Central Oklahoma), top seed (Northwest Missouri) and the Lopers. This marks WU’s first-ever MIAA tourney crown.
Beating UNK for a third time this fall, the ‘Bods won the match by closing the third set on a 6-0 run. A Loper service error and unforced attack miscue made it 22-21 and UNK called a timeout. The break didn’t help as Broadie and Stevenson recorded kills, Stevenson was in on a block assist with another Loper unforced attack error closing things out.
Washburn controlled the fourth set, getting out to leads of 11-7, 14-9 and 17-13. On the night, they out hit UNK .260-.181 and had 11 more kills. Both teams had two service aces, combined for 22.5 blocks and over 160 digs.
Broadie hit .359 in 39 attempts to reach her offensive output while also having four blocks. Senior middle Hallie Meister had eight block assists with Stevenson at three. She also hit .326 over 43 attempts. Finally, libero Sydney Pullen came in at a team-best 19 digs.
UNK was led by Alliance senior outside Emersen Cyza (18 kills), Kearney senior middle Bailee Sterling (10 kills, four blocks) and Kansas sophomore outside Asha Regier (13 kills). Finally, Minden junior libero Jensen Rowse had a match-high 24 digs and was perfect in 11 serve receive chances.
The NCAA Tournament field is revealed tomorrow at 9:30 p.m. at http://www.ncaa.com. UNK will likely be a 3-6 seed in the uber-tough eight-team Central Regional.
2022 MIAA Volleyball Championship All-Tournament Team
Jaedynn Evans – Central Oklahoma
Sydney Huck – Central Oklahoma
Emersen Cyza – Nebraska Kearney
Peyton Neff – Nebraska Kearney
Fallon Stutheit – Nebraska Kearney
Payton Kirchhofer – Northwest Missouri
Alyssa Rezac – Northwest Missouri
Meg Auten – Pittsburg State
Kealy Kiviniemi – Washburn
Halle Meister – Washburn
Jalyn Stevenson – Washburn
Sydney Pullen – Washburn
Source: Regional Sports