Kearney, Neb. – Outside hitter Emersen Cyza had 28 kills, three shy of tying the school-record, and eighth-ranked Nebraska Kearney went on a 5-0 run midway through the fifth set to get past No. 19 Central Oklahoma (-19, -18, 22-25, 20-25, -11) Friday evening in Edmond.
The Lopers (21-2, 11-2) wins its fourth in a row and sweeps the season series from the Bronchos (19-3, 9-3). Washburn and UCO are now tied for second in the MIAA standings.
The deciding set featured seven ties and five lead changes with UNK down 7-6 after a kill by freshman middle Lari Migliorino. The Lopers scored the next five points to never trail again with the production being three straight Cyza (Alliance) kills, an ace from middle Bailee Sterling (Kearney) and a block by Cyza and middle Fallon Stutheit (Johnson).
UCO got within 11-9 and 13-11 but the Lopers closed things out thanks to a kill from outside CeCe Beahm (Hastings St. Cecilia) and a match-ending block by Sterling and right side Lauren Taubenheim (Lincoln Pius X). The Bronchos had nine more kills than the Lopers but UNK hit 59 points higher. UNK also had 10 aces, seven coming in the first set, 10 blocks and 16 more digs, 82-66.
Cyza had three kills in five swings in set one, then went for seven kills in nine attempts in set two. The Wyoming transfer continued the onslaught with seven more in the third, five in the fourth and six in the fifth. She finished the night hitting an even .500 (28-3-50) with middle Jeri Walkowiak holding the school-record for kills in a match (31, vs. Regis, 11/12/10; five sets). Cyza joins Jodi Armknecht (’97), Kelli Brummer (’99) and Miranda Rhodes (’01) as Lopers to have 28 kills. Outside Kelli Bunger had 29 in a five-set win at Fort Lewis in 2006.
Besides Cyza’s heroics, Beahm and outside Asha Regier (Newton, Kan.) combined for 14 kills, Sterling and Stutheit combined for 15 kills and nine stuffs with libero Jensen Rowse (Minden) and DS Rhianna Wilhelm (Henderson) combining for 28 digs. Finally, five different Lopers had an ace led by Wilhelm’s three.
UCO was led by freshman outside Sydney Huck (21 kills, 11 digs), sophomore outside Mallorie Koehn (17 kills, six digs) and Migliorino (11 kills, .733 pct.). UNK heads to Newman tomorrow at 1 p.m. to face the Jets (7-14, 2-9). NU hosts Fort Hays State tonight.
Source: Regional Sports