Nebraska Kearney 3, Mesa State 0

Nov. 19, 2005

Kearney, Neb. -- Six players had at least four kills to lead the No.1 ranked Nebraska-Kearney volleyball team to a sweep of Mesa State (-17, -24, -28) Friday night in the second round of the Southwest Regional at the Health & Sports Center.

UNK (35-1), winners of 30 in a row, advances to the Southwest finals for the third straight year. The Lopers beat Rockhurst in 2003 and Fort Hays State last year to advance to the Elite Eight.

Eleventh-ranked Abilene Christian (31-3), winners of 31 in a row, will take on the Lopers. ACU swept 2nd-seed Metro State in tonight's first semifinal match.

UNK got command of the match in the first game with its strong serving. Senior right side Samantha Harvey (Taylor) took over with the Lopers ahead 15-11 and promptly served up seven straight points, two coming by ace. Senior setter Rachel Gerdes (Johnson) later served up the final four points of the set.

The Lopers had four of its six service aces in that first game.

Ahead 26-24 in the second game, UNK pushed its lead to three after a bed set by Mesa. A kill by Harvey gave the Lopers a four point lead and then two errors by the Mavs finished the set.

Despite trailing 17-12 and 21-16, Mesa didn't go away in the third game. A service ace by Stacey Vogel got the UNK lead down to one at 28-27.

After an error by Mesa, senior Nikki Kneuer kept the Mavs' slim chances alive. However, a kill by junior outside Ashley Solt (Central City) finished the match.

UNK out hit the Mavs .246 to .069 and won the dig game by eight, 55-47. UNK also registered three more team blocks (10-7).

Kneuer had 20 of Mesa's 38 kills and finished the tourney with 43. She also added four blocks and five digs tonight.

Senior middle Erin Gudmundson (Kearney) had a team-high 15 kills while hitting .312. She also had led the Lopers in blocks with six blocks.

Solt had nine kills with fellow outside Kelli Bunger (Grand Island) having seven. Three other Lopers combined for 12 kills.

Also, Gerdes had 32 assists, a team-high 14 digs, four blocks and an ace.

-- Courtesy Nebraska Kearney