Nebraska Kearney 3, Abilene Christian
Nebraska Kearney 3, Abilene Christian 0Nov. 19, 2005
Kearney, Neb. -- The No. 1 ranked Nebraska-Kearney volleyball team used strong defense to sweep 11th-ranked Abilene Christian of Texas (-24, -19, -22) in the Southwest Regional final Sunday afternoon at the Health & Sports Center.
UNK (36-1) makes the Elite Eight for the third straight year and for the fifth time overall. The Lopers will play 2nd-ranked Truman State, Mo. (35-2) in a national quarterfinal match Dec. 1st (Thurs.) at a site to be announced tonight.
Truman, which is in the Elite Eight for the fourth time in five year, swept UNK in the national semifinals last year.
The setback for the Wildcats (31-4) was its first since August 27th and ended a 31-match win streak.
UNK hit .252 for the match and held ACU to a .094 effort, thanks to 10 team blocks. The Lopers also won the dig game by seven, 66-59, and had saw the 'Cats register only one team block.
Senior middle Erin Gudmundson (Kearney) had a match-high 15 kills and hit .344. She also had four blocks, four digs and three aces. The aces came in succession in the third game and was part of a six point run.
Fellow middle Erin Brosz (Grand Island) had nine kills and hit .471 while proving three blocks and four digs. On the outside, junior hitters Kelli Bunger (Grand Island) and Ashley Solt (Central City) combined for 13 kills, 11 digs and five blocks.
In the first set, UNK held a two or three point cushion most of the way. Ahead 26-23, a kill by Gudmundson -- her eighth of the game -- put the lead at four and then kills by Brosz and Bunger got UNK to 29 points. A Brosz kill ended the set and the Lopers were up 1-0.
The second game saw UNK jump out to an 11-5 lead after kills by Brosz and senior right side Samantha Harvey (Taylor). The 'Cats didn't get closer then six points the rest of the set.
In the third set, Gudmundson took over serving with a 7-5 lead. When she was done, UNK was ahead 13-5 thanks to three aces, two Loper kills and an attack error by Abilene.
ACU did fight back, getting within four, 25-21, after a kill by senior setter Lindsey Martin. A service error by the 'Cats and a Gudmundson kill gave UNK the momentum once again and then Gudmunson ended the match with a kill.
Also for UNK, libero Jill Gergen (Topeka, Kans.) and defensive specialists Mikala Gleason (Holdrege), Steph Hoemann (Waco) and Brett Haskell (Lincoln) combined for 33 digs.
Abilene was paced by outsides Michelle Bernhardt (12 digs, 10 kills) and Abbie Lowry (12 kills). In the middle, senior Amanda Slate had seven kills.
-- Courtesy Nebraska Kearney