No. 3 Nebraska-Kearney earns sweep, Leitner leads Lopers against Broncos
KEARNEY, Neb. -- Senior outside Ashley Leitner continues to have a hot hand and led No. 3 Nebraska-Kearney to a sweep of Hastings (25-18, 25-23, 25-15) Tuesday night at the Health & Sports Center.
The Lopers are still without starters Katie Sokolowski (middle) and MJ Massanet (right/outside) due to injuries. Junior Steph Brand [right] was unable to play because of a minor ailment. All three should return to the court in the coming weeks.
Leitner recorded 18 kills, half of the Lopers total, while also supplying 11 digs. So far in 2013, Leitner is averaging 4.67 kills per set and hitting a robust .335.
UNK broke a nine all tie in the first set with a 10-2 run that featured five kills by Leitner, two unforced Bronco errors and a block by junior right side Molly O'Brien and freshman middle Bailey Sokolowski.
Kearney kept the momentum going in the second set as freshman outside Kinslie TeKolste served up eight consecutive points for an 8-0 lead. The run included five unforced Hastings errors as well as a solo block by senior middle Ellie Pesavento.
The Broncos fought back, using a 20-12 run to close within two after back-to-back kills by Kalynn Dahlke. A TeKolste kill put the Loper lead to three but another Dahlke kill, and an unforced UNK error, made it a 23-22 score.
UNK got a kill from Pesavento and Hastings hit one long to make it a 2-0 match lead for the home team. On the night, the Broncos hit just .076 (38-28-131) with the Lopers recording only five team blocks.
Besides Leitner, O'Brien dug up a team-high 18 balls with junior libero Liz McGowan had 12 digs and two aces. Dahlke led the Broncos with 19 kills, nine digs and two blocks.