Sept. 9, 2009

Courtesy of Nebraska-Kearney Athletics

KEARNEY, Neb. - Nebraska-Kearney outside hitters Erica Burson and Chelsie Carson came up big in the fifth set to propel the 9th-ranked Lopers to a 3-2 win (28-30, -23, -23, 21-25, -14) over 23rd-ranked Nebraska-Omaha Wednesday night at the Health & Sports Center.

A crowd of 2,388 watched the Lopers improve to 9-1 and earn its eighth win over the rival Mavericks (6-3) in the last nine meetings between the two. UNK also keeps the “Mav-a-lope” trophy for a third straight year.

The 2:20 match was another classic as it featured 44 lead changes and 17 ties. It was no surprise the match went five sets; this marks the seventh straight time in Kearney the Lopers and Mavs gave gone the distance. In those matches, UNK has come out on top five times.

UNO was trying to change their luck in the Health & Sports Center by jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the fifth set.  UNK, thanks to three kills from Carson, managed to come back and eventually grab a 6-5 advantage.

The Mavericks got the lead back, 10-9, after a Loper service error but a kill from Burson, and back-to-back UNK blocks, suddenly made a 12-10 score.  For most of the net, UNO controlled things at the net, out blocking Kearney 20-9.

Another trend that happened all night was the Mavericks coming back late. A kill from Sara Kampschnieder her 19th of the night, tied things at 14. Earlier in the match, UNO rallied from deficits of 17-12 and 24-20 to win the first set; they had similar come back efforts in the next two sets but UNK managed to hold the Mavs off each time.

Back in the fifth game, a kill from senior middle Nikki Scott (Broken Bow) got the Lopers to match point once again and, after a long rally, a kill from Burson (Gross Catholic) ended the exciting evening.

In the fifth set, UNK had 12 kills with Carson having five of them and Burson providing four. After hitting below .220 in each of the first four sets, the Lopers hit a white hot .478 in the final frame.

Each team had 69 kills on the night with UNK reaching that total thanks to 17 more swings. The Lopers also had two more aces, 8-6, and two more digs, 102-100.

Besides Kampschnieder, who also had 16 digs, UNO was paced by outside Kelli Goeser (team-high 22 kills), middle Ellen Thommes (14 blocks, 8 kills) and libero Angie Reicks (match-high 37 digs).

Carson led UNK in kills (17) with Scott close behind at 15. Burson and junior middle Jeri Walkowiak (Grand Island) each finished with 11 while Walkowiak had a team-best four blocks.

In the backrow, Iowa junior Katlyn Heiserman had a career-high 26 digs with junior setter Cola Svec getting to 19 balls. She also had 56 assists, three kills and an ace.

UNK starts RMAC play tomorrow night at six when Colorado Christian visits. Pictured below are Burson-Carson-Heiserman.