The 19th-ranked Wayne State Wildcats got 30 combined kills from Carli Hobbs and Melanie Placke to beat top-ranked Nebraska-Kearney in four sets (16-25, 25-15, 25-15, 25-18) Wednesday night in Wayne.
A crowd of 1,411 packed Rice Auditorium to watch the 77th all-time meeting between the Wildcats and Lopers. With the win, Wayne stops a two-match losing streak and improves to 14-5 while UNK falls to 18-1.
The 18 straight wins tie for the 12th longest win streak in school history and mark the eighth time in the Rick Squiers era (1999-present) UNK has had a winning streak of 18 or more matches in the same year.
To earn its ninth-ever win over the Lopers, Wayne turned to Hobbs, a 6-0 junior outside from Battle Creek, and Placke, 6-0 senior right side from St. Libory. Hobbs recorded a match-high 18 kills and hit .241 with Placke coming off the bench to provide 12 kills and a match-high .455 hitting efficiency.
Hobbs also supplied a team-high 20 digs and two blocks with Placke at four digs and two blocks.
UNK started the night off strong, leading the first set from start to finish. Jumping out to a 7-1, the Lopers recorded 18 kills and hit .294 in winning the set by nine points.
However, UNK recorded just 28 more while Wayne hit .375 in set two and .361 in set three. The ‘Cats led sets three and four from start to finish and erased a 2-0 deficit in the second set with a 5-1 spurt.
For the match, the ‘Cats outhit the Lopers by well over 100 points, .244 to .122, and recorded eight more kills, 54-46. Wayne also won the battle at the net, having eight team blocks to two for UNK.
Individually for the Lopers, senior outside Ariel Krolikowski (Grand Island) had a team-high 12 kills and 17 digs with middles Ellie Pesavento (Omaha Marian) and Katie Sokolowski (Kearney Catholic) each supplying 10 kills.
Also, sophomore outside Liz McGowan (GI Central Catholic) had a match-high 22 digs and four kills with senior setter Jenna Rouzee (GI Northwest) having 31 assists, six digs, two kills and a block.
Kearney returns to MIAA play this weekend when Truman State and Lindenwood visit.
Courtesy: UNK Media Relations