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Lopers Pick Up MIAA Honors

Lopers Pick Up MIAA Honors
UNK Honored with MIAA Awards-Photo Courtesy UNK Sports

Kearney, Neb. – The third-ranked Nebraska-Kearney volleyball team has placed six players on the 2018 All-MIAA squad. Head coaches vote on the makeup of the team and cannot vote for their own players. Senior libero Ellie McDonnell (Papillion), senior setter Lindsey Smith (Dakota Dunes, S.D.) and junior outside hitter Julianne Jackson (Bonner Springs, Kan.) were named to the first-team. This is Smith’s third such honor while McDonnell and Jackson on the first-team for the first time.

On the second-team is senior outside Kendall Schroer (Ogallala), sophomore right side Mary Katherine Wolfe (Omaha Marian) and sophomore middle Anna Squiers (Kearney Catholic). McDonnell joins middle Tara Ziegelbein (2014-17) as the only Lopers to be named All-MIAA four times in a career. Previously, UNK’s all-time career dig leader (now 2,312) was second-team in 2017 and 2016 and honorable mention in 2015. McDonnell currently is at 5.71 digs per set and is on-pace to break the school record for digs in a season (693, Angie Usher, 1994). She enters the postseason with 668. A four-year starter, Smith is at 10.9 assists, 2.3 digs, 0.9 kills, 0.4 blocks and 0.3 aces per set. She is closing in on 5,000 career assists (now 4,826) with her 136 career aces third most by a Loper over the last two decades. Smith joins Ziegelbein as the only UNK players to be named first-team All-MIAA three times in a career. Next, Jackson enters the weekend at 3.9 digs, 2.4 kills, 0.5 blocks, 0.3 aces and 0.2 assists per set. She and McDonnell have appeared in all 117 sets to date with Jackson ranking in the UNK top five in most statistical categories. Closing in on 1,000 career digs (now 930), she has a team-best .979 reception percentage.

Finally, Jackson is now a two-time all-league pick after being second-team as a sophomore. Schroer currently leads UNK in both kills (319) and kills per set (3.19). She is among UNK’s all-time leaders in kills (15th/1,171) and attack attempts (9th/3,368) after being a starting outside hitter the past three seasons. Schroer was named first-team All-MIAA as a junior and honorable mention in 2016. Wolfe moved into the starting rotation this year at right side after being a defensive specialist as a true freshman. She is at 3.1 digs, 2.2 kills, 0.9 assists, 0.5 blocks, and 0.3 aces per set while hitting .286. Currently having a .961 reception percentage, Wolfe has had seven double doubles and is in the UNK top five in most categories. Finally, Squiers is named second-team All-MIAA for a second straight year. A right side as a true freshman, she moved into the middle this season and currently is averaging 2.3 kills, 0.9 blocks, 0.6 digs and 0.4 assists per set. She leads the Lopers in blocks per set and is one of three players hitting over .300 (.307). Northwest Missouri State had the Player (Maddy Bruder) and Coach (Amy Woerth) of the Year with Hannah Engelken of Central Missouri the top freshman. UNK (31-2) hosts UCM Friday at 7 p.m. in an MIAA Tournament semifinal match.

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