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UCCS gets served: Effective serving ignites Lopers
Ryan Seefus
Antelope Staff
Photo by Ryan Seefus
Katie Sokolowski (left) and Jeri Walkowiak (right) block a Mountain Lion attack last Friday night. The Lopers blocked UCCS a total of seven times for the match.
Photo by Ryan Seefus
Kelsey Werner, a senior outside hitter from Grand Island, goes up for a kill against UCCS. Werner was second on the team with a total of 11 kills.
Photo by Ryan Seefus
Setera Michaels got the Mountain Lions out of sync with her jump-float serve against UCCS on Friday night. She was able to record a team-high three service aces to help UNK win over UCCS.

Coming off a tough loss to nationally ranked Wayne State College, the Loper women’s volleyball team came out a little tight against the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Mountain Lions on Friday night. The Lopers started off the match with three unforced errors and had problems serve receiving.

“It was not the way we wanted to start but we battled, got over the hump and then we were able to do some good things,” head volleyball coach Rick Squiers said.

The catalyst that helped the Lopers “get over the hump” came in the form of Setera Michaels’s serving game.

“Setera had long service runs. She has that tough jump-float serve that she is very accurate with, and then she is able to play good defense after she serves,” Squiers said.

Michaels had eight straight services in the middle of the first set while recording one service ace. Her well-placed float serves put the Mountain Lions on their heels and allowed the Lopers to get better attacks on offense.

“Good serving in general, and hers in particular, applies pressure on your opponent. And even if they make a good pass, I think it wears on them over time,” Squiers said.

Michaels’s serving created weaker attacks by UCCS to help peak UNK's defense.

“We have really stingy defensively. Even when we didn’t get a block, we got a block touch that allowed us to dig it and turn around and get points,” Squiers said.

The Lopers were able to come from behind and win the first set, 25-19. By the time the second set began, UNK had hit their stride. Good serve receiving and passes to senior setter Cola Svec allowed the offense to get into rhythm.

“Once Jeri (Walkowiak) got it cranked up offensively, she’s the type of player who even though she might only get 10 or 12 kills, she helps you get a dozen more because she is drawing so much attention that other hitters are hitting against single blocks,” Squiers said.

In the first set, the Mountain Lions came out with a pep in their step and lots of ‘hoots’ and ‘hollers,’ but the Lopers didn’t allow that in the final two sets.

“I think we were able to get early leads in the second two sets and take away a lot of their enthusiasm,” Squiers said.

It was the same story in the second set.   Michaels was once again able to use her serving skills to get UCCS off their game.  Michaels had seven services in a row to put the Lopers out in front of the Mountain Lions.

Meanwhile, the Loper front row was attacking the Mountain Lions. “We stayed aggressive and did what we had to do,” setter Svec said.

Coach Squiers was pleased with how efficiently his team played in the final two sets. “We didn’t make many unforced errors,” he said.

UNK went on to win the second set easily by a score of 25-8 and finished off the Mountain Lions by a score of 25-15 in the third and final set.

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