Volleyball Washburn vs. Nebraska K. Saturday Sept. 21, 2019.
On Saturday Sept. 21, Washburn Volleyball hosted University of Nebraska Kearney, for their tenth match of the season. The Ichabods came up to this game undefeated in the season with a 9-0 record, having lost only one set in the prior nine matches. UNK was also undefeated in the season, with a 10-0 record. Both teams were ranked top five nationally in division II volleyball.
The Ichabods started strong in the first set with a 5-1 lead that resulted in a timeout by UNK. Coming off the timeout a big rally ended UNK’s way and the Ichabods saw the opposing team gather momentum and pull the lead down to two points.
Senior Erica Montgomery struggled to find her rhythm at first but came off with a big kill to give the Bods a 12-9 lead. WU and UNK were trading point to point until UNK’s outstanding defensive efforts came up big. This allowed them to pull back to 16-15, seeing Washburn call its first timeout. Even after the timeout UNK came up strong and moved into a 17-21 lead. They closed out the set from there with a 21-25 score.
Unlike the first set, the second set started tightly contested with the scores locked at 4-4. From there points were traded with tight rallies all the way to 9-7 where UNK began to dominate the net. WU fought back and kept the scores tight as the game moved to 11-12 in favor of UNK.
Washburn’s Genna Berg was outstanding in her passing and hitting during the set. However, it wasn’t enough to hold Kearney, and the Nebraska team took a 12-15 lead over the bods, forcing Head Coach Chris Herron to call his first timeout of the set. Once again, a WU timeout was not effective and UNK come out firing over the bods, grabbing a 16-21 lead. They closed out the set with a 19-25 score.
Just like the second set, the third set started off 4-4, with Berg shining in the early points. The scores remained close with UNK just pulling into the lead at 9-10.
Both sides played great volleyball. Good kills by Allison Maxwell and Montgomery kept the bods competitive with UNK leading 15-17. That wasn’t enough as UNK was too strong and ran through to the finish of the set and the match with a final score of 20-25.
“We were really excited for the game and, all of a sudden, every little thing went wrong, and we couldn’t get a rhythm after that. We had no fight. We kept making little mistakes that we usually don’t make,” said senior outside hitter Montgomery.
Herron was not pleased with his team performance but credited the other team for the victory. He hopes his team can quickly forget this loss and move on with the season.
“They worked harder than us. They went after more balls than we did. To be honest with you, we just got outplayed,” said Herron. “In this sport we have to have a forgetful memory. There is nothing we can do at this moment besides learn.”
Herron said that the team needs to get back to practice Monday and get ready for its match against Emporia State University Tuesday.
Edited by Jessica Galvin, Adam White, Brianna Smith