#25 Regis Fights, but Falls to #6 Nebraska-Kearney in Three Sets
Denver, Colo.: (By Cassidee Young) The 25th-ranked Rangers came out strong in tonight's Rival Match in the Regis University Fieldhouse but fell to sixth-ranked Nebraska-Kearney (24-1, 14-1 RMAC) in straight sets.
A stellar crowd with a lot of enthusiasm had the Rangers' back tonight as they headed into a tough match. Back-to-back kills by freshman middle blocker, Gina Morgan and senior outside hitter, Kyndell Highland put Regis (19-7, 10-5 RMAC) up early in the first set, 2-1. The set would remain tight as each team continued to battle at the net. With the score at 10-10, a service error by Morgan allowed the Lopers to take a substantial lead over the Rangers. With the score at 22-18, a kill by Highland kept the Rangers in the set. Regis fell in the first set, 23-25, due to a couple of service errors.
The second set had a similar start as the Rangers came out strong. Senior middle blocker, Lyz Kann contributed a couple of key kills early in the match, taking the score to 4-2 to start off this set. Kann and junior right side hitter, Caitlin McDonnell would be the cannons for the Rangers in the beginning of this set. Highland was also on fire and freshman outside hitter Jessica Wojcik were available for the setters and gave them options for the Ranger offense. Although Regis had a tough offense and great defense, their own errors would kill them in this set as well. With a service error and a couple of bad sets, the Rangers fell again in the second set.
With a huge support system from their 7th man, the Ranger fans, Regis came out in the third set battling. A kill by sophomore setter, Sage Martinson would give the Rangers the momentum to eventually tie the set at 8-8. The set would tie six times and back-to-back kills by Wojcik and McDonnell would give the Rangers a two point lead late in the set, 21-19. The Lopers pushed hard, but what really hurt the Rangers was their own errors. With a service error and an attack error at the end of the match, the Rangers lose this final set, 22-25.
The Rangers were able to disrupt the Lopers tonight, keeping their team hitting percentage at .150. As the Rangers themselves outhitting the Lopers with a .206 hitting percentage, the game clearly came down to their own errors. Kann had a match high 10 kills with no errors, hitting an outstanding .625. Wojcik tallied in 11 kills for the Rangers and McDonnell added in another nine. Senior libero, Cassidee Young had a match high 16 digs with Martinson contributing 11 and Wojcik with ten.
The Rangers will take on Chadron State tomorrow night in the Regis University Fieldhouse.