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NKU volleyball wins eighth straight match, improves to 10-3; No. 11 Thomas More wins at Transy

NKyTribune staff

A balanced offensive attack and some torrid hitting helped the Northern Kentucky University volleyball team extend its winning streak to eight on Saturday.

Haley Libs collected 14 kills and hit .312 as NKU swept past visiting Milwaukee by scores of 25-17, 25-23, 26-24 in Regents Hall. Freshman Natalie Hardig added a career-high 12 kills and attacked at a .625 clip for the Norse, who improved to 10-3 overall, 2-0 in the Horizon League.

Natalie Hardig

NKU’s eight consecutive victories are the most since 2012, when the Norse began their inaugural season in Division I by winning their first eight matches. The 10-3 start is NKU’s best since 2014, when the Norse also opened at 10-3.

On Saturday, NKU hit .291 as a team and converted 52 kills in the sweep. The Norse also limited Milwaukee (2-13 overall, 1-1 Horizon League) to a .197 hitting percentage.

The Panthers owned a 21-17 lead in the third set and appeared on the verge of sending the match to a fourth stanza, but NKU used a 5-2 run to get within 23-22. The Norse then fought off a pair of set points, received a huge block courtesy of both Miranda Wucherer and Bailey Western, and sealed the win on Libs’ kill at match point.

Western attacked at a .381 clip and finished with nine kills, while teammate Laura Crawford added eight kills. Western also served a three aces and had three blocks.

Ashton Terrill anchored the NKU back row and collected 18 digs. Libs notched her fifth straight double-double with 11 digs.

NKU will hit the road and meet defending Horizon League champion Cleveland State at 6 p.m. Friday.

THOMAS MORE WINS AT TRANSY: Emily Mohs recorded a career-high 29 kills and hit .491 on Saturday as Thomas More College pulled out a five-set victory at Transylvania. The Saints won by scores of 19-25, 25-23, 25-20, 16-25, 15-8.

Emily Mohs

Thomas More, which is ranked 11th nationally in the NCAA Division III poll, hit .348 in the fifth set to clinch the victory. Madison Krumpelman added 11 kills and 10 digs for the Saints, who improved to 13-1. Jenna Fessler collected 44 assists and 11 digs.

Notre Dame Academy graduate Hannah Talkers registered a season-high 39 assists to go with 12 digs and eight kills for Transylvania, which dropped to 5-8. The Pioneers attacked at a .224 for the match, while Thomas More hit .244.

Thomas More will travel to Illinois next weekend to play in the Millikin Tournament. The Saints meet Buena Vista at 5 p.m. Friday.

NKU WOMEN’S SOCCER DEFEATS YSU: The NKU women’s soccer team posted a 2-0 win over Youngstown State on Saturday in Highland Heights. NKU is 6-3 overall, 2-0 in the Horizon League. The Penguins fell to 1-8-2 overall, 0-2 in league play.

Samantha Duwel and Emily Soltes each scored goals for NKU. Emily Lohmann earned the shutout and collected one save.

NORSE MEN’S SOCCER FALLS TO MILWAUKEE: The NKU men’s soccer team dropped a 2-1 decision to Milwaukee on Saturday night in Highland Heights. The Norse are 6-3 overall, 1-2 in the Horizon League. Milwaukee improved to 5-2-1 overall, 1-0-1 in the Horizon League.

Milwaukee netted goals in the 60th and 71st minutes to build a 2-0 lead. Alex Willis converted a penalty kick in the 88th minute to make it a 2-1 game, but the visiting Panthers held on and earned the victory.

Willis, a freshman from Faversham, England, now has nine goals this season.

(Information compiled from NKU Athletics Communications, Thomas More College and staff reports)

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