WARRENSBURG, Mo. -- Washburn dropped the first set to Nebraska-Kearney and couldn't come back in a 3-1 (25-15, 22-25, 25-21, 25-22) loss Friday night in the semifinal of the MIAA postseason tournament.
The eighth-ranked Ichabods dropped to 31-5 overall and will await the NCAA tournament announcement Monday at 6:30 p.m. on ncaa.com in a live webcast. Washburn is currently ranked fourth in the Central Region and eight teams will advance to the regional. The Lopers improved to 28-5 and will play for the MIAA postseason title Saturday against the Central Missouri/Central Oklahoma winner. UCM is first in the region and the Lopers are seventh.
Marissa Cox had 13 kills to lead Washburn and Corrinne Stringer had 12. Abby Wittman set 33 assists and she had 24 digs for a double-double. Kelsey Lewis led the back row with 25 digs and two others reached double figures. Courtney Churchman had 12 and Korie Thompson had 10.
Two straight kills from Thompson late in the fourth set tied it at 20-20 as Washburn tried to force the third five-set match this year against UNK. The Lopers didn't give Washburn that chance and scored the final two points to clinch the match.
Washburn hit just -.026 in the first set while the Lopers started off with a .406 attack.Nebraska-Kearney used a 5-0 run to break a 6-6 tie and Washburn never got within three after that.
The Ichabods trailed most of the second set until Thompson had two straight aces to give them an 18-17 lead. The Lopers were able to come back and tie the set but a UNK attack error and then a kill from Cox ended the set and tied the match at 1-1.
Washburn hit negative again in the third set and trailed the entire time.
Overall, Washburn hit .100 and Nebraska-Kearney hit .195 in the match.The Lopers had 96 digs while Washburn had 91. Both teams had 11 blocks.
Kinslie TeKolste led the Lopers with 16 kills and Liz McGowan had 27 digs.