Harding upsets Central Region’s top seed Nebraska-Kearney

Harding Athletics
Nathan Looney, Assistant Sports Information Director

KEARNEY, Neb. – The No. 8 seed Harding volleyball team upset third-ranked and No. 1 seed Nebraska-Kearney 3-2 (21-25, 25-22, 25-21, 15-25, 15-9) Thursday in the first round of the NCAA Central Region Tournament. The Lady Bisons advance to play ninth-ranked Concordia-St. Paul, the No. 4 seed, Friday at 7:30 p.m.

It was Harding’s first win in the NCAA Tournament in its fifth try.

Harding became the first eight-seed to defeat a No. 1 seed in a NCAA regional since Erskine defeated South Carolina-Aiken in 2014.

Harding improved to 28-5 overall and extended its win streak to 14 matches.

Nebraska-Kearney ended its season with a 33-3 record. Harding and Washburn were the only two teams to defeat UNK this season. Washburn did it twice.

Nebraska-Kearney was the highest ranked opponent Harding has ever beaten. It was the Lady Bisons fifth win all-time against a ranked opponent. Harding’s last win against a ranked team was earlier this season against No. 17 Colorado School of Mines.


Harding took a 12-7 lead in the first set before Nebraska-Kearney tied the set at 15. With the set tied at 18, Nebraska-Kearney went on a 6-3 run to win the set 25-21. Nebraska-Kearney had 16 kills and hit .218 in the set.


Nebraska-Kearney took a 9-7 lead in the second set. Harding battled back to tie the set at 10 and then took a 15-12 lead on a 5-1 run. Trailing 21-19, the Lady Bisons went on a 6-1 run to win the set 25-22. Harding had 18 kills and hit .333.


Harding carried its momentum to the third set jumping out to a 13-8 lead. The Lady Bisons didn’t relinquish the lead the rest of the way as they won the set 25-21. Harding had 18 kills in the set and hit .314.


With the fourth set tied at six, Nebraska-Kearney went on an 11-0 run to lead 17-6. The Lopers went on to win the set 25-15. Nebraska-Kearney had 18 kills and hit .410 in the set.


With the fifth set tied at three, Harding took a 7-3 advantage on a 4-0 run. Leading 10-8, the Lady Bisons went on a 5-1 run and a kill by Zoe Hardin gave Harding the 15-9 set win. Harding had 0 errors in the fifth set with nine kills and 23 attacks.



Zoe Hardin led Harding with 15 kills and 13 blocks. Hardin’s 11 block assists tied for the fourth most in Harding history.

Emma Reeves had 20 kills and hit .383 in the match.

Rachel Heussner had 58 assists and 11 digs.

Madison Poen had 13 kills and 16 digs.

Taylor Lake had 33 digs for Harding. Taylor Eubank had 13.


– Kendall Schroer led Nebraska-Kearney with 26 kills.

– MK Wolfe had 11 kills and 22 digs for the Lopers.

– Ellie McDonnell led the defense with 30 digs.

– Nebraska-Kearney had 115 digs in the match.

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