Head Coach Rose Shires has had a storied career at Omaha.
She’s beaten out Tom Osborne as Omaha World Herald’s Nebraska Coach of the Year. She led her team to a national championship in Omaha’s Division II days, where the Mavericks were victorious. She has coached at Omaha – and only Omaha – for a total of 28 and a half years, not including her two years as assistant coach.
Now, she can add the big 500 to that list – 500 career wins as a head coach.
And to go along with that, the 2018 Maverick team is off to a hot start in conference play. With wins over South Dakota State, North Dakota State and Western Illinois, Omaha enters its next game with an 8-7 record overall, 3-0 in conference.
The squad opened the conference portion of their schedule in Brookings, South Dakota, where they faced South Dakota State. Isabella Sade captured 15 kills, while Sydney Case gave 48 assists. The Mavericks fell in the first set, but they came back in three straights to capture the victory.
Their next stop was in Fargo, North Dakota, where the match ended in thrilling fashion. Omaha hit a season .470 on its way to winning the first two sets and the fifth set to seal coach Shires’ 500th victory. The Mavs had five players reach kill counts in the double digits.
In even more impressive fashion, the team shut out the Western Illinois Leathernecks at home on Friday night, winning 3-0 (25-19, 25-15 and 25-13). Omaha hit .402–surpassed this season only by the North Dakota matchup just days before. Courtney Morehead and Claire Mountjoy achieved 11 and 10 digs respectively, while Sade hit .643 on her way to 11 kills. Case tallied 38 assists.
Last season, the Mavs ended the season 10-18 overall, and 7-7 in conference play. They were 4-6 at home. This year’s squad has already matched that win total at home this year (Omaha is 4-0 at home after winning one home conference matchup and sweeping the Omaha Challenge).
The best season in Division I history for the Omaha volleyball squad was 2015, when they finished as league runners-up. They finished the year 19-13 overall and 12-4 in conference.
The team will face new league member North Dakota on Friday at Baxter Arena at 7 p.m.
*Prior to publication, Omaha played against Purdue Fort Wayne on Sunday.