By Nate Tenopir, Sports Editor
UNO volleyball lost in straight sets at future summit league opponent North Dakota St. and ended their season with a 5-23 record. The Bison handled the Mavs 25-11, 25-18, 25-19 and took sole possession of first place in the conference.
Junior outside hitter Natalie Ebke led UNO with 10 kills, while the Maverick attack could only achieve a disappointing .071 hitting percentage. The senior trio of Emily Myers, Angie Reicks and Brittany Hanssen all played in the final match of their UNO career.
Myers chipped in 21 assists, Reicks had a team leading 19 digs and Hanssen had 3 kills to go along with a block. In their first year of transitioning to Division I, the Mavs played 11 matches against D-I opponents, earning one win at UMKC on Oct. 20.
NDSU started off the match hot, hitting .519 in the first set and jumping out to a 12-3 lead. From there the two teams would trade points, getting the score to 21-9 Bison.
NDSU increased the lead to 24-11 and earned the first set victory with an ace by setter Jennifer Lopez. In the second set the Mavs were able to get out to a 12-9 lead, but seven straight points from the Bison put UNO back in the hole 12-16.
Scoring went back and forth the rest of the set with NDSU eventually earning a 25-18 win on a kill from Chrissy Knuth. In the final set, the Mavs stayed with the Bison to the 9-9 mark.
The Bison broke the tie with five straight points for a 14-9 lead. Ebke converted back-to-back kills to get UNO within three.
From that point on the Mavs couldn’t get any closer than four points at 20-16. Ebke had UNO’s final kill of the match to make the score 23-18.
NDSU hung on and finished off the set and the match 25-19.
The Mavs will begin a full regular season schedule with the Summit League in 2012/13. In 2011, UNO faced future conference foes South Dakota St., NDSU, South Dakota and UMKC.
The Mavs played at South Dakota St. and NDSU while getting South Dakota and UMKC both at home and on the road.