After putting together a junior season that resulted in a spot on the All-Summit League First Team, Omaha volleyball’s Sadie Limback picked up another accolade as she was named Maverick Female Athlete of the Year.
“It’s super exciting,” Limback said. “I think it just shows all of the hard work that I’ve put in and my team has put in throughout the year. We’ve been working since August because we never knew when our season was going to start, so we put in a lot of work, a lot of hours, and awards like these really show all of our dedication and hard work.”
Limback was one of three finalists for the award along with Claire Killian (women’s basketball) and Margaret Lavigne (women’s soccer). This spring Limback recorded a Summit League-best .404 hitting percentage and was the league’s Offensive Player of the Week four times in a row. She is the first and only player in Summit League history to do so.
As for that hitting percentage, it’s the highest recorded by a Maverick in the Division I era of the program. It’s also the second-best in all-time program history. She also became the second Maverick in program history to record 1,000 career kills earlier this season.
Limback found out about the honor over a Zoom team meeting. There’s usually a year-end team banquet, but that was moved online due to COVID-19. It’s a sign of the times everyone is living, but that’s made this season’s success that much more special.
“Being a student-athlete is hard enough in general,” she said. “Managing time, homework, putting in hours every day for your sport, and then we were having to follow all of the COVID protocols and everything on top of it. This season was a lot of work, but it makes this award mean a little bit more because of it.”
Even with everything going on in the world around them, the Mavericks finished the season 13-6 and qualified for the Summit League Tournament as the fourth seed. However, they fell to top-seeded Denver in that tournament, 3-0.
A season that saw a 10-1 stretch to close out the regular season and a 7-2 record on home court, with several individual honors on top of it, it’s something else Limback said she’ll remember most.
“I’ll never forget the resiliency of our team and how close we were,” Limback said. “We were together for so long and usually there’s some drama that happens in any sports group, especially with girls, and we didn’t have any of that. We were all together all of the time and we just made the best of every situation.
“We made this year fun despite all of our obstacles and I’ll probably just remember how much fun it was and that time we got together.”
With Limback receiving this year’s honor, it’s two straight Female Athlete of the Year awards for the volleyball program. She hopes next year they can make it a third, but more than anything, she hopes underclassmen see that hard work pays off.
“I think it just shows the people coming in and the underclassmen that volleyball is one of our best sports at UNO,” Limback said. “Last year Anna Blaschko got the award, this year I got the award, and maybe next year one of our sophomores or freshmen could get the award. So it’s a good motivator and it just shows that if you keep on working hard you will get rewarded.”