Omaha volleyball clinches spot in Summit League Tournament

Photo by Dayna Berry

Sam Lauritsen

Omaha volleyball had their winning streak halted at three as they were defeated by the South Dakota Coyotes on Friday night. The team battled hard in a five-set match but came up short, falling 3-2 at the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. The Mavericks are now 9-15 (6-5 Summit League), while the Coyotes improve to 15-8 (9-2). The Coyotes completed the season sweep of Omaha with this win.

Omaha trailed early in the first set 10-5, but soon the Mavericks ripped off a 7-2 run to tie it at 12-12. The rest of the set was a back-and-forth battle ending with Omaha coming out on top 25-23 to take the early match lead 1-0.

Once again, set two was an absolute dog fight with the Mavericks and Coyotes trading scoring runs. The Coyotes had the final say as they played extremely well in the clutch winning the set 27-25 and evening the match score at 1-1.

Set three was yes, you guessed it, a barnburner. The set went back and forth, finally giving Omaha a set point at 24-23. The Mavericks failed to capitalize on their set point, as the Coyotes went on a 3-0 run to win the pivotal third set 26- 24.

Omaha came out with revenge in mind for the fourth set. Omaha hit .257 in set four while holding the Coyotes to a -.048 showing. Omaha had a key 8-1 closing run, which allowed the Mavericks to win the fourth set 25-20, which sent the match to set five.

Omaha built an early 5-2 advantage in the deciding set, but the Coyotes came back to tie it at 5-5. South Dakota then took the lead at 7-6 and never relinquished it, closing on a 7-2 run to win 15-9 and took the match 3-2 in a heartbreaking fashion for the Mavericks.

Once again, the Mavericks were led by Sydney O’Shaughnessy with 54 assists, which was her secondhighest total of the season and her fifth performance of more than 50 this year. Omaha’s 65 assists as a team were also a season high.

Omaha outhit South Dakota .223 to .167 and outblocked the Coyotes 14-6. It marked the Mavericks’ second straight and eighth overall double-digit blocking performance. That being said, the Mavericks had a great showing this weekend as they fought tough against a solid South Dakota team, but they are not satisfied.

Omaha took on Denver on Sunday for a matchup against the number two team in the Summit League at 18-5 overall and 9-2 in conference play. The Mavericks also have matches coming up next weekend against Oral Roberts and North Dakota State, which could prove to be extremely pivotal in seeding for the upcoming conference tournament.