Omaha Volleyball gets to a hot start in Summit League tournament play


Ethan Wolbach

Omaha volleyball players celebrating on the court
The Maverick Volleyball team celebrates a point during their regular season encounter with South Dakota. Photo by Kylie Squiers/the Gateway

The Omaha Mavericks secured a quarterfinal victory against the No. 5 seed North Dakota State (NDSU) Bison in The Summit League Volleyball Championship.

The Mavericks defeated the Bison 3-1 (25-18, 24-26, 25-18, 25-17) in a very competitive match to advance to the semifinal round against the No. 1 seed South Dakota Coyotes. With the victory, Omaha completed the season sweep against NDSU.

In set one, both teams battled before Omaha took an 8-5 lead on a kill by Anna Blaschko. The Mavericks held momentum throughout a majority of the first set, as they led by as many as five points. However, a late surge by the Bison cut the Mavericks lead to just two, 16-14.

Late in the set, Isabella Sade added to Omaha’s lead with a kill, 22-17. The Mavericks finished on a 5-1 run to put the Bison away in set one.

Early in set two, teams traded points all the way until Omaha took a 10-9 lead behind a kill from Sadie Limback. NDSU then found their rhythm as the Bison proceeded to rattle off a 6-0 run to take the lead 16-10. Omaha searched for a way to dig themselves out of the hole, pulling within five, 21-16, after a kill by Rylee Marshall. A late 4-0 run by the Mavericks tied the match at 23. However, attack errors by Claire Leonard and Blaschko handed the set to the Bison 26-24.

Neither team wavered in the early stages of set three, until a Limback kill gave Omaha the lead 10-9. Omaha refused to relinquish the lead as the Mavericks saw the set out from their winning position.

The offense began to click for the Mavericks in set three as they cruised on a 6-1 run to take dominant control of the match, 18-13. After two quick points by the Bison, Omaha waltzed their way to yet another 6-1 run as Sade tallied three consecutive kills. Limback dropped the hammer on the Bison, to close the set 25-18 for the Mavericks.

Set four was all Mavericks, as they took a 11-5 behind the kill from Blaschko. Omaha carried that momentum throughout the rest of the set as the Mavericks, after a kill by Alexa Blasé, extended their lead to 18-13. NDSU continued to battle in the set, however, it proved to be too little, too late for the Bison as the Mavericks coasted to a 25-17 victory. That win would be enough to give the Mavericks what they needed, as they won the match 3-1.

Three Mavericks tallied double-digit kills in the match, Sade (21), Limback (16) and Blaschko (11). With her performance, Limback extended her double-digit kill streak to 17 matches. The undersized Mavericks played extremely strong at the net, racking up 9 blocks on the match.

Omaha will appear in their second semifinal match since entering the Summit League. The Mavericks will face off against the No. 1 seed South Dakota State who comes into the game on a 24-match win streak after finishing 16-0 in Summit League regular season play. South Dakota won both matchups against the Mavericks this season, 3-2 in Vermillion, South Dakota, and 3-1 at Baxter Arena in Omaha. The winner will advance to The Summit League Volleyball Championship match Sunday, Nov. 24.

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