Omaha Volleyball Loses a Sweep at New Orleans Invitational

Head Coach Rose Shires enters her 29th season at the helm of the Omaha Mavericks volleyball program. Photo courtesy UNO Communications.

Rebecca Weis

The Omaha Mavericks did not make the splash they wanted at their season opening tournament in New Orleans. During the two-day tournament, UNO played the New Orleans Privateers, the Murray State Racers and the Houston Cougars, losing to all three teams.

In her debut against New Orleans, transfer student Claire Leonard proved her worth when she recorded a team high of 15 kills for Omaha. Even though the Privateers led the entire first set, both Abby Bergsten and Leonard combined for six of Omaha’s 16 total points in the first set. The Mavericks lost the first set to the Privateers 25-16.

Omaha came back fighting in the second set with a kill from Isabella Sade and an ace from Sadi Limback. The Mavs eventually maintained a multi-point lead after Taylor assisted Limback on a kill to make the score 21-18. Omaha was able to take the lead and win the match–tying it 1-1.

The Mavericks and Privateers saw the match tied at least 10 different times throughout the third set. However, the Privateers were able to edge out Omaha making the score 25-23.

In the fourth set, Bergsten refused to let the Mavericks back down.  It was in this set she recorded her eighth kill of the night, giving the Mavericks a lead of 8-6 over the Privateers.

After New Orleans took back the lead, duo Limback and Anna Blaschko recorded the team’s eighth block, setting the score 14-12. The Mavs trailed by two, and never recovered––the Privateers won by four, winning the final set.

The second day of the tournament, the Omaha Mavericks faced the Murray State Racers and the Houston Cougars. Leonard and Sade lead the Mavericks with a combined total of 17 kills.

In the Mavericks first set against Murray State, they found themselves trailing by six. After a kill and an error made by the Racers, the Mavericks were able to cut the Racers’ lead down to three, making the score 10-7.

Continuing to battle, Sade gained the Mavericks a four-point lead with three of the points, leading the score to 22-19. Unfortunately, it was not enough for the Mavericks to pull ahead, and the Racers took home the first set 25-21.

In the second set, the Racers lead off with a 7-2 lead over the Mavericks. The Mavericks were able to tie the score 10-all, but Murry State pulled ahead again to grab a 25-20 victory.

The third set featured an early tie at 6-6. The Mavericks still fell short as Murry State scored four consecutive points, leading the Mavericks 25-20 in the final match.

The third match against the Houston Cougars required some time––Houston was able to fight back from an early deficit, but needed 33 to win the first set.

In the second set, the Houston Cougars jumped to a quick four-point lead over the Omaha Mavericks. Omaha then tied the game at 14- all, with a kill from Limback. The Mavericks gained a 17-16 advantage, but with a 9-2 run the Cougars won the set taking their second victory of the night.

The Mavericks never gave up their lead in the third set until they fell short in the final three points.  After leading the game 22-19 with a six-point run by the Cougars, Houston won the set and finished the match sweep, 3-0.