Volleyball plays 3 matches in 4 days

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By Nate Tenopir, Sports Editor

The UNO women’s volleyball team faced three Division I opponents last week, sandwiching a home match on Wednesday between trips to Wichita and Kansas City.  The Mavs pushed UMKC to five sets on Wednesday, while falling 3-0 to Wichita St. on Tuesday and 3-1 to North Dakota on Friday.

UNO has now dropped five straight and moves to 2-13 on the season.  Only seven times in 41 seasons has UNO finished with a losing record.

“Every game we learn a little bit more about ourselves and how we’re gonna fight the next time around,” said UNO senior setter Emily Myers.  “Individually at practice and other areas we are getting better because we’re taking teams to five and four.”

Though the season hasn’t been one that most Maverick fans would recognize, UNO fans came out and packed the Sapp Fieldhouse Wednesday night.  Pushed by a raucous crowd of 2,429, the Mavs came out blazing, building an 11-3 lead on UMKC, en route to a 25-19 set win.

The Kangaroos turned the tables in the second and third sets, jetting out to leads of 14-6 and 9-3 before winning 25-20 and 27-25.  Though the Mavs lost the third set, they got back into the set with their blocking game.

Senior Brittany Hanssen led the blocking attack, piling up a career-high 10 on the night.  Hanssen also added 10 kills for the first double-double of her career.

Trailing 19-14 in the third, a service error by UMKC followed by two UNO blocks made the score 19-17.  The Mavs got to a tie at 24, but the Kangaroos scored three of the next four points to win the set.

UNO would win the fourth set 25-21 but get behind 7-4 in the fifth, and lose the deciding set 15-10.

“UNO is always a battle team,” Myers said.  “I think we always battle and we’re always gonna put the effort out on the floor.  We just have to learn to finish the matches.”

Part of the reason the Mavs were unable to finish on Wednesday may have been due to playing another match 328 miles away the night before.  Tuesday night UNO was in Wichita playing Wichita St., and dropping three straight 20-25, 15-25 and 17-25.  The team didn’t arrive back in Omaha until 1 a.m.

Friday the Mavs again went on the road, this time to North Dakota, losing 3-1 by scores of 14-25, 25-19, 7-25 and 16-25.  Junior outside hitter Natalie Ebke had 14 kills and 13 digs for her team-leading eighth double-double of the season.

Ebke was joined in that effort by Myers who added her fifth double-double with 32 assists and 10 digs.  After 11 digs on Tuesday, 14 on Wednesday and 11 more on Friday, senior libero Angie Reicks is now only 67 digs from the all-time UNO record.

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