OMAHA, Neb. — The Omaha volleyball team continued play at the Omaha Challenge Friday evening, falling 3-1 (15-25, 25-19, 18-25, 22-25) to Northern Iowa at Baxter Arena. The Mavericks are now 3-9 on the season, while the Panthers improve to 9-3.
Leaders for Omaha
Two Mavericks had double-doubles for the night: junior Mackenzie Horkey with a team-leading 13 kills and 12 digs, as well as senior Sydney O’Shaughnessy with 40 assists and 13 digs alongside two blocks. O’Shaughnessy’s was her team-best seventh double-double of the season, while Horkey’s was her fourth of the year.
Senior Amanda Conlin led Omaha at the net, posting a match-high six blocks, which was also a season high. Freshman Anna Blaschko was close behind with five stops in addition to nine kills, and freshman Bella Sade had five blocks with 10 kills as well.
Freshman Claire Mountjoy put together a season-best defensive effort, totaling 28 digs. Sophomore Gessica Gdowski joined her in double figures with 13 digs and seven kills.
Leaders for UNI
The Panthers got a match-high 14 kills from Bri Weber and Piper Thomas. Weber added 23 digs for a double-double, and Heather Hook had another on 42 assists and 10 digs. Karlie Taylor added a third double-double with 12 kills and 13 digs.
UNI hit .160 to Omaha’s .112, while the Mavericks had the edge in blocking, 10-8.
Inside Set 1
UNI led nearly the entire way in the first set, but the Mavericks pulled within two at 10-8 on a Sade kill and an ace by junior Abby Bergsten. The Panthers then went on a 5-0 run to extend the margin to seven and eventually took the set, 25-15.
Inside Set 2
Omaha flipped the script in the second set, leading from the start. A trio of blocks helped the Mavericks to an early 8-1 advantage, and they built their largest lead at 15-8 on a Horkey kill. UNI managed to cut it to 20-18 with a short 3-0 run punctuated by a Hook kill, but the Mavericks used a 5-1 closing run of their own to cap it, 25-19.
Inside Set 3
UNI rebounded and led the entire third set. The Panthers took their largest lead at 20-12 on a Thomas service ace. With five kills apiece from Weber and Taylor, UNI sealed the game at 25-18.
Inside Set 4
The fourth set saw four ties up to 10-10, at which point the Mavericks called for a timeout. Back-to-back kills by Horkey and Gdowski, coupled by a UNI attack error, then pushed Omaha ahead by three. The Panthers knotted it at 16-16 and took the lead for good with the help of a 4-0 run. Omaha sheared it to a one-point game after a Horkey kill, a pair of UNI attack errors and a Gdowski kill, but the Panthers finished it off with a block and a Maverick attack error to cap the set, 25-22, and the match, 3-1.
Omaha returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 15, hosting No. 10 Nebraska in the finale of the Omaha Challenge. The match is set for 7:30 p.m. at Baxter Arena.