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Omaha Volleyball opens Omaha Challenge with pair of wins

Omaha Volleyball opens Omaha Challenge with pair of wins

OMAHA, Neb. – The Maverick volleyball team swept both of its opponents on the opening day of the Omaha Challenge Friday, Aug. 31.

Omaha defeated UMKC 3-1 (25-18, 20-25, 25-23, 26-24) and followed up with another 3-1 victory (25-21, 24-26, 28-26, 25-21) over UIC to cap off the first day.

Leaders for Omaha
Sydney Case tallied 107 assists over the two-match span with an average of 13.38 per set. The freshman from Lakeville, Minn., recorded 50 assists in the win over UMKC. She followed that performance with her first-career double-double of 57 assists and 10 digs to go with three aces against UIC.

Omaha had four players with double-digit kills against UMKC. Sadie Limback led the way with 15 kills on .500 hitting, followed by Isabella Sade (12), Abby Bergsten (11) and Anna Blaschko (10). The Mavericks followed up with the same quartet of players who posted double-digit kills against UIC in Limback (15), Abby Bergsten (14), Sade (13) and Blaschko (11).

MATCH 1 – OMAHA 3, UMKC 1
Inside Set 1
A strong start paced the Mavericks to an eventual 4-0 spurt that gave them a 9-5 lead. UMKC was able to battle back and come within striking distance, but a kill by Bergsten helped the Mavericks build a short run to lead by five (20-15). From there, Omaha notched five points and eventually sealed the first set on a UMKC service error.

Inside Set 2
The Kangaroos answered in the second set to tie the match at 1-1 off a 5-1 spurt to give them a 15-11 lead. Omaha could not close the gap despite scoring three unanswered to cut the deficit at 19-16. UMKC closed out the set on a 4-0 run to win 25-20.

Inside Set 3
After seeing four lead changes in the early portion of the third set, the Mavericks saw UMKC go on a 4-0 run to lead 12-8. Omaha withstood the Kangaroos’ momentum, and answered back with a 4-0 run of its own to lead 17-15 off a crucial kill by Sade. The set went down to the wire as both teams exchanged points, but a pair of Bergsten kills gave the Mavericks the 25-23 set victory and a 2-1 lead in the match.

Inside Set 4
Three straight points helped Omaha build a small cushion of a lead that made it 7-3 early in the fourth, but UMKC did not go away. The Mavericks eventually saw themselves in a 17-16 deficit after five straight UMKC points, but back-to-back kills by Limback gave them the lead. Down 22-24, Omaha went on to score four straight and take the set and the match off a pair of Bergsten kills and consecutive attack errors by UMKC.

MATCH 2 – OMAHA 3, UIC 1
Inside Set 1
Omaha outscored the Flames 5-2 in the final seven points of the match to get on the board first. Bergsten proved to provide crucial kills late in the set, while Blaschko capped off the set win with a kill off an assist from Case that made it 25-21.

Inside Set 2
The Mavericks bolted out to a 5-1 lead in the second set over the Flames. UIC was able to climb back and eventually take a 20-17 lead on a 5-0 run. Omaha led by two (24-22) later in the set, but four straight UIC points tied it at 1-1.

Inside Set 3
Another fast start by Omaha plagued UIC, as the Mavericks led 6-1 early on. The Flames eventually saw a lead change and held a 15-14 advantage, but four consecutive Omaha points made it 21-19 Mavericks. Bergsten, yet again, provided a trio of late kills in the set to help Omaha win 28-26 and lead 2-1.

Inside Set 4
The Mavericks led by as many as eight (20-12) during the final set of the match, but saw that lead dwindle to just three (23-20) after a UIC run. Omaha, however, survived the scare and pulled out the four-point win. Kills by Limback off back-to-back assists from Case sealed the final two points of the match.

Up Next
The Mavericks aim to go a perfect 3-0 over the weekend tomorrow at 4 p.m. against UTEP in the final match of the Omaha Challenge.

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