MACOMB, Ill. — A stellar blocking performance powered the Omaha volleyball team to its second straight conference win Friday evening at Western Illinois, 3-1 (25-15, 21-25, 27-25, 25-15). With the win, the Mavericks improved to 5-10 (2-0 Summit League), while the Leathernecks dropped to 5-12 (0-3).
Leaders for Omaha
Junior Mackenzie Horkey recorded her sixth double-double of the season with a match-high 16 kills on .302 hitting, adding 12 digs and two blocks. Senior Sydney O’Shaughnessy joined in with her eighth double-double on a match-high 53 assists, 11 digs, five blocks and four kills.
Freshman middle blockers Bella Sade and Anna Blaschko combined for an outstanding effort at the net, as each tallied a match-best seven blocks for the night. Sade added 15 kills on .370 hitting with two aces, and Blaschko chipped in five more kills.
Junior Abby Bergsten also had 12 kills and hit at a .370 clip along with two blocks.
Leaders for Western Illinois
Mackenzie Steckler finished with a team-leading 12 kills and three blocks, while Claire Grove snagged a match-high 31 digs. Emilee Dechant matched Steckler on the block with three more stops.
Omaha outhit Western Illinois, .254 to .092, and outblocked the Leathernecks, 14-7. The Mavericks’ block total ties for their season best, matching a 14-block effort at Drake on Sept. 7.
Inside Set 1
Omaha built a 6-1 lead to open the math with the help of three blocks, a pair of Bergsten kills and a Mountjoy ace before a WIU timeout. A Horkey kill and an O’Shaughnessy/Sade block pushed it to 8-2 before the Leathernecks halted the 7-0 run. Another run — this time 4-0 — extended Omaha’s advantage to 13-4.
Bergsten and Sade later put down three straight kills to make it 20-6. Behind five kills and five blocks from Sade, Omaha seized the first set, 25-15. The Mavericks hit .364 to -.190 and had the edge in blocking, 6-2.
Inside Set 2
Western went up 7-0 to open the second game and worked to its largest lead at 18-5. Trailing 23-12, Omaha rattled off a 7-0 run behind three kills from Horkey, two more from Blaschko and another from Roth to cut it to 23-19. Following a Leatherneck timeout, a Melanie Patenaude kill brought it to set point, but O’Shaughnessy sent over two kills to make it 24-21. WIU, however, got a final kill from Jaime Johnson to take the set, 25-21.
Inside Set 3
Down 10-5 early in set three, Omaha called for a timeout. After a Roth kill and three more blasts from Horkey, Western took a timeout of its own at 11-9. The Mavericks pulled within one at 18-17, but a service error and a pair of Leatherneck kills pushed WIU to a 21-17 advantage and forced another Omaha timeout. A Blaschko/Roth block, a WIU attack error and a Roth kill then had the Mavericks threatening at 21-20, and Omaha put the set in a 22-22 lock on a Horkey kill. A back-and-forth battle brought the game to set point three times, and Horkey’s 14th kill of the night sealed the set win at 27-25.
Inside Set 4
Omaha’s block party continued in the fourth set, as five more stops propelled the Mavericks to a 10-5 edge to start. A Roth kill and a Mountjoy ace later put the Mavericks up 15-9 and prompted a WIU timeout. Omaha, which never trailed in the set, brought it to match point at 24-14, and a final solo block by Blaschko gave the Mavericks the win, 25-15.
Noting Tonight’s Match
-O’Shaughnessy’s 53-assist effort was her fourth match with 50+ assists this season.
-Blaschko and Sade’s seven blocks apiece tie for the second-highest individual block total of any Maverick this year.
-Over its first two league games, Omaha has hit .267 as a team, up from .178 in non-conference play.
Omaha visits Fort Wayne on Sunday, Oct. 1, with the match set for Noon CT in Fort Wayne, Ind.