VERMILLION, S.D. – The Omaha volleyball team took down South Dakota in a five-set battle (19-25, 25-21, 25-21, 20-25, 15-12) on the road on Monday night in Vermillion, S.D.
The win moves the Mavericks to 4-4 (3-3 Summit League) while the Coyotes drop to 4-4 (3-1).
Omaha had 17 service aces in the victory, tying Weber St. and Northwestern St. for the most in a DI match this season and setting a new program record in the DI era.
Leaders for Omaha
Sadie Limback had a team-high 15 kills while hitting .306. Alexa Blase totaled a season-high 14 kills and posted a team-high four service aces. Serving specialist Olivia Curry also had four service aces for the Mavericks.
Rachel Fairbanks fell one kill short a of a double-double with nine kills and 11 digs. Sami Clarkson recorded 43 assists, seven digs and three service aces while Claire Mountjoy added 20 digs and three service aces.
Leaders for South Dakota
Elizabeth Juhnke posted a match-high 18 kills and 20 digs to lead the Coyotes. Sami Slaughter tallied 14 kills, followed by Madison Harms with 11 kills.
Omaha hit .188 to South Dakota’s .248. The Mavericks totaled 52 kills and 59 digs while hitting a match-high .348 in the second set. The Coyotes had 55 kills and 67 digs with five service aces as a team. USD posted a 16-6 advantage in blocks over Omaha.
Inside the First Set
Omaha and South Dakota exchanged points to start the match with the Coyotes hanging to a 5-4 advantage. USD got ahead 21-15 before a Fairbanks kill and back-to-back USD errors had the Mavericks within three at 21-18. South Dakota scored four of the next five points to post the 25-19 victory.
Inside the Second Set
A pair of aces by Fairbanks and Curry and kills from Rylee Marshall and Fairbanks led the Mavericks to a 12-6 lead. USD cut the deficit to 19-17 after a kill by Slaughter, but couldn’t cut into the Omaha lead anymore. Blocks by Anna Blaschko and Fairbanks moved the Mavericks to a set point before Blaschko slammed home a kill to clinch the second-set win for Omaha.
Inside the Third Set
Coming off a second-set victory, Omaha leaped out to a 6-0 lead on a pair of USD errors, two aces by Blasé and kills from Limback and Blase. The Mavericks didn’t let up, stretching the lead to 13-3 before an ace by Clarkson handed the Mavericks an 18-6 lead. South Dakota responded with an 11-5 rally, trimming the Maverick lead to 23-17. A coyote error and kill by Blase gave the Mavericks a 25-18 win.
Inside the Fourth Set
South Dakota responded after back-to-back losses in the second and third sets. The Coyotes led by as many as 13 with a 22-9 lead. A USD error, two straight Limback kills and an ace by Mountjoy got the Mavericks within eight, 22-14. Another ace from Mountjoy and a pair of Limback kills cut the Coyote lead to 23-18, but South Dakota held off the late push by the Mavericks for a 25-20 victory.
Inside the Fifth Set
Trailing 8-4, Omaha fought back with four consecutive points to tie the decisive set at eight apiece. The Mavericks and Coyotes exchanged the next four points, leading to another tie at 10. A USD error, ace by Blase and kill by Marshall handed the Mavericks an important 13-10 lead.
The Coyotes responded with a kill by Slaughter and an attack error by the Mavericks made it a 13-12 game. Fairbanks tallied her ninth kill of the match to set up the match point for Omaha before a play at the net between Blaschko and USD’s Madison Jurgens was ruled an attack error on Jurgens to clinch the win for the Mavericks.
The Mavericks welcome North Dakota to Baxter Arena for a pair of matches on Sunday and Monday, Feb. 20-21.