OMAHA, Neb. – The Omaha volleyball opened the regular season with a pair of victories in straight sets over Abilene Christian and Idaho State on the opening day of the Omaha Challenge.
The Mavericks defeated Abilene Christian (25-23, 25-11, 25-18) and Idaho State (25-16, 25-17, 25-18) in head coach Matt Buttermore’s debut at the helm.
Omaha improved to 3-2 all-time against Abilene Christian and 1-0 all-time against Idaho State.
Matt Buttermore now 2-0 with Omaha and also picked up his 180th career win in his eighth season overall as a head coach.
Isabella Sade finished with a team-high 34 kills over the two-match. Anna Blascko and Claire Leonard each had 16 and 15 kills over the two-match span.
At setter, Jaclyn Taylor totaled a 32 and 34-assist performance in the matches.
OMAHA 3, ABILENE CHRISTIAN 0
The Mavericks surged past the Wildcats behind the 19 kills of Sade as the team cruised to a 3-0 victory. Omaha also had a 10-ace performance as a team and doubled Abilene Christian’s kills (44-22).
In the first set, Omaha fell into a five-point hole (10-5) after the Wildcats rattled off three straight points. Omaha eventually tied it up at 19-all after a 4-0 run sparked by a kill by Blaschko. Three-straight Leonard kills followed and evened up the score. Multiple lead changes followed before the Mavericks pulled out the win with two-straight points on a kill by Sade and a Wildcat attack error.
Set two saw the Mavericks run away with the point, courtesy of a 6-0 spurt that made it 16-8. Omaha saw its biggest lead get to 12 (22-10) on a 5-1 run later on in the set. The last three points of the set came on a kills by Sade and Rachel Fairbanks, along with another Wildcat attack error.
Omaha capped off the sweep with momentum late in the match. Down 17-16, the Mavericks pulled together a monumental 8-0 run, with five of the points coming from kills. From there, Abilene Christian was unable to close the gap as the Mavericks cruised to the 25-18 third set victory.
OMAHA 3, IDAHO STATE 0
Sade led the attack with another double-digit kill effort of 15 with eight digs. The team, once again, totaled 10 aces in the match and hit .245 overall. Fairbanks followed with eight kills and three blocks on .286 hitting, while Rylee Marshall totaled a team-best four blocks in the match.
Omaha got off to a slow first-set start in its second match of the day. After an Idaho State service error made the deficit 8-4, the Mavericks splurged with their longest rally of the day – a 9-0 run. Up 15-10, the Bengals did not waiver and were able to cut the lead to one (16-15). The Mavericks, however, never let them close the gap and controlled the match outright with another 8-0 run that was capped off by a Sade kill.
Omaha aims to go 3-0 for the second-straight season in its home tournament with a 2 p.m. match tomorrow against UAlbany. Prior to the Mavericks, Idaho State and Abilene Christian square off at 11 a.m. For more information, visit OMavs.com.