Sophomore Kayla Torson and the Omaha volleyball team visit South Dakota and North Dakota State this weekend.
Courtesy: Omaha Athletics

Omaha Takes On South Dakota, North Dakota State

Omaha Athletics | October 26, 2016
This Weekend
The Omaha volleyball team travels to the Dakotas this weekend, facing South Dakota on Friday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. and North Dakota State on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. Live stats and video will be available on OMavs.com.

Quick Hits
•Omaha was picked to finish sixth in the 2016 Summit League Preseason Poll. UNO finished as runner-up at the Summit League Championship last November, finishing a game shy of an NCAA Tournament berth.
•Omaha's seven true freshmen on the 2016 roster are the most since 2011.
•Junior setter Sydney O’Shaughnessy had a team-leading 19 double-doubles in her freshman campaign and led the squad again with 24 more as a sophomore. Her 53 career double-doubles are the most of any active Maverick.
•O'Shaughnessy is the Mavericks' sole returning All-Summit player from last season, as they also lost all-league performers Megan Schmale and Kimberly Bailey.
•Omaha has returned seven letterwinners, including three starters, from 2015.
•UNO lost six seniors from the 2015 squad to graduation.
•The Mavericks achieved the 1,000th win in program history last year with a 3-0 sweep at Oral Roberts on Oct. 9, 2015. All-time, Omaha is 1,015-589-7.
•O'Shaughnessy, senior outside hitter Elise Brown and sophomore outside hitter Kayla Torson were selected as Omaha's 2016 team captains.

Scouting the South Dakota Coyotes
League-leading South Dakota enters the weekend with a record of 19-4 (8-1 Summit League) after sweeping Oral Roberts last Friday. Audrey Reeg leads the Coyotes with 3.86 kills per set, which also ranks second in the conference, while Brittany Jessen has a league-best 10.88 assists per set. Jessen is the defending Summit League Setter of the Year, and she and Reeg were both All-Summit honorees in 2015.

Head coach Leanne Williamson is in her third season at USD with a career record of 53-32.

Omaha leads the all-time series with South Dakota, 57-16. USD defeated the Mavericks in their first matchup on Oct. 14 by a tally of in Omaha.

Scouting the North Dakota State Bison
North Dakota State enters the weekend with a record of 7-15 (5-4 Summit League) after a 3-1 road win at Oral Roberts last Saturday and a 3-0 loss to North Dakota in non-conference play on Tuesday. Hadley Steffens paces the Bison with 3.05 kills per set, followed by Emily Minnick (2.61) and Emily Miron (2.46). Minnick and Miron were both All-Summit Honorable Mention picks in 2015.

Head coach Kari Thompson is in her seventh season leading the Bison program with a record of 95-95.

Omaha leads the all-time series with North Dakota State, 43-38. In the first matchup this season on Oct. 16, the Mavericks battled past NDSU, 3-2, in Omaha.

Last Time Out: Fort Wayne Bests Mavericks, 3-1
Omaha capped its weekend road trip last Saturday night, falling 3-1 (11-25, 12-25, 26-24, 8-25) to Fort Wayne at Gates Sports Center.

Freshman Chloe Dousette registered her sixth double-figure kill performance of the season on a team-high 10 kills. Freshman Ellie Brown and junior Amanda Conlin followed with seven kills apiece, with Brown adding a team-leading four blocks and Conlin putting up two more blocks of her own.

Freshman Hannah Angeli narrowly missed a double-double, finishing with 27 assists, nine digs and three blocks. Senior Nicki Carson matched Angeli's blocking performance, adding three more stops in addition to her team-high 16 digs and four kills.

Approaching Milestones
Junior setter Sydney O'Shaughnessy is on the brink of becoming the first Maverick since Amy Steffel (1993-96) to put up at least 3,000 assists and 1,000 digs in a career. Steffel had 5,482 assists and 1,463 digs over her four seasons.

Entering the weekend, O'Shaughnessy sits one dig away from hitting the 1,000 career digs milestone. The last Maverick to register 1,000 digs was Kimberly Bailey, who achieved the feat in 2014.

With 2,992 assists to her credit, O'Shaughnessy also needs eight more to reach 3,000 in her career. The last Maverick to pass 3,000 career assists was Emily Myers (2008-11).

Dousette Stepping Up
Freshman outside hitter Chloe Dousette worked past an injury to start the season, made her career debut on Sept. 24 and earned her first career start Oct. 8 vs. IUPUI. Dousette has led Omaha in kills in five of the last six matches, including a season-high 20-kill performance vs. North Dakota State on Oct. 16.

With Dousette in the lineup, the Mavericks have hit .156 as a team and averaged 11.6 kills per set, up from matches without her, when they hit .137 and averaged 11.5 kills per set.

O’Shaughnessy Races Into Top 10 Assists List
Junior setter Sydney O’Shaughnessy etched her name into the UNO record books near the end of the 2015 season. Midway through her junior year, she ranks eighth in school history for career assists, having amassed 2,992 since joining the program in 2014. The Omaha native most recently passed Darla Melcher (1986-87), who had 2,628, and currently sits behind Christie Johnson (2002-05), who totaled 3,019.

O’Shaughnessy averaged 10.25 assists per set last season, becoming the first Maverick to average over 10.0 per set since Emily Myers in 2009.

Mavericks Making Their Mark Nationally
Omaha ranks among the top 35 nationally in three categories: 20th for attacks per set (37.47), 22nd for total attacks (3,447) and 33rd for total digs (1,482).

Double-Double Tracker
The Mavericks owned a combined 47 double-doubles last season, led by 24 from setter Sydney O’Shaughnessy. She was the first Maverick in 13 years to register 20 or more double-doubles in a single season, as the last to achieve the feat was Amy McLeay, who had 20 in 2003.

O'Shaughnessy has a team-leading 10 double-doubles this season, followed by seven for sophomore outside hitter Kayla Torson, six for freshman setter Hannah Angeli, two for redshirt freshman rightside hitter Meagen Roth and one for junior outside hitter Mackenzie Horkey.

Torson On a Tear
Sophomore outside hitter Kayla Torson stepped into a starting role this season and has started all but one match. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native has led the Mavericks in kills in nine matches and owns seven double-doubles, including her latest effort with 10 kills and 16 digs vs. Western Illinois on Sept. 27.

Angeli On the Attack
Freshman setter Hannah Angeli has started 17 of the last 18 matches since Sept. 3, first starting as a setter vs. Drake, then taking on a primarily hitting role. The Maplewood, Minn., native had double-digit kill performances twice at the UMKC Kangaroo Klassic, Sept. 9-10, tallying 10 vs. Bradley and 11 vs. Cornell. Angeli also had a season-high four blocks against the Big Red.

Angeli achieved four straight double-doubles from Sept. 24 to Oct. 2 to start league play: vs. Denver (14 kills/18 digs), vs. Western Illinois (12 kills/14 digs), at South Dakota State (season-high 15 kills/16 digs) and at Oral Roberts (10 kills/12 digs).

Shires Guides Mavericks as Winningest Coach in School History
Head coach Rose Shires is the all-time winningest coach in 46 years of UNO volleyball history. In her 27th year at the helm of the Maverick program, Shires owns a career record of 480-362 (.570), with the most wins of the five coaches who have served at Omaha.

The 1996 AVCA National Coach of the Year and a two-time conference coach of the year, Shires has enjoyed tremendous success as UNO’s guide. The 1996 campaign saw her lead UNO to a national championship as well as its first North Central Conference championship since 1987, followed by an Elite Eight appearance in 1997. In NCAA Tournament play, Shires’ squads have combined for 11 appearances and a 10-10 postseason mark.

Shires is assisted by associate head coach Karen Povondra, who is in her 26th season, assistant coach  Elena Pietro, in her second year, and volunteer assistant coach Tyler Yanez, who is in his first year on the Maverick staff.

Up Next
Omaha returns to action on Nov. 4, welcoming South Dakota State to Sapp Fieldhouse at 7 p.m. Links to live stats, audio and video will be available on OMavs.com.

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