Omaha volleyball seniors Nicki Carson and Elise Brown play their final two home matches this weekend -- Friday at Sapp...
Courtesy: Omaha Athletics

Mavericks Set for Home Finale, Senior Day

Omaha Athletics | November 03, 2016
This Weekend
The Omaha volleyball team plays its last two home matches of the season this weekend, welcoming South Dakota State on Friday, Nov. 4 at Sapp Fieldhouse at 7 p.m. and Oral Roberts on Sunday, Nov. 6 at Baxter Arena at 2 p.m. Sunday's match will include pre-match Senior Day festivities to honor seniors Elise Brown and Nicki Carson. Student broadcasters Noah Sullinger, Brandon McDermott and Justin Doering will have the call of this weekend's action, and links to live stats, audio and video will be available on

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 1,015-591-7.
•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 State Jackrabbits
South Dakota State enters the weekend with a record of 4-20 (3-9 Summit League) after a 3-1 win over Fort Wayne last Sunday. Ashley Beaner paces the Jackrabbits with 3.61 kills per set, which ranks third in the Summit League. She was named Summit League Offensive Player of the Week on Monday after a career-high 25 kills against Oral Roberts and 18 more against Fort Wayne last weekend. For the week, she averaged 4.78 kills per set.

Head coach Nicole Cirillo is in her second season at SDSU with a career record of 9-47.

Omaha leads the all-time series with South Dakota State, 38-20. The Jacks defeated the Mavericks in their first matchup on Sept. 30 by a tally of 3-0 in Brookings.

Scouting the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles
Oral Roberts enters the weekend with a record of 14-12 (6-6 Summit League) after a 3-0 sweep at Western Illinois on Tuesday. Laura Milos leads the Summit League with 5.56 kills per set, while Lucija Bojanjac ranks fourth in the league for assists per set (9.54). Milos and Bojanjac were All-Summit honorees in 2015, and Milos was also named AVCA All-Midwest Region.

Head coach Sheera Sirola is in her 14th season leading the ORU program with a record of 252-176.

The all-time series between Omaha and Oral Roberts is tied at 5-5. In the first matchup this season on Oct. 2, the Mavericks battled past ORU, 3-2, in Tulsa.

Last Time Out: Mavericks Cap Road Swing, Fall 3-0 at NDSU
Omaha completed its four-match road swing Saturday night, falling 3-0 (14-25, 14-25, 26-28) to North Dakota State at Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse. Freshman Hannah Angeli notched her seventh double-double of the season to lead the Mavericks, finishing with 23 assists, 13 digs and two blocks.

Freshman Chloe Dousette posted a team-high six kills, and redshirt freshman Meagen Roth added five more kills with nine digs and a pair of solo blocks. Junior Amanda Conlin matched Roth with five kills of her own and added two blocks. The effort helped Omaha outblock the Bison, 7.0-5.0.

Defensively, freshman Olivia Spanton had a team-leading 17 digs for the night.

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 scoop 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).

Fighting Through Five
Omaha has gone 5-1 (.833) in five-set matches this season. The last time the Mavericks had just one five-set loss in a season was 2013 (2-1).

Additionally, all six five-game matches this season have clocked in at more than two hours. The longest lasted 2:27 when Omaha pulled out a 3-2 win over North Dakota State on Oct. 16.

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 seven of the last eight matches, including a season-high 20-kill performance vs. North Dakota State on Oct. 16. She also owns six double-figure kill efforts.

With Dousette in the lineup, the Mavericks have hit .150 as a team, up from matches without her, when they hit .137.

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 40 nationally in three categories: 18th nationally for attacks per set (37.56), 22nd for total attacks (3,681) and 39th for total digs (1,583).

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 apiece for sophomore outside hitter Kayla Torson and freshman setter Hannah Angeli, two for redshirt freshman rightside hitter Meagen Roth and one for junior outside hitter Mackenzie Horkey.

Angeli On the Attack
Freshman setter Hannah Angeli has started 19 of the last 20 matches since Sept. 3, first starting as a setter vs. Drake, then taking on a hitting role for the next 15 matches and picking up setting duties again over the last three contests. The Maplewood, Minn., native has had double-digit kill performances six times, including a career-high 15 at South Dakota State.

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).

What Makes Up the Mavericks
•Omaha returns seven letterwinners from the 2015 season, including three from the starting lineup: setter Sydney O'Shaughnessy and outside hitters Mackenzie Horkey and Gessica Gdowski.
•UNO returns 32 percent of its total offensive production from last season, as this year’s returners accounted for 520 of the Mavericks’ 1,641 kills.
•The Mavs also return 50 percent of their total blocking production from last year, with the returners credited for 135 out of 271 stops.
•Horkey is UNO’s top returning hitter, having averaged 2.54 kills per set last year.
•O'Shaughnessy was recognized with an All-Summit award at the end of 2015, while Gdowski was named to the Summit League All-Freshmen Team.
•The Mavericks are made up of seven freshmen, one redshirt freshman, two sophomores, three juniors and two seniors.
•Omaha's roster includes five players from Nebraska, four from Minnesota, four from Iowa and one apiece from Illinois and Arizona.

2016 Slate Takes Mavericks Around the Nation
Omaha’s 2016 schedule includes 30 matches against 22 different opponents, and the team will play in eight states across the country. UNO will square off with opponents from 12 other conferences, with three from the Missouri Valley and one apiece from the Atlantic 10, Big 12, Big Sky, Big Ten, Big West, Ivy League, MAC, Ohio Valley, SEC, Southland and WAC. Four opponents -- Denver, Illinois, Iowa State and Northern Iowa -- played in the 2015 NCAA Tournament.

Entering 2016, the Mavericks have never faced four of their opponents: Ole Miss, Ball State, Cornell and Murray State. UNO holds a combined all-time record of 223-169-2 over all teams on the slate this season.

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 480-364 (.569), 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.

No Longer the Newcomers
In 2016-17, Omaha is in its second year as a Division I institution with full Summit League and NCAA postseason eligibility. The Mavericks competed as a reclassifying Division I school from 2011-14, and they officially joined the Summit League in 2012. During the reclassification period, UNO was ineligible for the league tournament and NCAA postseason play, but played a full regular-season conference schedule in its final three transitional years before assuming full eligibility in 2015-16.

Up Next
Omaha returns to action on Tuesday, Nov. 8, visiting Denver at 8 p.m. CT. A link to live stats will be available on



Volleyball vs. Oral Roberts
Volleyball vs. Oral Roberts
Highlights: Omaha Volleyball vs. SDSU
Highlights: Omaha Volleyball vs. SDSU
Volleyball vs. NDSU
Volleyball vs. NDSU