Omaha faces Denver and Western Illinois in the final week of regular-season play.
Courtesy: Omaha Athletics

Omaha Closes Regular Season at DU, WIU

Omaha Athletics | November 07, 2016
This Week
The Omaha volleyball team plays its final two matches of the regular season this week, visiting Denver on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. CT and Western Illinois on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. Live stats, audio and video, as available, will be linked on

Quick Hits
•Omaha can make the 2016 Summit League Tournament field with two wins accompanied by two Oral Roberts losses this week.
•The Mavericks rattled off two 3-2 wins last weekend vs. South Dakota State and Oral Roberts. The last time they achieved back-to-back five set victories was Sept. 2 vs. Ball State and Abilene Christian in the Omaha Classic.
•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 55 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 1,017-591-7.
•O'Shaughnessy, senior outside hitter Elise Brown and sophomore outside hitter Kayla Torson were selected as Omaha's 2016 team captains.

Scouting the Denver Pioneers
Denver enters the week with a record of 19-6 (11-2 Summit League) after defeating Oral Roberts last Friday, 3-0. Kayla Principato paces the Pioneers with 2.97 kills per set, while Emma Willis leads the Pioneer defense with 1.12 blocks per set, which ranks first in the Summit League. As a team, the Pioneers lead the conference in hitting percentage (.269) and blocks per set (2.47)

Head coach Tom Hogan is in his first season as the head coach of the Pioneer program and owns a career record of 19-6.

Denver leads the all-time series with Omaha, 8-1. The two teams met previously this season on Sept. 24 in Omaha, where the Pioneers defeated the Mavericks, 3-1. Their last meeting in Denver was Nov. 22, 2015 in the Summit League Championship Final, where DU edged Omaha 3-2 for the conference title and an NCAA Tournament berth.

Scouting the Western Illinois Leathernecks
Western Illinois enters the weekend with a record of 4-26 (1-13 Summit League) after dropping a five-set match last Saturday to South Dakota State. Shalyn Greenhaw leads the Leathernecks with 3.00 kills per set, while Kaili Simmons ranks second in the Summit League for total digs (546) and digs per set (5.06).

Head coach Kelly Richardson is in her second season at Western Illinois with a record of 7-54 and a career mark of 90-201 over nine seasons.

Omaha leads the all-time series with Western Illinois, 5-4. The two teams previously met this season in Omaha, where the Leathernecks defeated the Mavericks, 3-1, on Sept. 27. Their last meeting in Macomb was Oct. 20, 2015, when UNO picked up a 3-1 victory.

Last Time Out: Mavericks Celebrate Senior Day, Top ORU in Five
Omaha pulled off another five-set thriller Sunday afternoon, toppling Oral Roberts 3-2 (25-23, 20-25, 25-20, 19-25, 25-23) at Baxter Arena.  The match marked Omaha’s seventh five-set victory of the year and was also Senior Day to celebrate senior duo Elise Brown and Nicki Carson.

Freshman Chloe Dousette led the way with a team-high 21 kills on .340 hitting. Junior Sydney O'Shaughnessy tallied her team-leading 12th double-double of the season, courtesy of a career-high 58 assists with 15 digs, three kills and three service aces.

Brown also had a double-double -- her second this weekend -- with 13 kills and 14 digs alongside two blocks. Freshman Ellie Brown added 14 kills while attacking at a .370 clip and adding a pair of solo blocks, and junior Amanda Conlin had eight kills on .353 hitting with a team-best three blocks.

Three more Mavericks had double-figure defensive efforts, as Olivia Spanton finished with 15 digs, Hannah Angeli put up 14 more and Ashley Smith had another 13. Angeli also had three aces and five kills for the day.

Sydney's Smashing Milestones
Junior Sydney O'Shaughnessy reached a pair of long-awaited career milestones Friday night vs. South Dakota State, as her 53-assist, 10-dig performance helped her pass the 1,000 career digs and 3,000 career assists marks in just under three seasons. She is 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.

The last Maverick to register 1,000 digs was Kimberly Bailey, who achieved the feat in 2014. The last Maverick to pass 3,000 career assists was Emily Myers (2008-11).

Fighting Through Five
Omaha has gone 7-1 (.875) 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 eight five-game matches this season have clocked in at more than two hours. The longest lasted 2:36 when Omaha pulled off a 3-2 win over Oral Roberts on Nov. 6.

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 nine of the last 10 matches, including back-to-back season-high 21-kill performances vs. South Dakota State on Nov. 4 and vs. Oral Roberts on Nov. 6. She also owns eight double-figure kill efforts.

With Dousette in the lineup, the Mavericks have hit .166 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. In her junior year, she ranks seventh in school history for career assists, having amassed 3,103 since joining the program in 2014. The Omaha native most recently passed Christie Johnston (2002-05), who had 3,019, and currently sits behind Wendy Melcher (1980-83), who totaled 3,343.

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.

Brown's Double Trouble
Senior outside hitter Elise Brown tallied a double-double in both matches last weekend, finishing with career highs of 17 kills and 15 digs vs. South Dakota State, then 13 kills and 14 digs vs. Oral Roberts. The performances marked the first double-doubles of her Maverick career.

Mavericks Making Their Mark Nationally
Omaha ranks among the top 35 nationally in three categories: 21st for total attacks (4,035), 26th for attacks per set (37.36) and 33rd for total digs (1,739).

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 12 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 senior outside hitter Elise Brown and one for junior outside hitter Mackenzie Horkey.

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 225-169-2 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 482-364 (.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.



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