A Review of the Uprising: 2017-18 UNO Athletics

Stephanie Ahrens, pictured above, finished 8th nationally in the high jump, making her UNO’s first Division I, non-hockey All-American. Photo courtesy of UNO Communications

Ryan Jaeckel

The 2017-18 Mavericks had an exciting athletic season. Highlights included the men’s soccer team making their first NCAA tournament appearance and Stephanie Ahrens being the first ever track and field athlete to compete in the NCAA championship since UNO moved to Division 1 classification. For those of you that are new to the UNO family, here is quick recap of all athletics and how their seasons went in the past year.

The women’s soccer team, led by head coach Tim Walters, finished the 2017 season 6-10-1 overall with a conference record of 3-4-0, falling just short of making the conference tournament. The 2018 team has 12 incoming freshmen for the season. The lady Mavericks open their season against the Panthers of Northern Iowa on August 6 in Ankeny, Iowa. The first home game will be against the Creighton Bluejays on August 27 at historic Caniglia Field.

Moving to the men’s team, led by former head coach Jason Mims, made an historic run for the soccer program with a 10-6-3 record overall, 2-1-2 in the conference, beating Denver in the Summit League championship game in penalty kicks and finishing with an appearance in the NCAA Men’s Soccer tournament against FIU.

The men look to repeat last season under the helm of new head coach Bob Warming, who was hired in April. The majority of the 2017 team will be returning this season lead by 4 seniors. Preparing for the 2018 season, the men took a “Tour of Canada” playing 4 teams in the Quebec area and winning all 4 matches. The season kicks off with an exhibition game against Creighton on August 11th.

The 2017 women’s volleyball team finished their season 11-18, 7-7 in the Summit League, led by head coach Rose Shires. The team will have 8 incoming freshmen and will be led by seniors Abby Bergsten and Mackenzie Horkey.

The Mavericks will be playing in 4 tournaments before kicking off conference play. The first home game will be during the Omaha Challenge at Baxter Arena, when they face the Kangaroos of UMKC on August 31 at 12:30 pm, and the University of Illinois at Chicago Flames at 7:30 pm. They will close the home stand against the Miners of Texas at El Paso the next day at 1 pm.

In basketball, the 2017 women’s team finished their season 12-16 with a 3-11 conference record under the helm of head coach Brittany Lange. The Mavericks are looking to bounce back from a rough finish with new staff additions Josh Keister and Janet Butler. The team will add five freshmen to their roster for this season. The season will begin with an exhibition game against Avila on November 4th.

At a 9-22 finish to the season, the men’s basketball team also had a disappointing finish. In the offseason, head coach Derrin Hansen announced two incoming transfers of Brett Barney, Center, from Wichita State; and Logan Strom, Forward, from UC Davis. Returning 11 players from last year, the men look to make a run for the conference title.

In his first year at the helm of Omaha’s hockey team, Mike Gabinet led the Mavericks to a 17-17-2 season with a 10-13-1 conference record, finishing 5th in the NCHC. The team adds eight to the team: five forwards, two on the defensive side and one goaltender.

Looking to improve on their previous season, the first puck drops on October 7 for an exhibition against the Manitoba Bison at Baxter Arena. The first official home game will be Friday October 19 against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

Around Maverick athletics, baseball finished 15-35. Softball finished their season 20-31, making it to the conference semifinals, where they fell 4-3 to South Dakota State. In the off-season, Amanda Rivera-Eberhart was given the reins of the team.

Both men’s and women’s golf finished seventh out of eight in Summit League tournament. Men’s tennis finished 10-17, missing the conference tournament. The women’s tennis team completed their season with a 13-11 record and a spot in the conference tournament. They fell to South Dakota 4-2 in the semifinals.

Women’s cross country placed fourth at conference beating several personal records. The women’s swimming & diving team placed second out of six at the Summit League tournament. Women’s track & field finished sixth out of seven at the conference tournament.