Volleyball falls to Central Missouri, hosts tourney this weekend


By Leia Baez

Central Missouri State University, ranked No. 12 by the AVCA, pounded 45 kills and had 31 digs in defeating UNO 30-23, 30-18, 30-26 Tuesday night in Warrensburg, Mo. before a crowd of 235 fans.

UNO, now 7-2 on the season was out hit by CMSU .323 to .165, as the Mavs committed 22 attack errors.

“There were a lot of things that should not have happened,” Head Coach Rose Shires said.

Sophomore middle blocker Alyssa Matthes led the Mavs with 12 kills and hit .600 for the match. Junior outside hitter Amy Fauss added 10 kills.

Senior middle hitter Jewelia Grennan and sophomore libero Heather VanAckeren led the team with five digs apiece.

Sophomore middle hitter Elyse Mohme led CMSU with 13 kills and four service aces.

Fauss, who has seen playing time in only 18 games this season due to a knee injury, appears to be the dominant hitter when she is on the court. Already Fauss has managed to slam 61 kills, leading the Mavs with an average of 3.39 kills per game.

“She is one heck of a weapon, and when she is healthy it is very difficult to stop her,” Shires said.

Tuesday night’s match may have been a loss, but the UNO volleyball team will take it as a gain.

“They are a very good team, but they are nothing we should have not been able to handle,” Shires said. “We just performed poorly and this is something we need to bounce back from today and get into this weekend with.”

The Mavs will need to turn around Tuesday night’s performance as they are hosting the 20-team North Central Region Crossover tournament this weekend in the Sapp Fieldhouse.

“Every team that comes into the gym this weekend are all teams that are vying for NCAA berths,” Shires said. “These are all top-quality teams.”

All nine teams from the North Central Conference and all 10 teams of the Northern Sun Conference, as well as Michigan Tech will be competing in the tournament on Friday and Saturday.

The Mavs are focusing on their strengths in order to compete at the North Central region level this weekend.

“We are a very aggressive serving team and we are also a very good passing team,” Shires said. “We are going to stay focused on what we do well and what we need to improve on going into this weekend.”

UNO will meet with No. 11 University of Minnesota-Duluth Friday at noon. This season, UMD is 6-1 overall and 3-1 against AVCA Top 25 teams. Senior middle hitter Becky Kukowski, who averages 4.46 kills and 1.04 blocks per game, will lead the Bulldogs.

The University of Minnesota-Crookston, Southwest State University and Northern State University will also face the Mavs at home. All three teams may have losing records, but they are all part of the toughest region in the nation.

“There is no one team that we will play that is not a top-quality team,” Shires said. “Here it is so competitive.”

With only two losses behind them, the Mavs intend on proving they are capable of competing with any team.

Shires summed up her thoughts on the tournament saying, “Serving and passing will be the main sake for our team this weekend. Our goal is to be one of the top teams in the this tournament and show our region hat UNO is here to compete at the NCAA level.”


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