By Kevin Clemens
The Maverick volleyball team ended its regular season with a sweep over St. Cloud State on Saturday afternoon. The win gave the Mavericks an impressive seventh in a row to complete the season.The Mavericks beat North Dakota on Friday in a five-game match. The weekend’s victories have given the Mavs an impressive resume heading into the NCAA’s decisions this weekend that will determine who is postseason-worthy.
The match on Friday night against North Dakota went down to the wire, with the Mavericks pulling out the victory in five games (30-16, 27-30, 30-27, 33-35, 15-10).
Sophomore outside hitter Kelli Goeser tied a career high in kills Friday night with a total of 18. Goeser, who hit .328 in the match, also recorded six digs and three blocks.
The Mavericks had two other members of the team reach double digits in the match. Ellen Thommes recorded 17 kills with four blocks and team leader Carlie Christensen had 16 kills with five blocks.
Redshirt freshman Jenna Allison got her first career start and played well, producing eight kills and three blocks.
Senior setter Katie Agnew again achieved double-double status, recording her 14th such game of the season Friday night against the Fighting Sioux. She had 53 assists to go along with 14 digs.
The defense was led by Kayla Jansen’s career-high 36 digs.
Riding a six-game win streak and already securing a second-place finish within the NCC, the Mavericks remained poised heading into their final regular season game. They showed passion on the floor, completing a sweep over the Huskies of St. Cloud State (30-26-30-20, 30-26). With the win the Mavs ended their regular season with a record of 16-8 overall, 8-4 in conference play.
Christensen led the Mavericks again on the floor Saturday night with 17 kills in the sweep. The senior middle blocker produced an impressive .483 attack percentage and recorded a match-high six blocks. After the match, Christensen seemed confident in her team’s postseason outlook.
“We feel pretty good about how we are playing,” Christensen said. “Right now we are looking forward to the tournament.”
Nicole McLeod came back from an injury that held her out of Friday’s match in impressive form on Saturday night. She finished with 12 kills, four blocks and six digs in the match. Sophomore Ellen Thommes also contributed 12 kills.
Katie Agnew earned her second double-double over the weekend with 47 assists and 10 digs. This double-double gave her a team high 15 for the season.
The defense was led by Kayla Jansen and Annie Rice, who combined for 39 digs.
Coach Shires was pleased with her team’s performance over the regular season’s final weekend.
“It is great to finish strong. As far as I can tell we will make it to the tournament,” Shires said. “I felt like seven or eight matches ago we got into the positive aggressive mindset that we needed in order to play well, and it has carried over onto the floor.”
During this current seven-match win streak, the Mavericks have only lost four games and have swept five of the seven matches to give them a games record of 18-4 over this run. Signature wins over this streak for UNO include then-ranked No. 12 Minnesota State and No. 13 Augustana, wins that helped launch the Mavericks into second place in the NCC.
The Mavericks ended their regular season in impressive fashion, and will now wait to hear from the NCAA committee regarding its probable postseason nod.
“We knew what we had to do and we accomplished it,” Shires said. “It is now up to the selection committee.